With the summer right around the corner adding heat can be a huge detriment to the health of your hair. With the focus on deep conditioning and retaining moisture during the dry summer months, shrinkage can also be a huge pain! Instead of running to that blow dryer and flat iron there are some alternatives to get you the stretch you’re looking for without suffering through possible heat damage.

5 Heatless Ways To Stretch Natural Hair

1.Banding: I haven’t personally tried banding but I have seen it done successfully in person and of course via Youtube. Banding if done correctly will give you some dope waves from time to time as well. You can braid/two strand twist your hair for an extra stretch or just grab sections (one inch apart) and section them off with hair ties (preferably ouch less Goody bands). Let the banded hair dry for a few hours (better if over night) and remove the bands for a fierce blow out look with out the blow dryer heat.Be careful not to band too tightly so you don’t cause unintentional damage.

2. Two Strand Twists/ Braids: This right here is the original stretch master for me. Two strand twists and braids are the easiest method of stretching your hair. It can be done on wet or dry hair to achieve that extra stretch. A good tip I’ve used to expand on my stretch while still maintaining some type of definition is by adding a perm rod or flexi rod to the end and letting the twist/braid hang straight down. If you don’t have perm rods or flexi rods you can always pin the hair down, or attach a hair clip to have the hair hanging straight down.

3. Bunning:  Throwing your hair in a bun can be a simple method of stretching and can have your edges laying nice and flat when you add in a head tie overnight. You’ll want to split your hair into two (right down the middle) and place each side into a puff using ouch less goody hair ties. Once you’ve gotten them into puffs you twist up the puff and wrap it around itself (kind of like a bantu knot). Throw a head tie on for sleeping purposes and in the morning you will have a loose wave that appears to be a blow out without the presence of heat.

4. Heavy Butters: This method is only if you are really going for a stretched look, because heavy butters can be a bit of a problem in the summer months. You want to consider using products that consist of avocado or shea butters to give you an elongated finish. The butter/hair cream of choice for me when I’m looking for a little extra stretch is the Mielle Organics Avocado Moisturizing Hair Milk (you can use coupon code: TRESSES to get a discount at checkout) Though they will keep your hair moisturized they will weigh your hair down. Heavy butters work differently from curl enhancing stylers because they leave room for less shrinkage. Be careful not to pile on too many heavy butters that will cause buildup and clog the pores on your scalp.

 5. Double Stretch: The double stretch is my favorite! I was mentioning it a bit earlier in the post but here’s the break down. A double stretch method is combining two or more (usually just two) stretching methods to achieve the ultimate stretch when the style is taken down. You want to select your two stretching methods carefully because over stretching/manipulating your hair too frequently will undoubtedly cause breakage and we DONT want that. My “double stretch” method is to two strand twist my hair and add a perm rod to the end. Another method (when my hair is fairly dry) I two strand twist and pin the twist to the opposite side of my head.

Have you tried any of these stretching methods? Did you enjoy the results? Share your thoughts with us below.

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