Finding ways to stretch your curls without heat can feel impossible to achieve. While applying heat to your hair can provide you with an opportunity to check the length of your curls, if you do this, you have to deal with the consequences of damaging your hair through heat and wondering whether you can revive your curls. We've outlined five heat-free stretching methods that can combat shrinkage without damaging your afro hair.
1. Twist Out
This is one of the most effortless heat-free styles you can adopt. It can be worn with the twists still intact or with the braids undone for a defined wave. Begin this style by creating even parts on your damp hair. Next, put each section into two strands and then secure them at the end by curling them around your finger.
You can seal in that moisture for your twist out by using our Curl Elongating Gel with Flaxseed Oil & Rosewater. This gel can provide you with defined, elongated curls. If you would like to keep this twist out in tact while you sleep, opt for a pineapple updo. This process will involve putting all your afro hair on top of your hair and then holding it in place with a silk scarf.
2. Bantu Knots
Before achieving this look, make sure that you have cleansed, conditioned and detangled your afro curls. To begin, divide your damp afro hair into multiple sections and then tightly twist a section into one clockwise motion until it starts to wrap around itself. This process will result in a twisted knot. If your hair is short, use a small Bobby pin to secure it in place. On the other hand, if you have longer hair, twist the ends of your hair around the base of the knot just created. Once these knots have dried, you can undo them to reveal a hydrated, defined, spiralled look.
If you want to stretch your hair even further, opt for the process of banding. In short, this heat-free stretching option utilises several hair bands to create tension within your curls which then elongates your hair. Start this process by sectioning your damp hair into parts and using a hairband to secure each one at your ends. Next, place more hairbands on each section, leaving a gap of an inch and a half until you reach the end.
Leave the hairbands in each section until your natural hair is dry, and then style your hair as you like. If you are thinking of styling your hair into curls or waves, you can use a generous amount of our Curling Crème with Coconut & Jamaican Black Castor Oils to do so.
4. Flexi Rods
These foam rods can create a spiral look for your afro hair, making it look like it has been curled with heat. Start this process by applying a styling cream to hydrate your hair. Then wrap a section of your hair around the rod. As flexi rods can be bent, you can fold them upwards from the bottom end of the rod to keep them in place. It is best to begin this process in the morning so that your curls can dry and set in style during the day. This is because it isn't easy to sleep with this style. Once your hair has dried, you can undo the folded ends and then let your afro hair unravel by following the pattern of the spiral.
5. Braid Out
As opposed to the process of creating a twist out, you need to create three-strand braids for a braid out. In the end, you will be left with a wave rather than spirals. You can choose whether you want smaller or larger sections of hair for your braids and, once this style is dry, this look should last for around a week. Want to extend the lifespan of your braid out while you sleep? Try it with larger sections and then tuck these styles under a satin bonnet and undo them in the morning.
Naturally stretching your afro hair in a heat-free way allows you to embrace your curl pattern and can reduce breakage making it easier to style.