So the big question, how to stretch natural hair. Today we are going to look into some pretty cool waysOh here we are, You started your natural hair journey and you’ve been trying to find ways to keep your naural hair stretched. It has taken time, but you’ve achieved length! You wash your natural hair, style it, you’re loving your look, and then… your hair dries and shrinks, losing 2, 3, 5, or even 8 inches in length. Sound familiar?
Before we just into it, Let me introduce myself if you're a newbie here!
Hi There! I am Queen, I would like to warmly welcome to my Natural hair Blog! Here i share great information and valuable tips that will help you maintain your natural hair, after all we all want a beautiful crown, right?! :)
I made a special page for you all (my lovely queens!) with helpful resources like coupon codes, discounts and products that will help you and me in our hair journey! I'll also be sharing different Best Selling Products for natural hair as i discover them!
I think we can learn to embrace and have fun taking care of our hair, so join me and let's do it together(Join My Exclusive Facebook Group to get instant access to me and let's build a community beyond hair)!
Lastly, i have a gift for you! We've all been there, The struggle to grow and maintain out hair Long! Ugh, i know trust me! My hair was stuck at shoulder-length for the longest till i finally passed it :) Now my hair is all the way to my bra strap!
I made this to help a sista out! You can get your free Natural hair cheat sheet guide to longer hair here!
Quick Tip❤️--> If you are experiencing lots of breakage or shedding... maybe you need to solve it from the inside out! I Remember I experienced shedding and breakage and when i strategically started taking specific vitamins it stopped (well, this supplement makes things soooo much easier instead of taking 5 vitamins a day, haha!). Or you can try this hair formula which i think targets more hair problems. I helped me and I hope this tip helps you dear .
Now that we've got that out of the way, let's continue!
How To Stretch Natural Hair Like A Madam!
SO, WHAT IS SHRINKAGE?
Before we get into all the ways to stretch your textured strands, it’s important to understand why your hair appears shorter than it actually is in its natural state. All signs point to shrinkage. We touched on this earlier, but shrinkage typically occurs after the wash and conditioning process. When your hair dries moisturized and healthy, it can leave you with hair that’s shorter than its actual length.
Here’s why: With moisturized and healthy-looking hair comes elasticity, which gives your strands the ability to withhold stress and manipulation. In turn, your strands can bounce back to their natural and healthy state without any damage. So, while shrinkage can be annoying to deal with, it’s a sign that your hair is nourished.
Here is the truth, Shrinkage is normal!
Shrinkage is normal in all curly, kinky, or coily hair; the only hair without shrinkage is pin-straight hair. The tighter your curls, the more shrinkage you’ll experience because length is lost in forming the shape of your coils. However, shrinkage is one of the most common complaints we hear from the natural hair community.
Here is the thing, shrinkage actually indicates healthy hair. If your hair shrinks up when dry, and bounces back when you stretch it, this means your hair is healthy and elastic! You can’t have your curl pattern without shrinkage, and the only way to eliminate shrinkage is to straighten your hair. In an effort to control shrinkage, many have resorted to stretching techniques that involve heat or excessive tension, damaging their hair, causing breakage, or permanently altering their curl pattern.
But, we get it! You worked hard for your length and you want to celebrate it. Plus, it’s annoying to style your hair damp but end up with a completely different look when dry. And while there are plenty of unhealthy, damaging ways to stretch your hair, you can stretch your hair in healthy ways too, with benefits you may not know about.
Stretching your hair reduces tangles and by extension, breakage. It reduces single strand knots, makes your hair more manageable, and makes your hair easier to style as well.
Just remember the difference between fully straightening your hair and controlling shrinkage. Be careful while fighting shrinkage, respect the natural coils and kinks of your hair, and take time to embrace and celebrate your shrinkage. It is part of your healthy hair journey, and a dimension of the beauty and versatility of natural hair!
Stretching 4C hair without heat has become well known thanks to several simple techniques that have been invented over time. In this article we will go into the details of 14 different techniques you can use to stretch 4C hair without heat.
Here are different ways to stretch 4C hair without heat.
