Style Icon Kala

By Jc of The Nat­u­ral Haven Bloom

Stretch­ing hair with­out heat is an impor­tant part in many nat­u­ral rou­ti­nes as it can help to min­imise tan­gling and knot­ting. Using no heat in the process also pro­tects hair from dam­age and dry­ness that hair dry­ers can induce in nat­u­ral hair.

The impor­tant part though is that heat­less stretch­ing can­not be aggres­sive. The aim is not to ful­ly straight­en hair but sim­ply elon­gate it to around 70–80% of its full length. The final effect of gen­tle stretch­ing is sim­i­lar to a blow-out. Before I intro­duce the videos, I must give you this one tip, in order to get the best stretch, your hair should be ful­ly dry at the final take out stage. Here are the three best meth­ods in order of effec­tive­ness:

1. African Threading

Nadine has real­ly done a great job in show­cas­ing African thread­ing. This video in par­tic­u­lar shows how African thread­ing can give a real­ly great stretch with­out heat and with­out pulling hair as you would need to do on a roller set. It is pos­si­ble to achieve a sim­i­lar although usu­al­ly with a less stretched out results by braid­ing or twist­ing instead of African thread­ing.
2. Curlformers

You can stretch out hair of any length using curl­form­ers. This method is gen­er­al­ly gen­tle but only with prop­er tech­nique, mean­ing no hair pulling when using the hook and gen­tle­ness when remov­ing the curl­form­ers. I select­ed this video as an illus­tra­tion as it has excel­lent close up views of hair which show you that some tex­ture is left with this stretch­ing method. Comb­ing out the curls (with fin­gers or a wide tooth comb) will leave you with a boun­cy blow-out look.
3. Banding

African thread­ing and curl­form­ers will both nor­mal­ly give an excel­lent stretch to hair. This is because they both hold hair firm­ly and tight­ly as it dries. I have found that band­ing does not tend to give as good a stretch on wet hair because the thick­ness of the bands some­times hin­ders hair from dry­ing com­plete­ly. How­ev­er, some nat­u­rals have mas­tered the art of band­ing and use it rou­tine­ly.

Ladies, what gen­tle heat-free stretch­ing meth­ods do you use?

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51 Comments on "3 Ways to Stretch Natural Hair without Heat"

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Ial­ways stretched my hair by pulling into a low pony­tail, smooth­ing the hair down very well, and then twist­ing the remain­ing hair. That works great for me and is very easy to do in the show­er.


i usu­al­ly stretch my hair by putting it into to frec­nch plaits and using hair­bands to pull it down and my hair (type 3c) would come out more like 3b hair


I found that flexi rods can be help­ful for a stretch style. It faster and eas­ier to sleep in to me. I did this recent­ly with a two day old wash n go. The results where amaz­ing.


I’ve stretched my hair for years by doing African thread­ing. but my mum(I’m British)Does it tighter because it seals the mois­ture in.I also do the band­ing method.They are both AWESOME! Get it? because my names awesome:D?


I love the African Thread­ing Segment…great user friend­ly video


When I tried band­ing my hair was dry and pret­ty tan­gled. It was impos­si­ble to do any­thing with. What did I do wrong? I would love to have fair­ly stretched hair to style with.

Treneka Lenay

@Tanya I had that same issue the first time I tried band­ing. The key is to mois­tur­ize first and detan­gle before and BETWEEN bands. I like to use some­thing creamy to mois­tur­ize and a Den­man brush…then make sure you smooth the tips into a nice lit­tle mois­tur­ized curls :)u


Thanks!I didn’t con­sid­er that so I will have to give it a try. It sounds like more work, but I think it is worth it. :p

Oh Yeah!!!

Does African Thread­ing real­ly work? Does it stretch the hair well?

Cycy Luciole

Je répond en français car mon anglais est assez mau­vais. Mais OUI les nat­tes africaines aux fils (African Thraed­ing) fonc­tion­nent et font vrai­ment pousser les cheveux.
J’en fais chaque soir et mes cheveux sont chaque fois un peu plus sou­ples et longs!! :-)
So YES African Thread­ing real­ly work and stretch hair ver­ry well

Adeola @ TheManeCaptain

yes it works! i do it very often

Oh Yeah!!!

Blow dry­ing total­ly dries out hair! Leaves the ends dry and brit­tle!


I’m def­i­nite­ly going to try the African Thread­ing on my daugh­ter!


I prefer roller sets to stretch my hair. I use large rollers and my hair is very well stretched.


African thread­ing takes a lot of skill and effort. My moth­er (who is an African native) loves work­ing with my hair, but it can hurt when not done prop­er­ly. It is a very effec­tive method, but if you have very long hair like me, can take longer than usu­al to thread.


[…] Black Girl Long Hair, 3 Ways to Gen­tly Straight­en Nat­u­ral Hair with­out Heat […]


So help­ful