Posts Tagged ‘stretching natural hair’
Making Natural Hair Appear Longer: Stretching Shrunken Hair
Women have become creative in ways to “stretch” the shrinkage that comes with having true afro-textured hair. Shrinkage is a dilemma that naturals face every time water touches our textured hair. Though shrinkage may be embraced when manipulating the hair into certain styles, often styles requiring length are limited due to the hair drawing up (I’ve seen natural hair with 75% shrinkage). Below are a few ways to stretch shrunken hair, making your natural hair appear to be longer (closer to its true length).
Use a blow dryer. Blow dryers can obviously be used to free the hair from its shrinkage, but they must be used with caution. A low setting and a heat protectant must be coupled with using this tool, because the direct heat has the ability to alter the textures of the hair if not used properly and carefully.
Use rollers under a hooded dryer. This works like a charm for some, giving them length, without compromising the volume of the hair. The indirect heat is not damaging as flat irons or blow dryers would be.
Use the banding method. Many ladies can be found on youtube using this method to stretch the hair by wrapping rubber bands, scrunchies, and small cloths around the hair to extend its position, stretching the afro in result.
Put plaits in the hair and allow it to air dry. Plaits have been known to stretch the hair more than it would if the hair were left to air dry with two-strand twists or without any styling at all.
“Pineapple” the hair by pulling it up into a high pony at the crown of your head. The “pineappling” method stretches the length of the hair up to the crown, by extending it after it has been in that position over time. Be sure not to pull the hair up too tightly, or you will cause tension on the strands.
The Banding Method: How to Stretch Hair Without the use of Heat
The Banding Method is the method of putting ponytail holders on the hair to get it to stretch out. It counters the notion of shrinkage. Many naturals have to deal with the shrinkage that comes along with having natural hair. Some of us embrace it, but even with embracing it, we sometimes like to switch it up by stretching the hair out. Instead of blow drying the hair, heat styling it or tugging it in frustration, try the banding method.
- Part into larger sections
- Place a leave-in in the hair first
- Moisturize and seal
- Smooth the hair down
- Take ouchless bands, put it near the roots of the hair to smooth roots
- Continue putting the bands on the hair until you work your way down to the ends
Keep in mind, this should be done on wet/damp hair. The thicker the hair, more sections you should have. The shorter the hair, you may want to do more sections as well. Use your better judgment when doing this method and go through the process of trial and error. Instead of length checking with heat styling use the banding method (a video tutorial is provided for reference and help). It’s just another method to add to your natural hair arsenal of styling techniques! Happy Healthy Hair Stretching!