As much as we all love our kinks and curls, stretching our hair and showing off our length is a lot of fun to do sometimes. It also helps to minimize knots and tangles. But heat can be so drying and damaging to hair, so here are some tips to stretch your hair without heat.
Natural hair will not completely stretch without heat, but you can elongate it to about 70% or more of its full length, depending on the method you use. Here are a few.
Twist outs and braid outs can give you stretched hair for a short amount of time. Sleeping carefully and using the right products in your hair can keep the stretch for longer periods of time.
Curl formers will also give you a nice stretch, with the added bonus of a beautiful curl. Remember to be gentle when using the hook and when removing the curl formers to avoid snips and snags.
African threading can give you a great stretch without heat and without pulling your hair as you might with rollers. African threading involves wrapping thread around hair, often creating sculptural styles. African threading is also a protective style, though it can be difficult to do on your own head. Many salons are starting to offer this service in the United States.
Banding is a fool-proof method for stretching hair without heat. Start with washed, detangled hair. You need very small seamless hair bands. Separate a small section of your hair and secure it at the base of your hair, near your scalp. Take another band and secure it around the same section of hair, about an inch above the first hair band. Continue all down the section and keep in mind that the closer the bands are, the more stretched your hair will be. Leave the bands in overnight and your hair will be stretched nicely by the morning. Be careful with this method, however. The tension can cause damage to your hair if overdone.
Henna is also known to loosen curl patterns in natural hair.
These are some tips to stretch your hair without heat, enjoy!