How To Soften New Growth While Relaxer Stretching

When I’m scrolling through posts in relaxed hair Facebook groups a key question I tend to see when it comes to relaxer stretching is how to keep new growth soft. As I learn more about my hair I've started to feel that it's not so much that the new growth is hard but it's more coarse, not as smooth feeling, and harder to manipulate as my previously relaxed hair. In contrast, the new growth feels less soft.

Before I go any further let's talk about what new growth is. New growth is the term used for hair that has grown out of the scalp during the relaxer stretch. This hair is of course in its "natural state" and thereby has a different texture than the relaxed hair.

Woman with 10+ weeks of new growth during a relaxer stretch.
(This post includes affiliate links. Should you click an affiliate link and make a purchase I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.)

How fast your hair grows and how long you stretch will determine how much new growth you will have. Having more new growth can be good for when you get a touchup because there is more space between the relaxed hair and your scalp so there is less chance of relaxed hair getting relaxed again. On the flip side, more new growth means having more to deal with when it comes to different textures.

So how do you get your new growth to be more manageable and feel soft? There are four things that I do that may help you as well.

Keep the new growth moisturized 

Moisturized hair tends to be softer feeling hair. I pay attention to the moisture levels in my hair all the time but especially when I'm deep into a relaxer stretch because I have a lot of new growth. I add moisture to my hair by deep conditioning weekly. When I deep condition I make sure to use heat from a heating cap or steamer. Some deep conditioners I like to use are the TGIN Miracle RepaiRx Deep Hydrating Hair Mask or the Eden BodyWorks Almond Marshmallow Split End Repair Masque.

Another way I add moisture is to moisturize and seal after washing my hair and a few days throughout the week. I like to use a thick moisturizer like the TGIN Butter Cream Daily Moisturizer and the TGIN Argan Replenishing Hair And Body Serum as a sealant.

Pre-pooing is also a good way to add moisture to new growth. Pre-pooing is applying a conditioning or oil treatment before shampooing. I like to mix a conditioner or two like the Aussie 3 Minute Miracle Moist Deep Conditioner with a good natural oil like Jamaican Black Castor Oil.

Stretch the new growth

This is something it took me a while to learn. Stretching your new growth is helpful in so many ways. When my new growth is stretched it stays moisturized longer because the oils from my scalp can more easily travel down the hair strands. Plus, this also helps to keep my previously relaxed hair moisturized. 
Another benefit of stretching out my new growth is it's easier to keep detangled so I don't have to do a lot of manipulation to my hair throughout the week.

There are a few ways I style my hair that stretch out my new growth. The first is to do a blowout using medium heat and the comb attachment on my blow dryer. The second is to roller set my hair making sure to use a lot of tension which stretches out my new growth and lets it dry that way. The third way I keep my new growth stretched is by using a hair straightener or flat iron with light heat to smooth it all out.

Whenever I use any type of heat on my relaxed hair or new growth I make sure to use a heat protectant like the Mielle Mongongo Oil Thermal & Heat Protectant Spray or Mielle Mongongo Oil Pomade-to-Oil Treatment.

Keep the new growth untangled

Having the new growth stretched is half the battle for keeping that hair detangled. Making sure that you regularly detangle is the other half of the battle. I've found when my hair is detangled it's easier to moisturize and holds moisture better.

I detangle my hair by finger detangling and using a wide-tooth seamless comb.

Sweat less

Yes. Working out is good for you and I work out several days during the week but the sweat that results from the workout isn't so great. It wreaks havoc on my new growth because the sweat makes it revert from smoothed or stretched out to it be coily again.
Additionally, the salt from the sweat dries out my new growth making it feel hard and be more prone to tangling.

When I'm deep into a relaxer stretch I try to
  • Do lighter workouts so I sweat less
  • Wear headbands when working out to soak up the sweat
  • Put my hair in a ponytail or bun to keep the new growth stretched
  • Use a dry shampoo like the Not Your Mothers Clean Freak Dry Shampoo to help soak up the salt and sweat from my new growth
  • Occasionally use a blow dryer to remove the sweat from my new growth before it air dries

Share in the comments: Which of these things do you currently do or will do during your next relaxer stretch?

1 comment

Spam comments and comments with links promoting other sites will be deleted by the moderator.