What is the one thing naturals wish would go away? Well, it would have to be shrinkage.
If you flat iron your hair for length check-ups, your hair seems to hit your shoulders. But, once your hair is wet again, you may find your hair looks like you are back in the TWA stage.
Our curls are often tightly coiled and can shrink up to 75 percent of our actual length. Shrinkage is always going to happen with curly hair whether it’s loose or tight.
When your natural hair gets near your shoulders, you will not notice shrinkage as much. With shorter to neck length hair, you will experience it when your hair is damp.
Ladies, here are a few ways to stretch your natural tresses and retain length:
Banding is when you use rubber bands or elastic hair bands to stretch out the curls in natural hair. You should comb out a sectioned piece of hair, and then place a hair band around it to make a small pony tail. Each section is banded a few more times to secure in place until the whole head is banded.
Twisting is a great way to stretch your hair. You divide your wet hair into sections and then part it into two strands. Simply twist the strands together. Twists help to stretch out your roots. Thicker twist stretch out the length of the hair.
To stretch your curls even further, you can re-twist your hair every five to seven days.
Just like twisting, braiding can effectively stretch your hair. You work with three strands of hair instead of two strands of hair and tightly wound into braids. Braiding can be done on damp or dry hair.
Bantu knots are created by making a square shaped part and the roots are held while the remaining length of wet hair is wrapped around it. Once the hair is dry, the knots are taken down for heatless stretching.
We know many naturals do not like to explore heat, but lightly blow drying your hair is an option for stretching your hair. Lightly blow dry on low warm heat and use a heat protectant. Tools like hot combs, flat iron, and blow dryers are used to get the hair straight and loosen up the curl.
What are your natural hair stretching methods?