Wednesday, 9 July 2014

How to take care of your hair while stretching

12 weeks post and the stretch for me begins

I have previously stated that I will stretch to 16 weeks and not beyond after my previous stretch had some setbacks. But at the same time I really want to texlax my hair at least twice a year, I am on a 24 week challenge which I might make or end if need be. I’ve found that from 8 weeks after texlaxing my hair, it starts becoming difficult to comb and deal with the new growth. It also becomes difficult for my hair to lay flat as smooth as I want it to be and too many fly aways which I try and keep contained. In order for me or anyone else who once to stretch their relaxer I am going to do the following:

Firstly What does it mean to stretch your relaxer?
Traditionally hair stylists have encouraged women to relax their hair every 4 to 6 weeks. Stretching your relaxer means lengthening the period between your touch ups, so instead of 4 to 6 weeks, you wait for 8 to 10 weeks or more.

Why stretch your relaxer?
-To prevent over lapping
Hair grows on average  half an inch per month. When touching up a relaxer, chemical is supposed to be applied to the new growth but if there is only half inch of curly new growth it becomes very difficult to prevent relaxer from getting on the already relaxed hair. This results in overlapping the relaxer which causes the hair to become over processed, brittle and prone to breakage.

-To give your scalp a break from harsh chemicals

-To give you enough time to treat the hair and strengthen it before the next chemical application.

Tips for stretching relaxers

1. Be Gentle
while streching the hair is fragile, be gentle and patient while detangling. Try to do this while the hair is wet and full of conditioner. If dry detangling works better for you, be sure to use a detangling spray on the roots to soften them.

2. Prepoo
I like to prepoo with Extra Virgin Coconut oil when I am stretching . I usually do it overnight, massage my scalp with warm coconut oil the add the rest to my hair at times I make sure its well saturated lol put on my plastic conditioning cap then satin scarf and woolen hat off to bed. The next morning my new growth and hair are so soft I mean cloudy soft its amazing and a good feeling too then I go on to do my usual wash day routine.

3. Deep condition your hair with heat. The line of demarcation is the weakest point of your hair. Deep conditioning helps to even out the difference in textures and makes it easier to comb through this point with less breakage. After wasing my hair, I usually apply my deep conditioner to my hair, especially the new growth like I would a relaxer and smooth it in just like I would a relaxer. 

b. Protein
Protein is very important as it helps strengthen the strands. Get protein by deep conditioning and also by using a leave in with protein on your relaxed hair.

4. Co-wash your hair. In addition to deep conditioning my hair after shampooing, I co-wash once a week. I apply my co-wash conditioner to dry hair the same way I apply my deep conditioner and I smooth it in. Sometimes, I moisten my hair a little before applying the conditioner. I cover my hair with a shower cap and leave it in for about 15 –20 minutes. I rinse off the conditioner very well and apply my leave-in conditioner and air dry. 

5. Keep the new growth moisturized
Try not to let the  new growth to curl up especially after washing or moisturising
dry your hair  in a stretched state. This can be done by drying in 6 to 8 ponytails, African threading (mabhanzi) bantu knots, braids, or cornrows. All of these styles pull the roots straight, remember this is to be done while the roots are wet so that it dries stretched.
Deep conditioning and moisturizing with a spray containing glycerine helps to moisturize the new growth. Many long term stretchers use 'S-curl'  no drip curl activator moisturizer spray on the roots (only the roots) every night, then pull the hair into a stretched state (using one of the above methods) and allow it to dry overnight.  It is one of my staples when stretching

6. Low Manipulation
Try to comb your hair once a week for the most, at 8 weeks post relaxer is not the time to comb through your hair every day. When stretching your relaxer it is not advisable to use fine tooth combs to comb through your tightly curled new growth, that's just asking for breakage. I first detangle hair with my fingers then use the comb after and its usually 2 to 3 times a week when I remove my bun to moisturize and seal. Instead, opt for low manipulation styles like updo's, roller sets, braid outs, bantu knot outs, buns. I use braids and cornrows and some people use weaves but be careful with this as the weight of the synthetic hair can put stress on the fragile line of demarcation. Also remember to continue to spray your hair with a good leave-in conditioner containing protein while its in the braids/ weave

7. Tie a scarf to keep it flat: When you have gone far into the stretch, it’s easier to just pack your hair into a bun. When going to bed, part your hair and style it the way you would like it to be in the morning. Tie a scarf to make your hair flat. In the morning, take off your scarf  just before you step out the door. Your hair will look nice and flat.

8. Stretch Gradually
Gradually increase your stretching period to get your hair accustomed to stretching and for you to master the different techniques. If you currently relax every 6 weeks, then try for 7 the next time, then for 8 and continue to build up to an interval you are satisfied with. I think 10-12 weeks is good for bone straight relaxed hair. Texlaxed  ladies can stretch a bit longer because their line of demarcation is not as fragile. I want to get into the routine of texlaxing  my hair every 6 months, but I am still adjusting on how to get there slowly but surely. I have stretched for 32 weeks before my longest ever.

I hope this post was useful, feel free to ask questions and share tips on how you stretch.



1 comment:

  1. Thumbs Up! Written very well and i m Strongly agree.. thanx for sharing these Hair Care Tips


Next relaxer day.....