A lot of women relax their hair religiously every 6 weeks. Most hair stylist recommends that relaxers be retouched every 4-6 weeks, EVEN i do but in some instances your hair’s condition may require a healthy ‘stretch’ which may take you to at least 10-12 weeks.
Stretching your relaxer has many benefits such as length retention and hair thickness. Hair can be significantly weakened by overlapping applications of chemical hair relaxers, leading to brittleness, breakage, hair loss, thinning and scalp irritation. The purpose of a relaxer touch-up is to straighten the new growth. With the growth rate of hair being an average of ½ inch every month, you’re bound to overlap your new relaxer on already relaxed hair.
Now its important to note that stretching your relaxer does NOT mean ignoring your hair; like so many ladies like to do when its time for a touch-up. When stretching relaxers, hair should always be moisturized. It is important to deep condition your hair weekly, this will contribute to softness of your new growth. New growth is the strongest part of your hair so the weakest portion, which is the ends need the most attention. Often times, hair begin to break when it’s stretch. This is due to the delicate nature of the relaxed hair. Sometimes when the new growth meets the demarcation line (the line defining the boundary between the new growth and relax hair) the relaxed hair tends to break off because it’s not as strong. A good remedy for this would be the use of monthly protein treatments. Hair is primarily made up of a protein called keratin. When hair is relaxed the keratin bonds are broken to straighten the hair. Protein treatments help to restore the strength of the hair strand. Protein needs to be balanced with moisture, because too much protein will eventually dry out your hair. So it is imperative that you get professional treatments while stretching your relaxer.
It is also important to reduce manipulation of your hair while stretching your relaxed hair especially in the latter weeks. Some styles you can wear to prevent breakage are sew in weaves, braids, buns, the twist and curl, braid-outs and roller sets. Remember ALSO that mild shampoos are best for relaxed hair. Shampoos that contain sulfates tend to dry out relaxed hair. All this while still maintaining the nightly routine of wrapping your up will result in positive hair benefits
So MY PRO TIP is: try increasing your stretch a week more each time. Stretching your relaxer is a great way to maintain healthy relaxed hair. Simply try it…your hair will love you for it!