I typically go about 12 weeks between relaxers, but have gone even more than that making it to 18 weeks. This means I can have several weeks where I'm dealing with two textures, straight and curly, which can be a challenge. So I've had to learn how to deal with two textures and have them work together without causing more damage. Here are the techniques I employ to manage my new growth between relaxer touch ups:
Related post: Wash Day: 18 Weeks Post 2/28 Relaxer Touch Up
Deep condition, deep condition, deep conditionI say this a lot, only because it's true. If I don't deep condition during my relaxer stretches detangling is a nightmare and my new growth is more prone to tangling up on itself. My favorite deep conditioner is the Eden BodyWorks Jojoba Monoi Deep Conditioner. It is just the right consistency for both of my textures and it helps make both textures soft and easy to detangle.
Deep condition with heatWhen I'm deep in a relaxer stretch I make sure that I deep condition each wash day. So it was important that I found a deep conditioner that both my relaxed and natural hair liked. The deep conditioner I use is Eden Bodyworks Jojoba Monoi Deep Conditioner. It makes both my textures soft and moisturized.
In addition to deep conditioning each wash day during my relaxer stretches I like to amplify my deep conditioning with heat. Since direct heat, and even indirect heat if used a lot, can damage my hair I use a heating cap. The one I use is the Hot Head Deep Conditioning cap. I found that when I use my heating cap my hair feels more moisturized and stays that way longer.
Related post: Product Review: Hot Head Deep Conditioning Cap
Stretch my new growthThis is something I learned from other relaxed hair bloggers. My natural hair has some tight curls in certain places which results in the curls tangling or curling around each other. So stretching my new growth helps to lessen or eliminate the tangling.
Here are the two ways I stretch my new growth:
- Apply tension to straighten my new growth when blow drying. When I blow dry my hair (always using cool or cold air) I take about 2-4 inch sections and hold the section taut while I blow dry my new growth. This way my new growth dries more straight than curly.
- Cross wrap at night. This works best if my new growth is still damp when I go to bed or used tension when blow drying. The more new growth I have the more nights between wash days I cross wrap.
Related post: How I Cross Wrap My Relaxed Hair
Drink lots of waterHaving healthy hair is not just about the external, but also about taking care of yourself internally. When you're dehydrated the hair closest to your scalp starts to feel it first. Not getting enough water into your system can make your hair feel dry, brittle and rough.
When I don't drink a lot of water and start getting dehydrated my scalp and new growth begin feeling dry. As a result my new growth starts tangling and doesn't stay stretched.
What I don't doOne thing I don't do, particularly on a regular basis, is flat iron my new growth straight. I would do that in the past before I started my healthy hair journey and I experienced thinning and breakage. I believe that using a lot direct heat on your hair causes more harm than good.
What do you do to manage your new growth between relaxer stretches?