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Share your stretching tips... Please

blackberry815

New Member
Ok ladies, I want to give stretching another try. Please share some tips on how you get through it... For reference..I usually relax every 6-8 weeks and wash, deep condition and rollerset weekly.

I want to aim for 12 weeks to see if i can make it without losing all my hair to breakage and shedding...

Share away! Thanks :)

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Nix08

Relaxed, 4B
Funny we were both on another thread saying that we would relax at 8 weeks and I too am contemplating stretching again....I've been co washing every day to every other day and that has made a big difference....BIG! Less breakage, consistent shedding and my new growth is 'nice'. People have mentioned co washing for stretching before.....it really does seem to work:giggle:

Oh and I have a hair catcher thingy in my bath so I assess hair loss after each wash/cowash and it's been very consistent.
 

blackberry815

New Member
Funny we were both on another thread saying that we would relax at 8 weeks and I too am contemplating stretching again....I've been co washing every day to every other day and that has made a big difference....BIG! Less breakage, consistent shedding and my new growth is 'nice'. People have mentioned co washing for stretching before.....it really does seem to work:giggle:

How far along in your stretch are you? And also how long are u aiming to go?

Sent from my ADR6400L
 

againstallodds

Well-Known Member
Posted these a couple days on my blog - here are a few things that help me -- my usual stretches are between 10-12 weeks.


1. Deep conditioning, specifically applying the conditioner to the line of demarcation (the area where the relaxed hair meets natural hair). During stretches, the line of demarcation becomes susceptible to breakage, but deep conditioning helps restore elasticity to the hair strand, decreasing the chance of breakage.
2. Along those same lines, spraying my new growth with a little watered down moisturizer has been a great help in stopping breakage at the line of demarcation. I've only been doing this for the past couple of months and still wonder why I didn't start sooner.
3. The use of protein helps to strengthen my hair. I've learned that I do not need to plan schedule my protein treatments. What I do is rotate protein focused products and that helps keep my hair strong.
4. Roller setting my hair. One of the biggest issues I run into during my stretches is tangling. Roller setting helps flatten and straighten my new growth without using direct heat.
5. Moisturize and sealing either daily or every other day. Keeping my hair moisturized decreases breakage.
6. Black tea rinses and recently, scalp massages with mix of jojoba, lavender, and eucalyptus oil to decrease shedding and hair fall.
7. Cross-wrapping my hair rather than wrapping it around my head. This has decreased the stress I place on my hair through manipulation.
8. Pre-pooing with grape seed oil and applying to my hair throughout the week to lubricate my strands, smooth my hair, and decrease tangles in my new growth.
9. Low manipulation, low manipulation, low manipulation. I try to leave my hair alone as much as possible since hair becomes rather fragile when stretching, especially in a longer stretch.
 

Nix08

Relaxed, 4B
I'm only now at 7 weeks but at 7 is when I begin to get breakage, increased shedding and start to complain about my hair. I am going to go with the flow...my goal is to be able to comfortably relax every 12 weeks so I'll see how long this co washing takes me. At the same time I'm working on speeding up drying time...I'm home now but when I go back to work I can't be heading off with a wet head. I've cut it down from 4 to 2.5 hours (airdrying).
 

blackberry815

New Member
Posted these a couple days on my blog - here are a few things that help me -- my usual stretches are between 10-12 weeks.


1. Deep conditioning, specifically applying the conditioner to the line of demarcation (the area where the relaxed hair meets natural hair). During stretches, the line of demarcation becomes susceptible to breakage, but deep conditioning helps restore elasticity to the hair strand, decreasing the chance of breakage.
2. Along those same lines, spraying my new growth with a little watered down moisturizer has been a great help in stopping breakage at the line of demarcation. I've only been doing this for the past couple of months and still wonder why I didn't start sooner.
3. The use of protein helps to strengthen my hair. I've learned that I do not need to plan schedule my protein treatments. What I do is rotate protein focused products and that helps keep my hair strong.
4. Roller setting my hair. One of the biggest issues I run into during my stretches is tangling. Roller setting helps flatten and straighten my new growth without using direct heat.
5. Moisturize and sealing either daily or every other day. Keeping my hair moisturized decreases breakage.
6. Black tea rinses and recently, scalp massages with mix of jojoba, lavender, and eucalyptus oil to decrease shedding and hair fall.
7. Cross-wrapping my hair rather than wrapping it around my head. This has decreased the stress I place on my hair through manipulation.
8. Pre-pooing with grape seed oil and applying to my hair throughout the week to lubricate my strands, smooth my hair, and decrease tangles in my new growth.
9. Low manipulation, low manipulation, low manipulation. I try to leave my hair alone as much as possible since hair becomes rather fragile when stretching, especially in a longer stretch.

