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HOW TO: Stretching natural hair 

We have tackled why it is important to Pre-poo our hair and how to wash our hair… In this post though, we delve into a whole new world… The world of heat. If you have been natural for long enough…. you have heard all the negative or maybe positive talk about heat… let’s clear up the air about heat.

If you have coily hair, you understand how crucial it is to keep our hair stretched because our hair likes to hug on itself causing us the stress that is tangles. The easiest and perhaps only way we knew how to keep our hair stretched was through heat. Sure thing heat is a lazy and super fast way to get your hair stretched… But is it worth it?

How blow drying works

So the blow dryer basically uses hot air to dry our hair strands. It removes moisture from the strand which enables your hair to remain straight. This expulsion of moisture could dry your hair out if not done properly.

How to do a proper blowdry

  • Wash your hair with a sulphate shampoo or a clarifying shampoo. You need your hair to be squeaky clean for this one
  • Deep condition with a protein conditioner followed by a moisturizing conditioner. The protein temporarily fills gaps in your strands rendering your hair strong and reduces breakage.
  • Make sure you have enough moisture in your hair…. which means you have to deep condition and add some leave in conditioner because you are about to use a heat protectant
  • Heat protectants are usually high in silicones which are sealants. They protect your hair by trapping moisture in your strands so that heating doesn’t entirely dry out your hair. In the event that your hair is not well moisturized, you risk locking moisture out of your hair strand by applying a heat protectant.
  • You should also limit your use of direct heating tools to about once a month so that you inflict minimal damage to your hair… and also use low heat to prevent heat damage.

Does this sound like a lot of work? The good news is that you don’t have to go through this… There are other ways of stretching out your hair that are less risky and much gentler than pulling out of your hair with a heating tool. Here are some of the most popular ones

  • Bantu knots

This style gives your hair a good curly stretch… Which is a plus if you are stuck on how to wear out your hair. The technique is fairly easy and it’s a newbie favorite… what’s more… You don’t need any tools you can just use your fingers.

  •  Twists

This engulfs two strand twists and three strand twists. They make for a go to hairstyle for the lazy natural and give a fairly good stretch. I find that they tangle though if left in too long.

  • Roller sets

Naturals with a looser texture particularly enjoy this one. Just like the traditional roller sets when you were relaxed except there is no chemical involved.

  •  Rods

I have seen this yield good results in type four hair that is natural and they yield such amazing results. The challenge though can be sleeping with them overnight to allow your hair to be completely dry. You can use perm rods or flexi rods.

  • Curl formers

I have personally never tried these but they are praised to have really great stretch and the curls are soft and bouncy.

  • African  threading

This technique has been a staple since our grandmothers as a way to stretch hair without much damage. It involves holding your hair taut and twirling thread round and round down the length of your hair. Apart from being very labor intensive, it gives  really good stretch.


Here is a video showing you how to use the techniques mentioned above and the stretch it gives by finally Fiona on YouTube

https://youtu.be/lucA5bMDcI8

What is your staple stretch method that works best for you? 

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