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Stretching natural hair is not just a style technique, it can actually improve hair health by decreasing knotting. Here are four great tutorials showing different ways to stretch or straighten natural hair.

The Blowdrying Tension Method

The tension method is a comb-less blowdrying method that involves stretching your hair with your hands, and applying heat from a blowdryer. It’s a great method if you find yourself experiencing a lot of breakage with combs.

The Blowdrying Comb Attachment Method

This method involves using a comb attachment on a blowdryer.

The Banding Method

This involves binding the hair to facilitate stretching.

The Braid/Twist Method

This involves braiding or twisting hair in large sections to stretch
Embedding for this video tutorial has been disabled, but you can watch it here:

Ladies, which method have you tried? What is your preferred method for straightening and stretching?

Black Girl With Long Hair

Leila Noelliste, founder of Black Girl with Long Hair (April 2008). Social media, pop culture and black beauty enthusiast. bell hooks' hair twin...

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37 Comments on "4 Natural Hair Stretching Methods Explained"

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If you want to stretch your hair so i think african threading method is best for your hair.


Not suprising as we all know there are so many ways to do so, but to deside and measure which is the best among all is more confusing.


enjoyed all the 4 natural hair straightening and stretching methods, much easy and eager to try this out soon.

Angel Christian

Good methods you have to share with us its such a great method for natural hair straightening.

Mel Stevens

You girls should try the karmin g3 straightener. It has tourmaline-ceramic plates that leave the hair pin-straight and shiny =)

adm johnny

i just corn row my hair once or twice a week take out wash then corn row again i’m a boy and i get it down my past the middle of my back


African threading is a good way to stretch hair.


There’s also this method using weave thread. Somewhat similar to banding.


I’m glad I love short hair because all these methods folks come up with to stretch their hair is too much work.

Kianna Banks

I have a TWA so the banding method works best for me. I don’t have the patience to individually braid or twist my hair since its so short. If i dont do that, my hair shrinks down to my scalp & its extremely uncomfortable.

Roller setting with no heat is the #1 BEST way I’ve found to stretch for volume and length but I’m too lazy to do it often. I really like the banding method. I spritz with a little water + glycerine, put my “bangs” in the front in smaller twists, put the rest of my hair in 4 large cornrows, and use a combo of pony-os and bobby pins to stretch. As long as you don’t wrap the hair too tight, there shouldn’t be any breakage. If I know I want big hair for an event, I set my hair a… Read more »
Personally I’ve always preferred roller setting as the best stretching method. At university I was a long term stretcher (4-6 months) and I roller set my hair religiously every wash day. I’ve sinned with my hair for a few years after graduation, but since I’ve been on my journey to restore health strength and gain length I’m stretching again and roller setting religiously – air drying alone does not do my hair good and it gives me a head cold. I do however go and sit in the sun with my rollers and my hair is dry pretty quickly. This… Read more »

it looked like MsJames added some kind of oil after adding water…but forgot to mention

Tequila B

My hair doesn’t like any of these methods, I’ve seen the most success with the pin method, i do two strand twist on my entire head, then stretch each twist and pin down, my hair stays stretched while it dries and the next day i have beautiful stretched out hair.


Wow, I do the same thing as well! Or, I gather up several mini two strand twists together and use them to create a few big two strand twists then pin down. Also, if I don’t put anything on my hair to make it curly and only moisturize my hair with water and seal with castor oil, and wear a bun, after a few days, my 4b hair naturally straightens and looks like I blow dried it.I use this method when I want to trim the ends.


I like to do the tension blow every now and then, and haven’t tried the banding yet. I wonder do you lose any hair with so many bands being wrapped around the hair. But there’s a youtuber that did a interview on here about weeks back “Courtney”, has uploaded a new video. In it she does 2 strand twists, and to lay down or stretch the roots, puts bobby pins on the roots. I will definitely try this style on me. Here’s the video link and her hair is Gorgeous :).


Do I need a heat protectant if I blow-dry on cool setting?