What u said about low manipulation could be why i have never been successful with stretching.. rollersetting in its self is alot of manipulation and i do that weekly... I also have hand in hair syndrome... I need to train myself to put my hands and combs down.....

Sent from my ADR6400L
 

Nix08

Relaxed, 4B
So far so good...I think sunnieb wets her hair every other day and air dries. Maybe she can shed some light. I also airdry wearing tank tops so that my hair lays on my skin.
 

sunnieb

Well-Known Member
So far so good...I think @sunnieb wets her hair every other day and air dries. Maybe she can shed some light. I also airdry wearing tank tops so that my hair lays on my skin.

Yep, I cowash/wash every other day and airdry each time. Stretching successfully takes time and not everyone can do it. I know 14 weeks is my absolute limit right now.


  • I found conditioners that give me amazing slip whether I'm 1 day post or 14 weeks post.
  • I do the bulk of my detangling in the shower while rinsing out my conditioner.
  • When your newgrowth is dry, DON'T comb it!! Moisturize it, massage it, etc, but don't comb.
  • Mane 'n Tail detangler is my best friend when I'm late in my stretch. That stuff melts through my newgrowth and smooths out my tangles like they're nothing.
 

blackberry815

New Member
Yep, I cowash/wash every other day and airdry each time. Stretching successfully takes time and not everyone can do it. I know 14 weeks is my absolute limit right now.


  • I found conditioners that give me amazing slip whether I'm 1 day post or 14 weeks post.
  • I do the bulk of my detangling in the shower while rinsing out my conditioner.
  • When your newgrowth is dry, DON'T comb it!! Moisturize it, massage it, etc, but don't comb.
  • Mane 'n Tail detangler is my best friend when I'm late in my stretch. That stuff melts through my newgrowth and smooths out my tangles like they're nothing.

@ sunnieb what is your hair type? Also can u tell me which conditioners u use to cowash? Also how exactly do u airdry and do you comb the relaxed portion of your hair while its dry? Or do you just avoid the comb all together until wash day?

Thanks!
Sent from my ADR6400L
 

Nix08

Relaxed, 4B
Aside from the co washing I have also now incorporated finger detangling which has made a huge difference in the hair falling from my head. The co washing has definitely helped with the moisture. But the finger detangling has been hair changing:grin: I also finger detangle as my hair is air drying. If I comb, it's after my hair is fully dry but I don't always.
 

Myjourney2009

Ready to be APL
When considering stretching it has been suggested to work your way up 1 week at a time. Basically dont jump into it head first, stick a foot in and then proceed from there.

If you are accustomed to going as far as 8 weeks the next time go 9 weeks.

Leaving your NG alone if it is super coily and dense is the key.

I go as far as 12 weeks sometimes 14 but that is because that is pretty much how I've always done it.

Once I get past 8 weeks:
I only comb my NG the day of washing. If needed I apply Taaliah Waajid protective mist bodifier on it. I use the 2010-2011 ingredients list. It contains propylene glycol and bee pollen. The 2011-... list does not and does not work for me. I dilute it for the front because my hair there is not as dense. I also apply it more time during the week but I DONOT comb my ng then. I just massage it a bit to loosen the shed hair and then I comb a bit below it and use my hands to pull out the shed hair from the bottom.

I comb my hair a once or 2x's during the week if I want to but still dont comb the NG. My hair has been doing fine.

I dont typically any extra cowashing or washing or anything else. I do my normal 1x a week washing. If I want to co-wash its not because my NG is bothersome or dry its just because I want to.

I think finding that perfect shampoo is also key. I switch btwn: Trader Joes Nourish Spa and Paul MItchell 3 shampoo, these are in heavy rotation. I also use Aphogee shampoo for damaged hair but only 1 or 2x's a month.
 

sunnieb

Well-Known Member
@ sunnieb what is your hair type? Also can u tell me which conditioners u use to cowash? Also how exactly do u airdry and do you comb the relaxed portion of your hair while its dry? Or do you just avoid the comb all together until wash day?

Thanks!
Sent from my ADR6400L

blackberry815 I'm a 4b with some 4a patches.

I cowash with HE LTR, HE Hydrolicius, HE touchably smooth, Garnier triple moisture, and Garnier length and strength. I consider HE to be moisturizing and the Garnier to be protein, so I make sure to alternate.

I comb daily with my wide toothed comb. Since I set my hair each night doing scarf method, I don't have to mess with the newgrowth the next day.

When combing my relaxed hair, I lightly fluff it. Never rake a comb through your hair.

I have an airdrying album in my fotki.

Sent from my Comet
 

africanqueen456

New Member
Aww, my heart goes out to you. It is super hard at first. My tips are:
-Wear your hair in curly styles braidouts or bun. This will help you kind of forget about the new growth.
-Try to net let the ng get too shrunken up.
-Keep it moisturized!!Moisturize it daily and deep condition/co-wash often(I just washed 2x a week)
-Add a splash of protein to your condition. Meaning deep conditon or even your co-washes.
-Most important be patient!! Find styles that work for your new growth(curly styles braidouts/twistouts).
-Also only detangle hair when wet with/without conditioner.
Hope this helps!!!
 