1. Stretch Method: African Threading Method
African threading is a technique that has been around for a very long time. It is used in most parts of Africa as it gives excellent results even on the kinkiest of natural hair curls, so the effort is always worth it. It’s both a heat-free hair stretching technique and a protective hairstyle.
Here are the key steps in using African threading to stretch 4C hair without heat:
- If you are not working on wet/damp hair, then moisturize and seal using the LCO or LOC methods.
- Proceed to section your hair. For each section use thick thread such as the one used for knitting to wrap around and along the length of your strands. Start with the roots and secure the thread when you get to the tip.
- To achieve better results, wrap the thread very close to each other, possibly ensuring the hair strands are fully covered with the thread.
- You can get creative and style your sections rather than doing them randomly, also you can attach one wrapped section to the next to create a stylish look.
- Leave the thread on for a day or overnight, longer if you are planning to wear the threaded hair as a protective style.
- Unravel the thread, and voila! You have shiny, silky straight hair.
2. Stretch Method: Bantu Knot Method
Bantu knots is a style traditionally used by African woman of certain cultural groups but is now being used by the modern woman as one of the sleek, and stylish protective styles.
The knots work well with just about all hair types, in 4C hair particularly, the knots stay very secure and is used as a protective style.
To figure out how to stretch your natural hair with bantu knots the right way, it’s important to focus on where you complete each knot and then allow for enough time to dry well.
Bantu Knots is a great natural hair style for ensuring you have some volume.
- Ensure that your scalp is clean and moisturized before making bantu knots as they normally leave a large portion of it exposed.
- Take a section of your hair and twist it in one direction and then take that section and wrap it around itself until it forms a knot.
- Tuck the end of your hair under the knot so that it is secured.
- Wrap the knotted hair in a scarf and let the hair dry.
3. Twisting Method
Sectioning and twisting while washing your natural hair is another very easy but important technique for preventing extreme shrinkage during wash days.
- When preparing for washing, section your hair into large sections and proceed to twist each section.
- Take out a twist when it’s time to apply shampoo, conditioner, or for rinsing. Even after the shower, only take one twist out at a time when working on your hair.
- The next step is very key in the success of this technique. Twist and retwist every 2-3 hours, each time you undo and re-twist, you will achieve a better stretch.
- Stop the re-twisting process when your hair is completely dry and you have achieved the stretch you want.
5. The Bun Your Hair Girl Method
One of the easiest and fasted way to stretch your natural hair without using heat is to style your hair in a bun. This method however may not give you a super straight stretch if you are using it on it’s own.
The method is best used together with another technique such as twisting or braiding. Here are the steps to install a bun.
- When washing your curly hair, ensure you wash in sections, twisting back the clean sections.
- After completing the wash routine, twist your kinky hair in big sections and leave your hair to air dry.
- Unravel the twists and style your hair in a bun. It is always good to keep it on for one to two hours depending on how long or thick your natural hair is then combs it out and see the results.
- You may also want to redo the bun for 2-3 consecutive days to achieve better results.
6. Banding Method for Queens
The banding method is a popular method that makes use of hair bands/hair ties. This method involves using the regular hair bands/ties to stretch out freshly washed hair, damp or wet hair.
- Begin by sectioning your hair into several small sections or medium fewer sections. The amount of sections to make will depend on your preference and the volume of your hair.
- For each section of the hair, use several band to tie the hair at different interval along the length of the hair. The more the bands you use the more elongated the hair gets. Dividing the hair into sections goes a long way, followed by gently winding the ties/bands around the section from root to tip.
- Leave the bands in for some time to natural dry out to achieve a stretched look. You can stay with the band on for a whole day or night. Just ensure the bands are not too tight to cause discomfort or damage to your roots.
- If you are wearing the bands overnight, ensure you protect the hair by wrapping the banded hair in a scarf.
- Use tangle free hair bands to avoid damage when the bands snuggle the hair. Hair bands like rubber bands increase snagging and damage since the hair tends to tangle around the band area thereby damaging your hair, therefore, avoid such. Excessive use of this method may lead to damage therefore limit its use.
