Keep new growth/natural hair moisturized.
Moisture is a must for long-term transitioning (or long-term relaxer stretching). Dry hair becomes susceptible to breakage and split ends. Deep conditioning (ideally weekly) with a moisturizing deep conditioner will help keep your hair moisturized. Co-washing once or twice a week, as well as moisturizing and sealing are other quick ways to keep your hair moisturized.
Use low manipulation styles and/or protective styles.
Hair can become pretty fragile and susceptible to breakage when transitioning. Low manipulation styles are styles that require minimal manipulation (hence the name) and combing. Protective styles are styles that allow you to tuck your hair away and reduce daily styling. My favorite low manipulation and protective styles are faux bobs, buns, and marley twists.
Blend your natural and relaxed textures with no-heat styles.
Frequently using direct heat will cause breakage at the line of dermarcation and heat damage if you’re using too-high temperatures + multiple passes to straighten your natural hair to resemble your relaxed ends. When transitioning to natural it’s best to use styles that do not require heat. Curly styles like flexi rod sets, curl former sets, perm rod sets, and bantu knots are great ways to blend your textures without using heat. Twist outs and braid outs are also great ways to blend textures.
Do protein treatments periodically to strengthen your hair.
Moisture reigns supreme when transitioning (and stretching your relaxer), but protein treatments are equally important. Protein treatments help strengthen your hair at the line of demarcation–the area where your natural new growth and relaxed hair meet.
Avoid frequent use of direct heat.
Frequent use of direct heat will lead you down the transitioners road to breakage and dry hair. The longer the transition (or relaxer stretch), the more fragile the line of demarcation becomes. Frequently applying direct heat will only further stress and weaken your hair.
Do not detangle with small tooth combs. Do not detangle dry hair.
Use a conditioner, oil, or detangler when detangling your hair.
This one too: DIY: Marshmallow Root Detangling Spray
You have multiple textures to tackle, impatience is just asking for breakage. Take your time and work in sections.
Don’t be afraid to let go of thin ends or split ends.
The goal of your transition is to get rid of your relaxed ends. By transitioning you’re delaying the inevitable while growing your hair out but there may be times when an unplanned, unwanted cut is necessary. And that’s okay. Health before length.