TLC1020

Well-Known Member
This week I'll be 16 weeks (4mths) post ;)

What help me is low manipulation, low manipulation......

I wear a bun throughout my stretch and only manipulate my hair on wash day which is every other week. I take down my hair nightly but only to moisturize then I rebun and wear my scarf.... It works for me..

I don't do much to my hair while stretching...
 

Nix08

Relaxed, 4B
Are u ladies retaining all of your length from your stretches?

Sent from my ADR6400L
Funny you mention this...with all the horror stories I've read about stretching I am planning to flat iron soon just to ensure all is right with my hair. I'm at 9 weeks and my hair feels amazing...I'm almost afraid it just isn't growing:blush:
 

Your Cheeziness

New Member
I stretch around 11-12 weeks and only really relax because my workout reverts my roots too fast. I wash my hair weekly (7-10) days, blow dry, and flat iron. I pretty much leave it alone after that. I pincurl or flexirod it at night and fingerstyle in the morning.

I comb my length daily when I'm setting my hair for bed. And I retain all of my growth. I have little shedding and virtually no breakage.

Cowashing doesn't clean my hair to my satisfaction and airdrying is only done when I'm in a rush because I have plenty of layers that need to be styled.
 

Chevelure618

New Member
I'm going to add something somewhat different besides techniques.
Stretching is a mindset. I notice that stretching becomes difficult when the NG gets hard to comb and "panic mode" sets in.
I just learn to mentally calm down and treat my hair in a non-chalant manner, don't start thinking about relaxers and just move slower when detangling.
Regarding technique: I've found that consistent DCing of the NG kind of changes the texture and over time makes the NG more manageable.
I'm at 12 weeks and its a breeze. I feel like I could go 24 weeks but I doubt I will.
Heavy oils work for me and of course UBH Satin Creme Moisturizer. Nothing melts my NG better.
 

~NanCeBoTwin~

Well-Known Member
It's going to take trial and error for you to find what works best for you when stretching. My reggie for stretching starting at 10 weeks post:
Ayurvedic Tea Rinse once a week (Maka, Brahmi, Amla blend)
Cowash 3 to 5 times per week
Detangling in shower with conditioner (AM is my favorite for this), also this is the only time a comb touches my hair at this point.
DC 1-2 times a week (KC Humecto mixed with JBCO and 100% AVJ)
Squirt 100% AVJ directly on my NG
Moisturize as needed (homemade spray mix of AM, JBCO, 100% AVJ, and water)
Seal with EVCO
Main styles when stretching, Buns, Bantu Knot/Twist/Plat Outs

These things work for me and my hair. My longest stretch was 39 weeks using these methods, on average I usually stretch a minimum of 16 weeks to 20 weeks.

In my opinion every one has moments during their stretch when they think, they are loosing too much hair or something is going wrong. When the paranoia sets in for me I go to the shop and get my stylist to check on my progress for me. She roller sets my hair and flat irons my roots.
 

hothair

Well-Known Member
Since you're used to relaxing at 6-8 weeks, I would say just start bunning from then till your relaxer day. Wash and DC once a week and just leave your hair alone the rest of the time.

ETA: I was recently natural my longest "stretch" was about 3-4 years :grin:. Currently I would stretch between 13-16 weeks.
 

Britt

Well-Known Member
I usually relax about every 8-10wks. Around the 8th week things get kinda rough for me to deal with. I got a wash n set and had my roots blown on Friday (which was the 9th wk), and my hair is nice and straight still. All I have to do in the morning is pin it up and keep it pushing. I plan on doing this until I reach my 16th week and then I'll relax. I also have less hair in the comb when I comb my hair b/c it's all straight and one texture. It feels so good to not have to fight with my new growth. So long as my roots don't revert, i'm good :yep:
 

blackberry815

New Member
I was thinking that maybe i should start getting my hair washed and blown out at dominican essence from about week 7 to week 12 but i kinda think it would defeat the purpose of stretching... No? Also ive joined the sulfur challenge and im co-washing daily ( started two days ago) so that may not work if i want to keep the sulfur thing going...

Also i have a little underprocessed section in addition to some new growth... Im thinking that maybe it would be best to get a corrective done first and then start stretching after that.?.. especially because im cowashing daily instead of my usual weekly rollerset. Once my cowashed underprocessed section gets dry it gets hard and brittle feeling...Being that i have just about three textures to deal with it may make stretching a little harder then it should be.....

Just thoughts... I've made no decisions yet lol

Sent from my ADR6400L
 

MissMusic

Well-Known Member
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