► Hair Banding – This method is super easy and probably gives the most stretch. Banding is really a no-nonsense way of getting that stretch without being worried about definition. As a matter of fact, it is the perfect alternative to a heat-free blowout.
► African Threading – This is essentially hair banding on steroids. The method is used traditionally in many parts of Africa on young girls hair but requires a bit of technique. However, once you have it down it can really stretch your hair to the point of it looking almost straight. It simply involves separating your hair in small sections and using some really good thread, preferably the kind they use on weaves. Essentially you will be wrapping the length of your hair with the thread similar to banding but with no spaces in between. There are tutorials available on YouTube if you want to learn more about it, just search African threading, you are bound to find a comprehensive tutorial.
Use styling products that provide hold
Use products that are specifically geared towards holding your hair in place to keep your hair stretched for longer. Typically your stylers like gels, curl creams and custards will do the trick. Note that even though you are using holding product if your hair is not allowed to dry in one of the styles mentioned earlier, it will not remain stretched.
Stretch only your ends
Maybe you do not care about shrinkage so much, you love the volume it brings but you still want to stretch portions of your hair to avoid single strand knots. You can do this by doing the styles that offer a degree of stretch that we mentioned earlier and adding medium sized rollers or perm rods* to the ends of your hair. This way you get the fullness that shrinkage gives you but you avoid all of the drama of fairy knots.
What are your favorite methods of combating natural hair shrinkage? Let us know in the comments below…