Learning to stretch relaxed hair can be challenging and frustrating but it doesn’t have to be. For those of you unfamiliar with the phrases relaxer stretching and stretching relaxed hair, they refer to extending the periods between relaxer touch-ups to minimize the potential for over-processing previously relaxed hair. This article highlights some often forgotten about tips for stretching relaxed hair!
8 Tips for Stretching Relaxed Hair
#1 Study Transitioners
Some believe relaxed hair and transitioning hair are worlds apart but are they? Relaxer stretchers and long-term transitioners are connected by one common goal — stretching relaxed hair. As I see it, relaxed hair and transitioning hair have more similarities than transitioning hair and natural hair. Does managing multiple textures, line of demarcation, increased protein usage, dryness and breakage sound familiar? If you are struggling to learn the art of stretching relaxed hair, consider looking at a transitioners regimen as a baseline. It’s a great start point toward learning how to manage multiple textures.
Tips for Stretching Your Relaxer
#2 As Your Hair Evolves, So Should Your Regimen
Many stretchers and transitioners fail right out of the gate by attempting to keep the same regimen as they go about their relaxer stretch. As your hair evolves, so should your regimen. The regimen you have today may not be the best regimen for tomorrow. Don’t be afraid to adjust your regimen to meet your hair needs.
Be Sure to Pin to Your Pinterest Board
Be sure to pin the below image to Pinterest for reference and don’t forget to read the previous article I wrote — 15 Tips for Relaxer Stretching without Breakage.
#3 Protein Is A Must!
Protein is a must [even for the most protein sensitive hair] when relaxer stretching and transitioning. The line of demarcation where the natural hair and relaxed hair meet becomes fragile, thus protein treatments should be used to strengthen it. Not only does protein provide the hair with strength, it also provides the hair with structure which helps it retain the moisture you’re feeding it. So yes, even when your hair is dry, it might be protein that you’re lacking.
Warning signs that protein may be needed:
- breaking hair
- gummy hair
- stretchy hair
- dry and brittle hair
- fragile hair
Related Article: 5 Ways to Prevent Hair Breakage During the Winter
#4 Finger Detangle Then Comb Detangle
Having a solid regimen that appeals to your hair type and texture is the yellow brick road to success. Unlike many unicorns around the web, the comb does not glide through my hair. For my kinky, coily, curly new growth, I have to finger detangle first to remove shed hair, knots and tangles. Then and only then, do I allow a comb to slowly and carefully pass through my hair as shown in some of my recent videos. Finger detangling the hair first adds more time to the regimen but it really minimizes breakage so it’s worth it!
#5 Use a Detangling Spray
Are you struggling to detangle your hair on wash day or throughout the week, then why not use a detangling spray? Adding a detangling spray to your regimen is a game changer! There are many detangling sprays on the market but all of them have the same goal, provide the hair with slip to allow the comb to glide through the hair with ease. My top 3 detangling sprays are Mane ‘n Tail Detangler (use: dry hair detangling), Cantu Care for Kids Conditioning Detangler (use: dry hair detangling) and Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Kids Extra Moisturizing Detangling Spray (use: damp hair detangling).
#6 Gradually Change Your Regimen
When adjusting your regimen and/or trying out new products just-cause, you should use one new product at a time. While taking it slow isn’t the fast track to using up product [sorry product junkies], it will help you understand how the product performs on your hair. Using too many new products at once often leads to confusion because you’re left without knowing which product(s) worked or didn’t work.As your hair needs evolve, so should your regimen. Don’t be complacent! Click To Tweet
#7 Ditch Familiar and Do What Works
If you’re experiencing breakage, dryness and issues, you need to stop, assess and revise because what you’re currently doing is not working. We often become complacent and continue with the familiar while hoping for a different (better) outcome – less breakage, moisture retention, ease of detangling, etc. Your regimen should evolve along with the needs of your hair. When hair behaviors evolve and regimens remain the same, setback is likely [because you’re not giving your hair what it needs]. Don’t fall victim to this mistake! Ditch the familiar and try new techniques. You might be pleasantly surprised with the end result.When hair behaviors evolve and regimens remain the same, setback is likely! Click To Tweet
#8 Clarify & Chelate
Clarifying and chelating the hair removes product buildup and hard water deposits that often lead to dryness and reduced performance of tried and true products. As rule of thumb, when your hair is unexplainably dry and/or your favorite products are no longer working, it’s time to clarify and chelate so that product can once again penetrate the hair.
Related Article: Clarifying vs Chelating Shampoo
Be Sure to Pin to Your Pinterest Board
Be sure to pin the below image to Pinterest for reference.