If you’ve been hanging with me long enough, you’ve seen a variation of my tips on how to stretch relaxed hair before. If not, here’s a list of relaxer stretching tips to help you along the way.
Now that you’ve seen the tips on how to stretch your relaxer, let’s briefly touch on the why behind each tip.
Walk Away When Your Relaxer Randomly Stops Working
Hair can change over time and stop responding to a particular relaxer. Other times, it could be the result of a formula change. Either way, when your relaxer stops providing the desired results, it’s time to move on. Don’t force it.
Relaxer Stretching Isn’t for Everyone
Someone had the nerve to tell me relaxer stretching is dumb and can ruin my hair. I totally disagree. However, you should end your stretch when you can no longer effectively manage the new growth. Do what makes sense for your hair.
I get that a relaxer is a strong chemical and likely strong enough to penetrate through buildup but I don’t prefer to take chances. I recommend removing all buildup from your hair with a good clarifying and chelating shampoo to ensure the relaxer can penetrate the new growth during the relaxer touch up.
Let Your Scalp Rest Before Your Next Up
The pores of your scalp can remain open for up to 72 hours after you wash your hair. Therefore, you should not wash your hair or engage in high impact workouts that lead to a lot of scalp sweating at least 3-5 days before your relaxer touch up.
Protect Your Scalp From Relaxer Burn
If you have a sensitive scalp like me, basing your scalp is a must. To ensure my scalp is well protected, I base my scalp at home because the little bit that the stylist puts on my hair isn’t enough. You should definitely do the same. Protecting your hair starts at home.
Heavily Coat Your Hair with Vaseline
I made the mistake of not properly coating my hair and boy did I pay for it. My hair suffered from breakage which resulted in having to cut my hair on a number of occasions. Coating your hair with something thick like Vaseline provides a barrier against relaxer runoff and protects the hair from over processing.
Detangle & Remove Shed Hair
Arriving to the salon with your hair properly detangled and free of shed hair will help your touch up go quicker, smoother and better. I made the mistake of not doing this once or twice and yes, you guessed it….another war story. The stylist ripped right through my hair and caused major breakage because my new growth was too compact to my scalp.
Post Relaxer Regimen
This one is optional but I never skipped it when I relaxed my hair. Clarifying and chelating your hair removes the buildup deposited to the hair during relaxer touch up that can lead to post relaxer dryness.
Just Wait on the Corrective Relaxer
My hair stylist always opted against doing corrective relaxers. At the time, it was very annoying but I totally get it now. Rather than going back in for a corrective within a few weeks, my stylist recommended waiting until the next relaxer to limit the potential for overlapping and over processing hair.
What’s Your Best Tip to Stretch Relaxed Hair?