The term “relaxer stretching” is commonly used to describe the process of extending (or “stretching”) the time between relaxer touch-ups. The term and the practice have both increased in popularity over the last few years, although many women were stretching their relaxers for years before it had a name. On most box-kit relaxers that are sold in the beauty supply store, the recommended time to wait between relaxer processes is 6 weeks. Stylists will also recommend that clients wait 6-8 weeks between relaxers. After 8 weeks, the client should have grown at least an inch of hair, ensuring that there is enough unprocessed hair, or “new growth,” that another relaxer can be applied (to the new growth only), without the risk of overlapping onto hair that has already been relaxed.
Women who stretch their relaxers wait much longer than the recommended time. Some wait for 8-12 weeks, while others wait for 6 months to a year.Those of you who are new to the concept may be asking yourselves, how do they do it? They manage to stretch the time out for so long by learning to work with both the natural texture of their unprocessed new growth and the straighter texture of their chemically-processed hair. By finding ways to blend the two textures, they are able to successfully manage both textures on one head! Relaxer stretchers use curly styles like braid-outs and bantu knot-outs or straight styles like “flat-ironing” to decrease the marked difference at the line of “demarcation” or line of difference where the two textures meet.
If you’re interested in learning more about relaxer stretching techniques, be sure to subscribe to this blog and to my YouTube channel. I have been stretching my relaxers out for up to 7 months at a time for years and I will be sharing lots of insights during my Relaxer Stretching Series. This series will include a number of video tutorials and detailed articles about how you can learn to stretch your relaxer. I will be 18 weeks post-relaxer (which means that tomorrow, it will be 18 weeks since my last touch-up), and my stretch has been a breeze! I’ve learned how to blend both textures without damaging either. I’d like to help you learn, too. If you have any specific questions about relaxer stretching, feel free to comment below and I’ll write a reply or a post to answer your question as soon as I can!