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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 few… 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?


Vis­it our shop on etsy at for all of your nat­ur­al hair care and facial needs. Were mak­ing prod­ucts for growth, mois­tur­iz­ing dreadlocks,transitioning and replen­ish­ing your hair back to health!!! Great for girls going nat­ur­al and any hair type…
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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 method… 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.