Twists and Braids
If African threading isn’t for you, maybe twisting or braiding your hair is a better option. If you don’t have anyone to help you secure thread to your hair you can simply section your hair into manageable parts, detangle, and either twist, plait, or cornrow your hair and allow enough time for it to dry completely.
Depending on what style you plan on doing with your hair, you might choose to add in products to set the pattern of your twist or braid.
If you’ve never heard of this particular style, just imagine your head covered with a bunch of little buns. Bantu knots are done by taking a section of your hair, detangling it and wounding it until it starts to bend on itself and form a little bun.
Tuck the ends of your hair under the knot to secure it, or use a hairpin to keep it from unraveling. While this is a good way to stretch hair, it does form rather tight curls depending on the products you use. In most cases, after a day or two the curls will stretch out on their own.
I used to wrap my hair when I had a relaxer, but I never thought it would be something that I would do as a natural. I haven’t tried this method as yet, but it might be worth a shot. Using this method, you pull your hair around your head and secure it with bobby pins*. The tension should keep your curls elongated during the drying process.
When stretching your hair keep in mind that you probably won’t end up looking like you just got your hair pressed. Your hair will not be laid. The results should however elongate your hair, help reduce tangling, manipulation, and breakage.
Remember to moisturize your hair as usual, and always leave enough time for your hair to dry completely to get the best results.
Quick protective tips to remember
1. Try to use shampoo less frequently and incorporate more co-washes.
2. If this isn’t already a part of your normal routine, try pampering your hair with a good deep conditioning* treatment. Try whipping up a homemade recipe or buy a treatment from a local store.
3. Moisturize and seal your hair on a regular basis, making sure to concentrate on your ends.
4. Protect your ends. This can be done by wearing buns, braids, and weave, but also pay attention to the fabrics from scarves and jackets that come in contact with your hair.
How do you stretch your hair during the cold dry season?