Most manufacturers recommend a person should get a relaxer every 6-8 weeks. Before doing what’s advised on the back of the box, make sure your hair actually needs a relaxer at that time.
Let’s talk relaxers !
If you’re relaxing at 6-8 weeks –
1. Is it because you have a good amount of growth , enough to avoid overlapping?
2. Is it because you haven’t figured out a good regimen that effectively caters to both your new growth and your relaxed hair?
It’s sometimes hard to manage two different textures and as soon as the hair starts growing , there is a difference. I used to struggle at 5 weeks before my hair journey. Although it was just 5 weeks, that tiny wave wasn’t getting what it needed.
One of my followers told me she relaxes every 6 weeks. If she doesn’t , her hair sheds uncontrollably. She didn’t have a lot of new growth and didn’t have a good regimen either. The moisture was lacking in her routine , she didn’t have the proper protein and moisture balance AND what she thought was shedding was actually breakage. It’s important to figure things out . Trial and error, listen to your hair . It takes time. I’m glad that she was able to find great products and techniques. Now, she doesn’t experience breakage at 6 weeks.
Also , if your hair is excessively shedding , it could be due to different factors(Stress, extreme weightloss, child birth …etc)
Stretching a relaxer is to go beyond 6-8 weeks without breakage.
BENEFITS OF STRETCHING
•Having a good amount of new growth hence less chance of overlapping the relaxer. It’s so easy to overlap the relaxer on the previously relaxed hair when there isn’t enough new growth. Overlapping will cause the hair to be over-processed over time .
The more new growth you have , the less likely overlapping will occur.
•Taking a break from relaxers.
Everytime you relax, as you are rinsing out the relaxer , it touches the previously relaxed hair (that’s called relaxer run-off)which can cause the hair to weaken over time . Good news: you can protect your hair from the relaxer runoff ! You can apply a thick oil or petroleum based jelly on the previously relaxed hair on relaxer day.
But giving your hair a break from relaxing is always a good idea , less chemical exposure for your scalp and hair !
Stretching should always be beneficial. How long you go depends on your hair texture, hair density,regimen and lifestyle.
Some people are able to stretch for 6 months while wearing their hair out and not experience breakage hence they retain length. However, the only way I can go 6 months is if I incorporate protective styles . Meaning , I don’t have to deal with my hair much. Depending on my mood, I may not want to wear wigs or weaves and prefer to wear my hair out most of the time , therefore , relaxing every 10-12 weeks on average has been working for me. Remember, you have to know your limit ! Also , if you’re new to stretching , take baby steps. Example: Relax every 9 weeks , then do a 10 week stretch next time and so on. As always , listen to your hair and give it what it needs.
The number one mistake is people either relax way too soon or wait too long to relax. Stretching your relaxer should NOT result in a setback. Just because you see someone successfully relax 3 times a year doesn’t mean you should. Relaxing 3 times may work for them. My hair texture is coarse and thick, it’s so coily and craves moisture a lot. By listening to my hair, I found a regimen that allows me to ensure that the two textures have what they need,hence I’m able to go at least 10-12 weeks with no problem.
I once did a successful 7 month stretch but I was wearing wigs the entire time . I was being very gentle on my weekly washdays. But nowadays, I prefer to wear my hair out more often so 10-12 weeks is perfect. I have enough new growth to relax at the 10-12 weeks mark.
Take it easy, listen to your hair and you’ll know how often you should relax! You have to do build a good regimen for your hair. Sometimes it takes time to figure things out but it can be done . Always do what’s best for your hair 🤎
Coming up this week: How I am able to stretch successfully .
Stay tuned !