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I sometimes stretch my hair with about 20 medium twists. But i have found lately that my hair responds well to being washed, detangled, oiled and then thrown into a low puff. it stretches the hair until i am ready to stretch it more with twists. I used a blow dryer with a comb attachment for 7 years, and while my hair seemed long, it was pretty heat damaged. I big chopped again 2 years ago, and use no heat, and I am back to my old length already! Go figure, smh.


OOPS! Sorry! didn’t mean for that big old pic to post, i wanted to use that as my Avatar. Heeelp!? LOL!


Great head of hair Fayla!


Awesome! i LOVE learning new techniques thanks so much for this post. I can’t believe I’m just learning about this blog!!
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Braid-outs are my favorite hairstyle/stretching method. I love braid-outs because they are simple to do, they stretch my hair well and are oh so beautiful. I like banding because it gives me a blow-out look without heat. I will try the African threading method once I can get my hands on the type of thread my Grandmother used on to style my hair when I was younger. Hopefully, she’ll come to the US soon from Nigeria. In the past, I’ve done tension blow-outs with grape seed oil as a heat protectant with good results. I’m not fond of using heat… Read more »

Flat braid out (cornrows) I think are as straight as I hope to let me hair get. I saw a video from Natural Chica in which she was endorsing the use of grapeseed oil. I’m just so scared of heat damage. I’ve just gotten over my comb phobia. Just doesn’t seem worth it.

The only time I ever saw split ends (and middles) was when I was blow-drying with a comb attachment. If I must blow-dry, it’s got to be done with the tension method. I only do it when I can’t afford to wait for it to air-dry; even then it still takes about an hour. My preferred method of stretching is large twists until about 80% dry, then braids until fully dry. The only advantage this has over banding or threading is that the braids are easiest to sleep on. Banding and threading actually give me the most (non-heat-based) stretch. Another… Read more »

I really like the blow dry tension method. I only the cool/warm setting and I use only my hands to hold the section of hair taunt. My hair ends up being super stretched with out becoming straight. Love it.


I love banding my hair to stretch it. It gives pretty darn close to blow drier results. Usually the day of washing my hair, I will let it air dry in plaits and the second day I will re-moisturize, put my hair in 4-6 plaits and sometimes I band the individual braids and sometimes, I get lazy and will gather the plaits into one ponytail and band the ponytail. Either way, I have wonderfully stretched and soft hair.


My 4a/4b hair stretches pretty easily with twists. I always twists on dry hair and as the days go buy, it becomes more and more stretched.

The thought of “banding” gives me a headache…lol.

Annie L.
My mom would use the dryer comb with heat at the root only skipping the ends, lifting the hair at the root gave her fro more volume, bounce and fluff. She also plaited her hair and rolled the ends at night and did the same for me and my sister. After many pre- and post-natural incidents I concluded that heat was not for me and though the effect looks superb, cool setting blowouts tire me out. Lol! I like working in the direction of my curl with coils and individual twists, but often settle on flat twists and 4-plaits out… Read more »
Jo Somebody

Don’t forget African threading!


Please put African Threading along with banding method since they do the same thing but by different materials.


honestly I consider blow drying with attachment and blowing with and blowing drying by tension same category . So it really should be three methods, Blow drying, twist and braids, and banding and Threading.


I normally wait until my hair is completely air dried, or damn near, to blow my hair out with cool air and my goody wide tooth comb. That works for me

lillian mae

Ditto! Braids and perm rods all day!


I love to use the blow-drying with a comb attachment method. I usually can’t wash and go because I will have severe shrinkage afterwards and it will be extremely hard to de-tangle. This is why the blow-dryer is an easy option for me,


I usually stick to braids or twists. The braids give more stretch than the twists. However putting perm or flex rods at the ends of twists gives them more stretch.


Although it gets it detangled more thoroughly, I feel like the blow dryer is the least healthiest for my hair. I tend to braid/twist. I have never banded my hair because it seems like it would be annoying with all those little ponytail holders.