7. The Jumbo Rollers Smart Method
If you have long natural hair, use about six to ten Jumbo Rollers and section the dried hair to the rollers width.
The second step is to comb it up, and wrap your beautiful hair flat against the roller. Finally, secure with a duckbill clip on each side. Plastic rollers work better than foam rollers to achieve a smoother effect.
You will get stretched hair overnight by simply sleeping in the rollers and giving them time to pull and lengthen out your natural hair.
8. Extra tip: Use Smoothing Products
One of the ways of stretching your hair is using gels or smoothing products. Gel fights frizz and smoothens our lovely hair. Try to use products that contain natural smoothing agents like coconut oil or jojoba oil.
9. Stretch with Rubber Plates
Rubber Plates make stretching super simple as strange as they might look.
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- On freshly washed hair, align sections with the plates and secure them in place using the clips.
- Attaching the plates to soaking wet hair will take forever to dry, so ensure that the hair is damp and not wet. There are those who use dryers but this method can be completely heat-free. These tools are flexible enough to sleep in.
10. Give Curlformers a try!
So what are those? Curlformers are hair curlers which do not need heat to produce curls and stretch the hair. They are easy to install and can be used on every hair type, be it naturally curly or stubbornly straight. They easily dry your hair and straighten it.
The Curlformers are one of the best tools for achieving heat-free curls while stretching strands in the process, making them a double duty beauty tool.
To ensure you have the best experience with the Curlformers, it is important that you detangle your hair first. This will make the Curlformer glide over your curls much more smoothly, and also helps in elongating your curls for best results.
Use the hook and pull through method to attach the Curlformers to hair, this locks your hair into place easily.
If you remove Curlformers before your natural hair is fully dry, your curly hair will likely frizz and lose the curl definition that you might have desired to achieve. If you do not have the patience to wait until it is dry, or if you have highly porous hair that takes quiet some time to dry, use a hood attachment for your blow-dryer that will speed up the process, but, remember to set your blow-dryer to the cool setting to avoid heat.
11. The Quick Pineapple Method
The pineapple is a very loose bun/ponytail that’s held on top of your head to help prevents frizz, knots and flattened curls that come with lying on a pillow or bed.
Pineapple method isn’t just for sleeping with natural hair to preserve your hairdos, it also lengthens your curls. This technique is practical if you have long hair that can be gathered loosely at the top of your head.
It is done by gathering all of your hair at the front of your head which helps stretch out your roots, giving your afro a longer appearance. The ponytail holder should be loose enough that you loop it around your hair just once if possible. This ensures that no crease is formed overnight. You can use a satin ponytail holder to prevent breakage and ripping out your hair while untying it.
12. Why not try Jumbo Braids
This style, like the pineapple approach, expands your roots. This can be accomplished by sectioning your hair and plaiting gigantic braids, then undoing them. Although you won’t get the same dramatic results as threading or banding, this method will extend your hair for at least 15 minutes. This is something you can try for a better wash and go.
13. Oh yea, the cold air setting using your hair dryer
You can use a blow dryer with cold air setting to stretch your natural hair. try a combination of a brush and your fingers to help straighten.
There is a common saying that using the high heat setting is the only way to stretch your hair. This is obviously not true as cold air can do the job too.
Excessive exposure to heat most often than not leads to heat damage even when you use heat protectant products.
One of the secrets to great hair is to use the cold button setting. This option is available on most hair dryers, but you must know how to use it to achieve the best results. Use a natural product like coconut oil to relax the cuticle of your hair and reduce frizz after it’s completely dried.
14. Try an ultra-absorbent material when drying your hair
Heat-free straightening techniques can take hours for hair to totally dry, the recommendation is to jump start the drying process by using an absorbent fabric.
As you can see, there are several methods for stretching your amazing 4C hair without necessarily using heat. All you need is some practice and lots of patience as some of these technique require time to achieve the desired look.
So the next time you feel the need to turn on the high heat setting on your cute blow drier, remember that too much heat will one day lead to damage, try these techniques instead.
There you have it, How To Stretch Natural Hair Like A Madam!
How do you stretch your natural hair?
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