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Before beginning my hair journey, I once did an eight month stretch because I had intended to go back natural but then changed my mind midway. I do not remember having excessive breakage then but my hair was much cut in a bob so it was much shorter and there was not as much length to detangle. I now want to try stretching again with longer hair. I realize now that any difficulties I had in the past, going past 8 weeks with longer hair was simply that my hair was not conditioned well enough. As long as I am using something that works well for me and softens my roots then I do not experience excessive demarcation breakage. My edges, which have always been very short and thin are growing in really nicely so this has been a great experience so far.
To do this stretch successfully I have been washing my hair in braids to avoid the extra tangles from being wet and it really helps. I divide my dry hair into six sections, detangle and then braid. To detangle I apply a lot of moisturizer to get my hair soft, supple and very slightly damp because detangling on completely dry hair leads to breakage. I have also tried applying oils to detangle but found that the moisturizer works better.
I do not think i will go for as long as 7 months right now but maybe in the future I will. I am currently going on week 11 and right now I think I will relax at week 12. I will straighten my hair today to see how much length I have retained and to ensure my hair is not thinning and then decide if I would like to try and stretch even longer than 3 months.
To complicate things a bit I am also doing this because I got highlights over Christmas break. I know it wasn’t the best thing to do but I really wanted them and decided that the worst case scenario is a set back that I will get over. I will post more on this soon to give details on what my experience with double processed hair is like. The stretch is therefore partially a way to avoid chemicals for as long as possible to give my hair a good long break but if it works out well, then I will keep on stretching from now on
My biggest tip with stretching is not to do it if you are noticing a lot of extra demarcation breakage. I think it honestly just takes practice, learning to deal with the two textures and finding the right products. I used to lose way too much hair, going beyond 8 weeks or so but I know how to manage my hair a lot better and so will continue doing this if the benefits outweigh the negatives.
I'm MsKibibi, a Jamaican girl making my positive mark on the world.
I started Kibibi Hair in 2010 to help women achieve longer hair, after I grew my own hair to below waist length. Over the years, it has evolved to cover other topics including, beauty, travel and lifestyle. My goal is to help women look and feel their best.
I currently live in Miami with my two fur babies, Wisdom and Dash, but as they can tell you, I'm usually off jet-setting around the world.