Naturally curly hair shrinks – it’s a basic fact. Our kinks and coils can shrink up to 75% of our natural length. While it’s cool to shock people by stretching out a curl to show the real length of our hair, sometimes we want our styles to be a little longer.
Insert stretching. Stretching natural hair can be achieved in a few different ways – with or without heat. And since we know that using too much heat on our natural hair can be damaging, it’s good to learn about some heat-less alternatives. Below are three different ways to stretch natural hair without heat.
You know the awesome length and definition you get when you do a braid out? Well that’s one of the first ways to stretch natural hair without heat.
Simply part your hair in sections and make sure that it is detangled well. If you do this on wet hair, try to make your sections smaller (maybe 4-8), so that they can dry faster. Let it dry a few hours or overnight so that the braids can set.
When you’re ready to take them down, simply unravel each braid. If you’re good with the braid out look, leave it as is. If you’d like your hair stretched for something else, comb out each section.
Just like braids, buns can be a stretching method as well as a style in itself. I create ponytails with a scrunchie to stretch out my wash n gos.
Simply gather your hair back into a low bun to protect your curls while simultaneously stretching them. When stretching your hair with a bun, be careful with the type of hair tie you use – satin hair ties* work well because they don’t cause too much tension or pulling that could potentially break off or damage your hair.
Banding isn’t as popular as the first two methods, but it’s just as effective. To band your hair, you would need either a bunch of scrunchies or some ribbon.
Part your hair into sections and make sure that it’s properly detangled. Either place the scrunchies a few centimeters apart down the length of your hair, or use the ribbon to wrap around. Banding is great for wet hair as well. Leave it over night, and unwrap in the morning to stretched hair.
Choosing any of these methods listed will stretch your hair; it just depends on what style you’re trying to accomplish. Play around with different stretching methods until you find out what works best for you. You can achieve length in natural hair without heat, and in fact, your hair will be much healthier for it!