Tuesday, January 14, 2014

6 Tips to Stretching Your Relaxer 6 Months

I get asked almost daily how I stretch my relaxers for so long. Honestly, I've never thought about it. I've always been a serial relaxer stretcher. As a kid, I'd go months and months without relaxing. My mom is a total tom-boy, so she would only "do" our hair (meaning relax it) on special occasions. (Think: Mother's Day, Christmas, and birthdays) In 2013, my goal was to stop stretching past 4 months because of the breakage and general havoc that I think it caused on my ends. But here I am excited to be over 6 months post and loving (almost) every minute of it. Here are 6 ways that I've been able to stretch my relaxer 6 months:

Detangle Pre-Wash: Never, ever, never will you catch me jumping right in the shower without prepping my hair. I firmly believe in pre-wash detangling and a good oily pre-poo. The pre-poo is the place in your regimen to prevent tangles, manage breakage, and keep your hair on your head. I start by detangling using extra virgin coconut oil then when I'm feeling fancy, I'll add conditioner and little indirect heat.

Related: Why I Love Coconut Oil

Ditch the Shampoo: I try to like shampoo. I really do. But my hair hates it. The only shampoo that my hair digs is Matrix Biolage Hydratherapie Hydrating Shampoo so in the last few weeks I've been experimenting with creamy co-cleansers. You can DIY (here's a great recipe) or you can pick up a bottle of Curlicious Curls Cleansing Cream, this cute little co-cleanser that claims to hydrate whilst still cleaning your tresses.

Extreme Deep Condition: I first picked up on this brilliant deep conditioning technique via Carol's Daughter's Olive Oil Infusion. My Extreme Deep Condition layers an oil over your conditioner sealing in all that moisturizing goodness. To help the conditioner penetrate, I add heat via a heat cap for at least an hour. This stretch, I've taken things a step further by deep conditioning overnight. My hair usually feels like silk afterwards. Moisture overload is real so keep your hair balanced by...

Related: Why I Deep Condition Overnight

Use Protein to Maximize Retention: There's no secret that I use protein to maximize my length retention. Protein is a finicky topic for some, so here's my spill: I think that all types of curly hair can and benefit from protein. Yet with all things in life, how you put it together and what you use matters. Take some time and date a couple protein laced products. I'd start with a conditioner with protein closer to the bottom of the ingredient list then work your way up. One protein product that has benefited me from the very beginning of my journey is Chi Silk Infusion. Its silky, smoothing, and strengthening. Win, win, win!

Stop shedding: Its not uncommon to notice a bit more shedding (not to be confused with breakage) as you get deeper into your stretch. Nip it in the bud with green or black tea rinses and follow your favorite smoothing treatment (mine is Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Conditioner) or detangler (I can't get enough of Matrix Biolage Detangling Solution.)

Protective Style: I live in protective styles. Not braids or weaves but buns and updos. Its hard not to want to flaunt your ridiculously long hair, but trust me keeping your ends protected will slow breakage---a long term stretchers worse enemy.

Last but not least, its okay if you love your hair but don't have the patience to fiddle with months of detangling multiple textures. It's important to crawl before your walk. If you usually relax after 6 weeks. Then for your next stretch add one more week. Keep adding a week to each stretch until you've figured out your patience sweet spot then run with that.

What are your todo's for successful stretching?



  1. Six months would be nice but right now I am aiming for 4 (I actually think it will be easy), thanks for the tips!

    1. 4 months is amazeballs! You'll get there soon enough!

  2. Great post KLP. I've only made it to 6 months once and that was when I tried to transition. I always find detangling the worst part of long stretches x

    1. Tangles and knots are the devil. Ugh! Which is why I detangle before I wash in an effort to prevent my hair off revolting against me!

  3. Oh 6 months would be so great! and imagine the length retention! that is too many weeks post! Thanks for the great tips, I would really love to try a really long stretch soon.

    1. I consistently have that lurking danger that my relaxed ends are suffering, so protein has become my new bff!


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