5 Tips for Stretching Between Relaxers

Stretching between relaxers has several advantages to the person who does it. The chief reason is that stretching gives a clear line of demarcation between the new growth and the relaxed part of the hair; this lessens the occurrence of over-lapping or relaxing an already relaxed part of the head. There is also the added benefit of the hair growing in thicker and stronger than before. Hence, stretching between relaxers is something than can be considered if you want a healthier head of hair in the long run. Here are five tips that will help you in your quest to stretch between relaxers.

1.      Embrace your new growth– Your new growth is to be cultivated like a finely blooming flower; it is not a bad thing to have two different textures at the same time, think of the long term benefits of stretching- such as thicker hair when you finally relax or the fact that you will have less breakage over time when your line of demarcation is clearly seen by your stylist. Embrace the new growth and nurture it.

2.      Moisturize your hair like never before– the truth is the more post relaxer you are the more moisture is needed for both your hair types, especially at the demarcation line. This area especially should be moisturized daily. There are a variety of ways that you can moisturize this area: condition wash every other day, do not use shampoos with sulfate to wash hair during your stretching time this can dry the hair and cause breakage, deep condition with a moisturizing conditioner every week and use a moisturizer every day. After moisturizing remember to seal in moisture with a natural oil, the very best oil to use as a sealer while stretching is castor oil, though this is debatable, it seems to be the preferred choice among persons who are known for long stretches.

3.      After moisturizing thoroughly every week, you will need to do a strand test to see if your hair needs added protein. This strand test includes, getting a wet piece of hair from your comb or that has naturally come out of your head and pull both ends, if the hair is very elastic, which means you pull and pull and it stretches like an elastic band, then protein is needed. Protein cannot be overlooked in hair care and is very useful for hair strength. If your hair needs protein, add light-weight proteins to your regimen, every two weeks or so. Light- weight protein includes products like: ORS Hair Mayonnaise, Motions CPR or you can add eggs or yogurt to your moisturizing conditioner.

4.      Detangling can be a beast when dealing with your two- textured hair. It is advisable to use a detangling conditioner for a final rinse to get the hair as smooth as possible after washing.

5.      Wear your hair in curly hairstyles. This will make your relaxed hair and your straight hair blend in together somewhat and the styles are easy to do and ensure that there is low manipulation of your hair. Curly styles are a great way for you to blend in the two textures and practice low manipulation. Do not comb out curly styles, co-wash them out instead. Attempting to comb out curly styles will make your hair break easily.


  • Maureen said:

    I have just recently found your site. Your information about relaxed hair is very inspiring. I use coconut oil on my hair and it has done wonders. I have a hair dryer that I can deep condition under. Is it ok to go under the hair dryer( with a plastic cap on) the day before a relaxer? The coconut oil is on my hair and I have not washed it for 5-6 days. Thank You

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Maureen,
      It is not recommended that you agitate the scalp just before a relaxer. So, I would advise that you do this a week before.

  • Sweetgal said:

    I really love your advice.

  • sweetgal said:

    Please what detangling conditioner do you use.
    I went 6 months post and after shampooing, my relaxed hair was so knotty.
    I’m seriously considering transitioning, but do not want to do the big chop. Any advice please??

  • Natasha Asamoah said:

    From the 2nd point concerning moisturising, are you saying that we should wash our hair every other day? I’m wondering if this is so, because that will mean styling frequently. Thanx.

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Natasha,

      That is just one of the options mentioned to keep hair moisturized and yes it would mean styling/handling the hair frequently (which is a pain) and it would mean that curly hairstyles wouldn’t last. So, it should only be done if you are up to it or if you have to do it.

  • Kristen said:

    I have been struggling with my hair care regime.

    At first I tried to go natural but my CURL PATTERN IS REALLY TIGHT, to the point my hair spirals then zig
    zags and then spirals again.

    When I started relaxing again my hair, which felt so thick before but after felt so flat and thin, should I
    use a texturizer instead?

    In between relaxers are you pressing you hair so everything blends?

    Also, I exercise 5-6 times a week, so I sweat, which makes my hair feel so drenched.

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Kristen,

      No, I don’t press my hair between relaxers. I usually wear curly styles. I also exercise 5 times per week, my curly styles work even better then, because I have to wash my hair every time after exercising. I will be posting a series of articles on that soon. Texturizers and relaxers contain the same chemicals, the difference is the time that it is applied to the hair and texturizers are somewhat weaker. It works better on S shaped curls, turning it into a curly or wavy pattern. It does not work that well on Z shaped curls.

  • Ewurabena said:

    Hey, when I stretch my relaxer I tend to experience a lot of shedding when I comb, if I decide to do flexi rod settings that means every other night I would ve to fix the rods which I think is a lot of manipulation , what dou recommend I do please!!!!!

