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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
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
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.

Braiding
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.

Heat
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?



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  • http://[email protected] Ebony

    I’ve been natural 6 yrs I never ever stretched or protective styled until recently. I literally did wash and go’s all the time. I’ve never minded shrinkage cause my mid back lenth falls into cute bob when dry… But those damn knots. After a trim they’d always come back with vengeance reason being my hair has been same length for 3 years. Smh. I just thought it was my particular texture my hair tangles so easy even after detangling. Now I usually braid or twist . Other day I let braids halfway dry undid and blow dried midshaft pointing heat downward while holding end, I liked results a lot. I’m not for youtube and all those extensive regimens that’s too OD for me peesonally but I’ve taken a liking to stretching as to get past this legnth and single strand knots.

  • http://refreshreport.blogspot.com Ebony

    I’ve been natural 6 yrs I never ever stretched or protective styled until recently. I literally did wash and go’s all the time. I’ve never minded shrinkage cause my mid back lenth falls into cute bob when dry… But those damn knots. After a trim they’d always come back with vengeance reason being my hair has been same length for 3 years. Smh. I just thought it was my particular texture my hair tangles so easy even after detangling. I was so over it and considering just getting it pressed every 2 weeks, as my stylist clients have long healthy hair, only thing there’s no turning back. Once a year already changes it. Now I usually braid or twist . Other day I let braids halfway dry undid them and blow dried midshaft pointing heat downward while holding end, I liked results a lot. I’m not for youtube and all those extensive regimens that’s too OD for me personally but I’ve taken a liking to stretching as to get past this legnth and single strand knots cause lawd knows the hot comb was calling on these kinks.

  • Brasilia

    The one thing I LOVE about shrinkage is that I get a short hair do without cutting it. Kind of neat watching people’s reactions when I come in one day with tightly curled, short hair and as the week goes on, my hair starts to stretch and the curls lengthen (when it’s flat ironed, my hair hits my mid-back).

  • 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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