9 Tips For Stretching Your Relaxer Longer

How is your hair doing? Has this pandemic changed your hair plans? Are you now looking at a longer relaxer stretch than originally planned?

If you are looking at a longer relaxer stretch you may be considering either
  1. Getting a box relaxer from the store and relaxing your hair yourself (not something I would recommend but to each their own
  2. Continuing to stretch until your stylist re-opens their salon however long that may be.

Personally, I would opt for number 2 which is what I will be doing if I’m not able to go to the salon for my normal 12 weeks touch-up.

While I currently go 12 weeks between my relaxer touch-ups I’ve gone longer in the past, as long as 18 weeks. I have a post about that which you can read about here.

Tips For Stretching Your Relaxer Longer | A Relaxed Gal
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If you find yourself having to stretch your relaxer for a few extra weeks than you normally do I’m sharing nine tips that can help with having longer relaxer stretches. Most of these tips are ones I’ve used during my longer stretches. The others are tips I’ve seen other relaxed hair influencers share and they have gorgeous, long, healthy hair.

Now for the tips!

1. Be gentle

This is so important. Because of the two textures, our hair is even more fragile. So when I detangle, comb, brush, or style my hair I do it in sections and make sure to be extra gentle so as to not cause breakage.

By working on my hair in sections I do find that I may be spending more time on my hair than normal but it’s worth it.

2. Keep new growth detangled

Just like being gentle, this is so important. The more new growth I have the more it tangles upon itself.

Some tips for detangling are
  • Do it in sections. I mentioned this before and while it may take more time it allows you to more fully detangle your hair and do it with less damage
  • Use a conditioner or oil to give you some slip
  • Start with your fingers. I have a video where I share how I finger detangle that you can watch here

3. Do hot oil treatments

My hair loves hot oil treatments, both my relaxed hair and my new growth. I do hot oil treatments weekly as a pre-poo. Hot oil treatments help to soften up my new growth and help with detangling. The oils I’m currently using for my hot oil treatments are olive oil and sunflower oil.

4. Stay moisturized

It’s important to keep the new growth well moisturized. This not only helps with keeping it detangled but also can help with minimizing breakage at the line of demarcation which is where the relaxed and natural hair meet. It becomes a weak point in the hair because of the two textures.

Some ways to keep new growth moisturized is
  • Co-washing by occasionally using a cleansing conditioner instead of a shampoo
  • Moisturizing with a good moisturizer or hair milk and sealing regularly. This could be daily or a few days a week. Whatever works best for your hair
  • Deep conditioning weekly using heat from a bonnet dryer or heating cap

5. Stick to products your hair likes

There may be a temptation to try out some new hair products. Especially if you have some that have been lying around for what seemed like months. Let me tell you, don’t do it!

If you have products that your hair likes and responds positively to stick with those. It will be better for your hair as you won’t need to deal with any unknowns using new products can bring. While using new products could have good consequences they can bring negative ones such as tangling, matting, drying out, protein overload, etc. And if you’re in a situation where you won’t be able to visit your stylist anytime soon it’s best to stick with what works.

6. Wear low maintenance styles

These are styles such as buns, flat twists, french braids, and ponytails that require you to do little manipulation with your hair which lessens the chance of breakage.

I tend to wear a lot of buns and ponytails throughout the week when I'm deeper into a relaxer stretch. Additionally, if I'm just hanging around at home, not going anywhere, or having visitors I'll keep my hair wrapped up in a satin scarf or cap instead of styling my hair for that day.

7. Try curly styles

Since your new growth is curly why not wear your relaxed hair curly to better blend the two textures. You can achieve curly styles with bantu knots, pin curls, roller sets, braid outs, or twist-outs.

If you opt for curly styles you can maintain that style by putting your curls on the top of your head at night so they don’t get squished and squashed when you sleep.

8. Keep the new growth stretched

I’ve started doing roller sets which stretches out my new growth right after it’s been washed.

You can use heat styling tools to get your new growth in a stretched state. Such as a blow dryer with a comb attachment or a paddle brush.

Another option is to flat iron your new growth. I used to do this once I got a few weeks away from getting a relaxer touch-up. It would make it easier for me to keep my new growth detangled. Now that I’ve gotten better at keeping my new growth detangled I don’t do this anymore.

If you opt to use a heat styling tool during your relaxer stretch please, please use a heat protectant to help protect your hair from serious heat damage.

9. Wear long-term protective styles

Wearing a style that protects your hair by having it tucked away allows you to not have to touch your hair much which is great during relaxer stretching. Long-term protective styles such as box braids, wigs, or weaves can help with extending your relaxer stretch.