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Monday, August 12, 2013

Stretching a Relaxer | Hair update #7

Hey all! As many of you know I've had relaxed hair for probably a year by now and I have my ups and downs with it. Relaxed hair takes constant attention as you have to get the roots touched up every 6-8 weeks as some hairdressers or boxed kits suggest.  Sometimes it can be a bit pricey to keep up with, especially being a student. Just recently, I stretched my relaxer for 6 months. Yes, a loooong time! So today I'm going to be sharing my experience with you.

First off, why in heaven's name would I want to stretch my relaxer? For reasons other than money, some ladies stretch their relaxers to prevent overlapping of the processed ends when the new growth gets re-touched. Others use it to take a break from the harsh chemicals in relaxers, while some use the time to strengthen and treat their hair while it grows out. Relaxed hair is no easy task, as it's prone to breakage once it's dry.  

Anyway, how I stretched my relaxer. It was not intentional at first, but like most things I do with my hair, it just seems to happen and I ride along with the waves. It was easy the first month or 2, just continuing to keep my hair flat ironed and stretched out. I was actually going to a hairdresser who would curl and style my hair for me during the semester, so that made it a bit easy at first.

Like here where I've just come from the hairdresser. Don't mind the wind has my new do blowing away...
 But after the 4th month, it started getting tougher to maintain and I found myself just letting my hair revert to it's curly state and wearing it open or in a pony tail. It was starting to tangle up very easily and it was around the time of exams, so hair was definitely not a priority for me. However, I knew I needed to make my hair tidy again as I was getting a job, plus I had always wanted to try extensions. I was going to go with box-braids at first, but settled for the weave from this post. That was a good way to stretch a relaxer, my only issue was not being able to completely moisturise and care for my hair as normal. But I tell you, I loved the break, and I got so many compliments on my long mane!
Missing the length!
After taking the weave out of my hair in June, it was about 5 months post and lots of crazy, so I ended up doing twists on my hair to tame it. No extensions just plain old twists. You may have seen them peeking through in some posts. I would wear them down or in a ponytail, even in a bun depending on the occasion. I also was able to wash my hair like this and re-twist sections if necessary. Twists were very convenient and allowed me to moisturise both my natural and processed hair and care for them properly. Easier than the weave which just covered them both!

I mostly hid the twists in pics but putting my hair in a ponytail.
In about a month and a few weeks, I decided it was time to take out the twists and get my hair professionally done. Which brings me to this weekend when I finally got my hair relaxed, about 6 months post my last relaxer in January. I'm so glad to have finally gotten my relaxer as my hair looks way neater and I don't have to deal with two textures. One very unruly and another just lying there rolling with the punches. I'm sure I experienced some breakage during this time because at some points I really was not paying close enough attention to my hair, but on the bright side, it was my damaged, split ends with broke off.  

Would I do it again? Yes and no. I would do it to take a break from the harsh chemicals as I really do not like burns, not that it burns all the time... but still. While at the same time I would do it, definitely not for 6 months, that was negligence on my part and is a bit of a set back on my unofficial hair journey. I'm back to shoulder length hair after some breakage and a trim..MEH! 

Anyway I'm looking forward to growing out my hair and possibly doing THIS to it, hahaha, in the near future. If I do end up stretching again, I will definitely be doing some research into retaining length.

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