How to Stretch your Relaxers like a Pro
Before the stretching really got started
That's right! You read the title correctly Miss Nic has been stretching her relaxers! I know, I was amazed at myself when I was able to forsake the creamy crack for a few weeks longer. Honestly, the withdrawal symptoms haven't been that bad. I've come up with a few ways to prolong the process and keep myself from damaging my hair in the process. It has allowed me to get in touch with my new growth or roots, as one would say, and given me the opportunity to grow my hair and experiment with other methods of styling. I will share with you basically what you need to do, what I've learned along the way, and some of my different styling methods
I am currently four months post relaxer, for those that need a further break down that's 16 weeks since my last relaxer retouch. I must admit, I have never in my life gone past six weeks. I was always anxious to retouch my new growth due to always being consistent with this process since I could remember. The reason why I am now 16 weeks is because I colored my hair at the end of March. I also decided to put my hair in Senegalese twists as well to further prolong my stretching.
I first decided to stretch my relaxers just to give it a try. I wanted/needed to see if this process was beneficial to hair growth. For years we've been told to not stretch to avoid breakage. I can honestly say this is true if you don't know what you are doing. I began to notice that once I started stretching my hair was growing and I started to see my minimal shedding decrease to almost no shedding. I stopped heat styling my hair and opted for buns, twist outs, wigs that I made, and Senegalese twists. The first time I twisted my hair in Senegalese twist I noticed how my hair had grown from leaving it in for about two months (when the stretching began).
I continued with my normal hair care routine: Shampooing once a week, but I opted to deep condition every week instead of every other week using Elasta QP Ultra Hydration Deep Conditioner ( I SWEAR BY THIS PRODUCT)<<< More to come. I always add the optimum 6-n-1 miracle hair oil to this deep conditioner to boost my moisture and my hair is always super soft after the conditioner. I would let it air dry mostly (often times completely) and then straighten it with the blow dryer. If I wanted to curl it I would use my curling wand and twist it, or roll it for the remainder of the week.
What have I learned while stretching??
NO HEAT!! I opted for a top bun for most days. I would simply moisturize my hair, bun it and go. No need for heat. After I shampooed it and blow dried it (for ease of combing and brushing) I was done for the week.
Deep Conditioning every week was a bonus for my hair. Okay, I must admit I understand why some naturals choose to co-wash mid week. Myself, on the other hand still do not completely agree with the process and did not choose to try it. Find out why
. I made sure to get my moisture in my conditioning process and my shampooing process. I opted to use certain cream based leave in conditioners where I felt necessary (some can be used on dry hair).
Making Progress BTW My bangs now are below my chin :)
free Shampoo helps to keep the hair from over drying. The more new growth you have the drier your hair will be. Using a sulfate free shampoo made the detangling process easier. Believe it or not, if it isn't a moisturizing shampoo (with sulfates), it's going to make your hair harder to detangle.
Buns are easy and can be stylish. I would some times opt for my Marley braid hair (the same hair I use for my Senegalese twists) and do a cute bun. Recently, I created a cute Mohawk using the same braid hair. It was simple, quick, and extremely easy to do. All you need is the hair and bobby pins.
Senegalese twists, kinky twist, rope braids, whatever you want to call them can help the hair grow. I taught myself how to do these twists on myself and they were easy. Takes a few days to complete, but the outcome is always gorgeous. What you may find to be odd is that while I have these twists in my hair, I only use a herbal dry shampoo on my hair. Sounds crazy, but I think that helps a little too. I will talk more about it in a later post to come. These twists are a great way to keep your hands out of your head and if you can do it yourself and have the patience, they are affordable. I would say these are better for the hair opposed to regular braids. The reason why I say this is because the tension on the hair is different and it's not going to pull your edges out.
Products I Use
Elasta QP Ultra Hydration Deep Conditioner
All of my Leave in conditioners listed
Sulfate Free Shampoo
Elasta QP Shampoo for Relaxed Hair
Most Recent Products since my new color
Organix Coconut Milk Shampoo and Conditioner (sometimes mixed with my deep conditioner)
Cream of Nature Ultra Moisturizing shampoo and Conditioner
More to Come about each of the products not linked!!
Enough with the Talking Now on to the PICS!!
Side by side comparison and length at the end of March 2013
Easter Sunday Morning. Trying to give my stare. lol
My most current style. Love these twists and the color.
Top Bun with my Twists
Quick twist down for bed
After a fresh shampoo and Deep Conditioner
My new growth
The Mohawk I created using my Marley Braid Hair
My Senegalese Twists
Bun using Marley Braid Hair
My Gorgeous Wand Curls (After) Easter Sunday
Check out my tutorial here where I show you how to create the top bun.
Thanks for reading!! Tell a Friend!! Peace and Blessings xo