As you already know, I’m currently in the middle of an expected 6 month stretch (wowzers!), which also happens to be my second stretch attempt ever. I got the idea of stretching my relaxer from watching various hair videos, and also reading the hair blogs which swore that stretching the relaxer was a great way to help thicken hair by preventing the over processing of the hair. Just so we’re all on the same page, “stretching” basically means extending the amount of time between relaxers. For example, if you normally perm every 8-10 weeks, for a stretch, you would try to perm every 10-12 weeks or longer than that. Most people advise that when stretching, you should try to increase the increments slowly but surely, slowly working your way up to the ideal amount of time that you want. However, I’m the type of person who likes to go into things with the ‘all or nothing’ type of mentality, so for my first stretch, I’m went for my ideal stretch time at once—3 months—and this time, I’m doubling it. I eventually want it to be that I only relax twice a year—once in June for my birthday and then again in December to ring in the New Year.
So far, I’ve been getting along rather well with my stretch, but I’ve been having my fair share of struggles. For one, since I’m trying to keep my hands out of my hair, I need a lot of low maintenance hairstyles. With my hair at its current length, I can’t get my hair into a ponytail that I’d respect (I ABHOR tiny ponytails), so my low maintenance hairstyles consist of braid outs, twist outs, and buns. The problem with doing braid outs/twist outs is that my hair tends to tangle a lot, so I end up losing a bit of hair, no matter how gently I try to detangle. I try to combat the tangling by using the Hawaiian Silky 14-in-1 detangling product in my hair, and while that does reduce the amount of tangling, it does not stop in completely. Wearing my hair out also means that I have to carry a spray-bottle of moisturizer and my sealing oil with me because of how dry my hair gets when exposed to air. I’ve recently resorted to just wearing my hair back with the ends tucked and pinned under (not the cutest look, but it does the job) and that keeps my hair soft and moisturized while also protecting my ends. Currently, I have about 1.5 inches of new growth on average around my head, but my hair is WACKY! While some areas are growing in sync, this one patch of my hair has about 2.5 inches of new growth! I don’t know what’s going on there, but I’m not gonna complain about it—growth is growth, and I'm not about to look a gift horse in its mouth.
It gets a little frustrating at times, and I won’t lie, more than once I’ve wanted to run to the Beauty Supply Store and buy my relaxer to get this entire thing over with…..BUT I’ve made a commitment to myself, and I will honor it. I only have four more weeks anyways (thank GOD!!) so I’m sure that I can hold out until then. Stretching a relaxer is not the easiest thing in the world AT ALL, but I know that the benefits will be more than worth it, so I’m willing to put in the work!
Happy Hair Days!