Safe Ways To Stretch Natural Hair

Safe Ways To Stretch Natural Hair

A struggle that many naturalistas and curlies can face is hair shrinkage. Have you spent hours washing, detangling, and styling your hair only to have it shrink up to half its length when it dries?  Yes, the moment you step out of the shower after a successful wash day and your strands curl up or coil tightly, causing the hair to appear shorter than it actually is. The frustration can seem unreal at times. The good news is that shrinkage is a sign of your hair being healthy and actually shows that it can retain moisture and elasticity. So before you go tugging on your coils, first and foremost appreciate your texture and remember it's beautiful in its natural state.

That being said, one of the reasons to have such a love affair with your texture is the versatility it provides including stretching your hair. And the good news is that you don't have to compromise the health of your curls. In this blog post, we will discuss ways to safely stretch, let's jump into it!

stretch natural hair

Photo credit: Rose Sovaj

Stretching Hair

One of the easiest ways to reduce hair shrinkage is by stretching your hair. There are several ways of stretching your hair, including banding, threading, braiding, and twisting. When you stretch your hair, it pulls it taut, encouraging it to dry in that position, making it harder for it to shrink when it dries. This creates elongated curls and is more manageable and easier to style. It's important to note that while stretching the hair can help reduce shrinkage, too much stretching can damage the hair's cuticle.  Be gentle when manipulating your hair and pour a little extra 'patience' into your detangling routine during preparation of your style.

Try this: Peppermint Tea Tree Hair Milk

Protective Styling

Protective styling is another great way to reduce hair shrinkage. This technique involves styling your hair in a way that protects the ends of the hair from damage and prevents tangling. A few great go-tos include twists, faux locs, braids, and buns. Protective styles also reduce the amount of manipulation required to maintain the hair, which can reduce shrinkage and retain your hair length. Take note not to leave your hair in one of these styles not more that 6-8 weeks because as you have new hair growth, it puts pressures on your strands that can result in the breakage you're attempting to prevent. 

Try this: Peppermint Tea Tree Hair Oil

Blow Drying

Blow-drying is another way to stretch and elongate your hair, but it should be done with caution to avoid heat damage. When blow-drying hair, it is important to use a heat protectant, set the blow dryer on a low heat setting, and hold the dryer at least six inches away from the hair. Try to limit blow-drying to once every two weeks to prevent heat damage. 


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