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Tips for Stretching your Relaxer

I'm nearing the end of an 8 week stretch. Before I first started the hair journey in October 2008, I would relax every 6 weeks. Sometimes I couldn't wait that long! I had no idea how to tame new growth, especially the new growth near the crown of my hair, which is usually under-processed. Since the hair journey, I'm vowing to stretch to 8 weeks. Personally, I don't want be looking rough much longer than that. The first stretch was HARD, no lie! But, you pick up things as you go along and this current stretch has been relatively easy. So, without further adieu, here are my non-researched, PERSONAL-OPINION tips for stretching your relaxer. I advise you to listen to your own hair and do your research as well.

TIP #1: PROTECTIVE STYLES. A good protective style is a great investment. It can help to keep your ends protected and keep you looking fresh! Many ladies try bantu knots, roller sets, and (my favorite) half-wigs. I personally don't really like bantu knots & roller sets because they take a lot of work compared to just throwing on a half-wig! Don't neglect the hair under your half-wig! It's easy to throw a wig on over dry, tangled hair... but moisturize and seal that hair, and preferably use corn-row braids under the half-wig to further protect!

TIP #2: LEAVE-INS. Leave-ins are essential for bringing back moisture and elements that are stripped from the hair during the washing process. I personally mix a cheapie conditioner with water, aloe vera gel and oil. Others use glycerin, rosewater, etc. Leave-ins help my new-growth to lay down and soften.

TIP #3: FREQUENT DCs. My first stretch I didn't DC at all and my hair was always tangled and somewhat dry. This stretch, I DCed 1x-2x week after I was 4 weeks post. I mix Lekair cholesterol, honey, oil, a tablespoon of salt, place a shower cap on, and let it sit on for 2-3 hours at the most.

TIP #4: ACCESSORIZE. Scarves, cute pins, bobby pin updos ... be creative while stretching!

TIP #5: MOISTURIZE, MOISTURIZE, MOISTURIZE! I notice that as the weeks add up, my hair craves more and more moisture! Remember to moisturize often (and understand the balance between Moisture and Protein!