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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
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?

  • C


    Maybe its your shampoo.

    Before shampooing or co washing, do a prepoo with oils or whatever. Leave it in a few hours or overnight. Get a spray bottle with water and cheap conditioner. Section your hair and soak each section with the water and conditioner. Use a wide tooth comb on each section, then a finer tooth comb. Keep your sections in.

    Shampoo if you must or just co wash in sections. If shampooing, condition again. Rinse. Use a good leave in. Style. Seal.

  • Logic

    Love Sera2544 and Rustic beauty for representing the type4 and Haircrush has awesome hair but Cipriana’s hair is downright hideous. It always looks to dry and matted. i’ll pass. Many YouTubers finger detangle and their hair looks much better. I personally use the Curly Girl method, a seamless comb (magic Star Jumbo Rake), coconut oil and glycerine and while my hair is not “stretched”, it is moist, there are no SSK, it’s healthy, detangled, and is bra-strap length unstretched.

  • imani

    I recently started using my blowdryer w/concentration nozzle just to stretch my rots to gain a few extra inches of length. I never stretch to the ends.I love the natural curl pattern that emerges from air drying.there is no twist out or bantu knot that can match the devine curls I get from air drying. My problem is the 75% shrinkage i get everytime I wash it!I also find the straigthened roots help decrease the tangles I get throughout the week from everyday exposure to the elements. Unfortunately I like to drive with my windows down so I know I’m tramatizing my hair a little everyday which is why I try to be gentle with it eveery chance I get.I let it breath & do what it do most days& my hair shows her appreciation of my care! Luv my kinky curly mane!

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