Yup, that's right. After all the back and forth on the matter I have decided to continue stretching. My hair is just too fine to handle 8 week stretches. I am currently 8 weeks post and I am going to try and stretch until 12 weeks. I still have a lot of new growth to contend with so I know it is not going to be easy but I am going to try it. I am not stretching to prevent overlap because if that were my only concern, I could relax tomorrow as I definitely have enough new growth to prevent that. My main concern is relaxer run off and the role it could play in thinning my already fine hair. I really want to limit the number of times my previously relaxed ends are exposed to a relaxer. Waist Length is my ultimate goal and I really want to keep my ends as thick as they can possibly be and I just can't do that if I relax too often.
I may increase the frequency at which I relax once I reach my ultimate goal and I am in maintenance mode. After all, at that point I will be cutting my hair with each touch up to maintain my length at WL. Right now I have other concerns so I will relax every 12 weeks without fail.
There are a few things I have changed to help my stretch. Firstly, I bought S-Curl to help tame my roots. I had been revisiting S-Curl earlier this year and realised that while I don't like using it along the entire length of my hair, it is actually amazing for new growth.
I also discovered a product that helped to tame my edges. It's the VIA Natural Pom-Edge Gel. It's a pomade and an edge gel combined into one. Edge gels do help to lay my edges flat, but unfortunately they break off my edges, made very sensitive due to years of braiding. Now it has petrolatum in it, but I've decided not to be so picky when it comes to that ingredient as I have realised that my hair does not actually hate it. I tried it today and it did a really good job so I think I have a winner here, unless it also makes my edges fall out.
Another thing I am doing to help my stretch my hair is to wash my hair three times a week. I shampoo my hair with each wash as I find my hair gets product build up very easily. I am also not really a fan of cowashing. Two of the three washes will be followed by deep conditionings and the third one will be a shampoo and regular condition wash day.
From next week the plan is to shampoo and deep condition on Mondays and Fridays and do a shampoo and regular condition on Wednesdays. I did a trial shampoo and regular condition today with the Pantene Pro-V Relaxed and Natural line and I love how my hair and new growth feels. I plan to detangle my hair only in the shower under running water. I will also take a break from roller setting for now and airdry my hair in a cross wrap.
The next few weeks may be tough but I am going to do it.