Sunday, 17 July 2011

Vintage Revamped : the truth behind stretching

primary source: fuckyeahcurlscurls tumblr
So following my 8 months stretch hair tragedy i'd be a fool not to re-visit the topic of stretching and my discovered do's and dont's! So here we go with the first take of the Vintage revamped series.

Stretching is, simply put, extending the length of time in between relaxers. The average recommendation of time before re-applying your next relaxer is 8 weeks. Stretching requires that you exceed this length of time by a few weeks or even months in order to achieve healthier hair, because of the reduced use of chemicals in your hair.

There is no doubt that by reducing the frequency of relaxers, you in turn strengthen your hair. 
The use of chemicals breaks down the keratin bonds in our hair, therefore making our hair weaker. Of course the health of your hair is also determined by how you treat it, however all in all the less relaxer you can use in a year... the better!

The longer you go without a relaxer, the more you have to pay attention to your hair needs. Re-growth generally (experience with my hair) begins to crop up within the first month of having a relaxer. It is manageable to begin with a.k.a you can still survive airdrying, however once you begin to glide into month 3/4 (12-16 weeks) you begin the texture war. That is, dealing with the texture of your natural re-growth and the texture of your relaxed hair. The famous line of demarcation (where relaxed meets natural) is the most fragile point of our hair strand. Not having the correct balnce of protein and moisture in our hair regime can cause easy breakage at this point. 

So you've decided to stretch past 16 weeks and your re-growth is wild. Perhaps you want to transition and still do not know! At this point deep conditioning is a must! If you do not DC regularly now is the time to start! Better yet deep conditioning with heat helps soften your hair, which makes it easier to detangle. 
Relaxed and natural hair respond differently to hair products. It is time to find something that works for both textures, even if it requires you adding water or oils to your favourite products in order to make the perfect product.
Forgetting to moisturise and seal, deep condition, wash in sections, at this point of your hair journey, can result in a lot of hair loss and breakage. So listen to your hair... if you have decided not to transition then  it may just be time to relax. Otherwise if you do want to transition, changing your hair regime may be the next step to take. (Transitioning post coming soon!)


 Use conditioner to wash your hair instead of
 shampoo, this encourages moisturised hair. Shampoo should be used when there is a lot of product build up.

Deep conditioning with heat following each wash is an absolute life saver with regards to restoring moisture and softening hair, especially new growth.

The comb motion and cool/warm air will help detangle your new growth and make your roots more manageable.

Be sure to add moisture to your hair. Twice a day is essential when stretching. Lighter more water based moisturisers help to keep hair strong, especially at the line of demarcation.

Keeping our ends far from reach allows us to retain length and prevent breakage at the end of our hair. Buns, weaves, braids, wigs etc are great protective styles. 

If you must use heat, only use it on your new growth. Try to wrap the rest of your hair to create a smooth finish. This way there is less damage to the ends of your hair. 

Using a hot oil treatment as a pre poo or deep conditioner softens new growth to another level. As a pre poo this helps detangle hair before commencing with washing. It also soothes the scalp.

Alternate between protein and moisture deep conditioners. When stretching one usually feels more inclined to use moisture deep conditioners all the time, however we must also make sure our hair is strong enough to withstand its two textures, hence use protein too!

You may feel like you've heard this all before but all of these steps make the biggest difference. Trust me!

x edF


  1. Ooooh i dont miss the 2 textures thing at all

  2. I went 12 months;)

  3. I love these tips you have shared, i tell you, its such a pain to stretch longer than 6 weeks . i'm currently on a 2 and ahalf month stretch.



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x Fi