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Ewurabena,
      Flexi rod setting every other night? Mine usually last for a week unless I sweat profusely and even then it last for a while. Do you comb out your curls with a comb?

  • Priana said:

    I am a teen also athlete and I get my hair relaxed about every six weeks and recently my aunt hasn’t been able to dot hair so now it seem to be damaged and now my mom wants me to switch my hair stylist . My plans are to just cutt my hair to about the end of my neck and start all over . Is that a good idea? Also every since I’ve gotten relaxers my hair has been the same length ( about 3 years) with just getting a straight wrap style every time

  • Shana said:

    Hi,I’m 36 and black with thick, coarse relaxed hair. I’ve been experiencing thinning in the crown for a few years now but am just now able/willing to discuss it.

    I came across your page, generally trust your opinion and feel “safe” spilling my guts to you about this. I’m just looking for something that will actually/possibly work to at least STOP this. I’m coming into this fairly discouraged as I’ve heard this is permanent, hereditary and irreversible. I do not wear weaves or braids and have reletively health shoulder length hair.I have started seriously caring for my hair including stretching my relaxers. Trying to manage this completely unruly new growth AND trying to save my “area” are two competing goals. I’m honestly not fond of the ‘all natural’, twisty, locked, dreded looks so it’s pretty much not an option for me.

    My ultimate fantasy hope is that you’ll tell me there’s some magic tonic out there that I can order that will regrow what I lost (so far it’s about 10-15% less thick on top).

    Realistically, I’m hoping you can tell me of at least something to slow this down and as an absolute last resort good pieces and long term items to cover if needed.
    Hoping to hear something or anything, Thanks!

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Shana,
      I feel your pain. Please, don’t be discouraged. There are some things that you can do to help. Check out this article. Hair Regimen for Hair Loss you can check out some of the other articles under Hair Issues including this one on Horsetail, a herbal doctor suggested it to me years ago and I have heard of persons with pattern baldness being completely cured.

  • PreshGugu said:

    Hi Brenda,

    I came across your website about two weeks ago, I had an afro for about a year, I have now relaxed it a week ago, after that my scalp was very dry and itchy. I did a hot oil treatment with coconut oil & castor oil overnight & then I shampooed and deep conditioned the next morning, my hair is sooo soft and m scalp is moisturised. thank for the advise.

  • PreshGugu said:

    thank you for the advise

  • Marge said:

    Hey, Brenda!

    I find your information to be extremely valuable and validating in a world that seems to primarily focus on natural hair care. I have a few questions about stretching out the relaxer, a practice I am very interested in. How often should I get my hair relaxed? Currently I go every 10 to 12 weeks. Should I get trims and/or any kind of treatments in between? Also, my current shampoo regimen is once every two weeks. Is that a problem? Lastly, I use Mizani Supreme Oil line. Would you recommend that? Any feedback you can provide would be great!

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Marge,

      You could try stretching for a week more than you would regularly get a relaxer and see how best you handle your hair during that week. Afterwards you can gradually increase the times between you get a relaxer until you hit a sweet spot. You can alternate between a hot oil treatment and a deep conditioning treatment every week, it is imperative that you do these treatments the longer you stretch, you want to avoid breakage as much as possible. As for trimming, don’t do it unless you have to. If you are fine with washing your hair every two weeks, then that is not a problem. I have no recommendations as it relates to the Mizani line, the important thing is if it is working for you, stick with it.

  • Nimmi said:

    Hi Brenda, Wow – thank you for this site!

    If you could help with this I would be very grateful…

    I partially relaxed my hair about 18 months ago to get a looser curl. I now have 6 inchs+ of natural afro hair regrowth and about 4 inches of the partially relaxed hair. I want to relax the growth but the line between the two is not easy to see at all – do you have any tips for avoiding overlap in this situation? I’m daunted by this task :/

    Second question is about new hair growth from the scalp. I recently improved my diet and started taking a few general health suppliments. I have a lot of new hairs sprouting at various lengths. I’m worried about relaxing these – should I be?

    Thank you so much, Nx

    • Brenda Barrett said:

      Hi Nimmi,

      You are welcome. To prevent overlap, put conditioner, oil or the neutralizer that comes with the relaxer on the 4 inches of relaxed hair, that way if relaxer actually gets close to the already relaxed part of your hair it will not be processed at all. No need to be worried about relaxing your new growth, congrats on the improvements to your health.

  • Destiny said:

    I really enjoy your page ! It is very inspirational. My hair is currently cut in layers with my longest one being just at shoulder length but my shortest one is very short, about where my ear starts. I really want to grow my hair even but I don’t want to have to cut it to the shortest layer to achieve this. Do you have any suggestions on how to go about this? Thanks in advance

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