How to Extend the Time Between Relaxer Touch-Ups

Stretch the time between relaxer touch-ups.
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Despite relaxers being readily available to the general public for decades, some women still wonder how long to go between perms or relaxers? There are various reasons why you may want to extend the time between your touch-ups. It could be because you're trying to save money, or you want to get chemical processes less often. Just because the recommended time frame between touch-ups is eight weeks, there's no rule that says you have to get one as soon as week eight rolls around.

How to Extend the Time Between Relaxer Touch-ups

If you're trying to make that relaxer last as long as possible before touching up your new growth, these suggestions are for you.

Try More Wet Sets

Rely more on wet setting your hair instead of blow-drying. Not only are wet sets gentler on your precious mane, but you can easily create curlier styles that won't show a big difference between new growth and previously relaxed hair. If you have a hood or bonnet dryer at home, this is something you can do yourself. Even if you go to your stylist for a wet set, a shampoo and set are usually less expensive than a touch-up. If you don't want to use magnetic rollers or flexi-rods for your set, you can still achieve a smooth, sleek look by wet-wrapping your hair; done correctly, this method can result in a hairstyle that looks like you have a fresh relaxer.

Blow Dry it Straight

You can straighten your roots with a blow-dryer if you want, but this should be done a maximum of once or twice a week.

Use a comb attachment for additional straightening, as well as a heat protectant product to minimize dryness and damage. Make sure you're keeping up with your protein treatments to strengthen your locks -- along with stretching out your relaxer, applying heat to your new growth can lead to weakening in this area of your hair, where your natural texture meets chemically processed strands, otherwise known as the line of demarcation.

Forgo Bone-Straight Styles

Instead of wearing your hair stick straight when it's time for a touch-up, try curly or wavy styles. As with wet sets, your new growth won't be as obvious when your allover hairdo is curly. If your relaxed hair has some kind of curl left to it, you can wet it, apply mousse or setting lotion, and let it dry, resulting in a wavy, beachy look that's perfect for warmer weather.

Wear Your Hair in Longer Lengths

Hair that's very short and tapered around the ears and neck will need touch-ups more often if you want to keep your look uniform. If you wear your hair longer, new growth won't be as obvious. Everyone doesn't want long hair, however, so if shorter styles suit you, avoid pixie cuts and consider bobs or other hairstyles that don't feature closely cropped areas.

Try Extensions

You can always add extensions if you want to skip the touch-ups for a while. Individual braids, two-strand twists and cornrows with extensions will last at least several weeks. You can also opt for a full-head weave, keeping your natural hair protected underneath.

Don't Extend Too Long

When it comes to relaxed hair, your tresses should either be chemically processed or not. Waiting too long between touch-ups can result in weakened, brittle hair.

Stretching your relaxer application times to 12 weeks is a suitable maximum length of time, but for the best health of a relaxed mane, you shouldn't wait longer than that.