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To Stretch or not to Stretch?

To Stretch or not to Stretch?

Today, we answer the age old hair question ‘to Stretch or not to Stretch’?

Stretch or not to Stretch
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For relaxed hair sisters, there are so many myths about our hair. Are these myths true? Celebrity Hair and Head Stylist of The Hair Whisperer’s Den Aislynn Adewale answers your FAQ(s).

Q: Is it ok to go long periods between relaxers?
A: I believe if you relax, you should be consistent with it except, you want to be natural then be natural. But, to have both can cause problems such as tangling and heavy breakage.
Q: What does stretching mean?
A: Stretching means you go extended periods between your touch-ups, longer than the recommended 6 to 8 weeks limit. The average stretching can go from 12 weeks to longer periods of between 16 to 24 weeks, sometimes more.
Q: What are the benefits of stretching your relaxers?
A: One is the potential for less damage says author of The 5 Hair Archetypes”. I always tell my clients that the hair grows on average a half-an-inch per month, so if someone did their touch-up every 6 to 8 weeks, they have approximately one inch of new-growth; by stretching your relaxers, you are less likely to over process the hair, which can eventually make the hair to appear to have thicker strands and fuller hair.
Q: What are the challenges with caring for new growth?
A: To start off with, managing the different needs of the natural hair coming in and the older relaxed ends. The difference between the two textures is grand and the main cause to stylist problems. Relaxed hair is easier to handle because it is straight and smooth. While, new growth is curly and coarse and a little difficult to handle.
Secondly, stretching causes tangling and breakage. The natural hair is also dryer and requires a lot of moisture and conditioning to keep it supple and soft. With all these challenges, stretching has its benefits. It can lead to stronger, healthier hair.
Here are some tips for caring for the hair while “Stretching”:
• Believe it or not drinking lots of water hydration is the key to everything
• Moisturizing the new growth i.e. hot oil treatments before shampooing
• Wearing easy styles to avoid pulling and tugging
• Deep condition every week
• Avoid too much combing through the new growth between washes because, hair is at its weakest point at the line of demarcation
• After shampooing, part the hair and apply conditioner to new growth.
• Air drying is another way to avoid stress to the hair while stretching

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Culled from tw April 2013 edition.

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