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How To Stretch Your Natural Hair Without Heat

How To Stretch Your Natural Hair Without Heat

Natural hair and shrinkage are a package deal—sometimes no matter what you do it feels like the two always go hand in hand. This is because of how curls and coils naturally loop and fold into themselves. Now, as much as we may all love to embrace our shrinkage, there are days when you just want the full length of your hair on display which is when stretching comes in handy. However, flat irons and blow dryers are not exactly that great for the health of your hair as heat exposure can cause damage. So, what do you do instead? Try stretching your hair without heat of course. 

In this article, we will be discussing how to stretch natural hair without using any heat. 

Benefits Of Stretching Natural Hair 

Reduces Tangles And Single Strand Knots 

Natural hair has a unique follicle shape that makes the hair grow in a coiled pattern. This means your hair tends to loop around and fold back into itself in its natural state. It also increases the formation of knots and tangles as hair strands glide against each other. However, stretching the hair can help to reduce this by elongating the strands and preventing them from curling up and looping around each other. This will also limit the amount of breakage you get. 

Improves Manageability 

If you find it difficult to detangle and handle your hair while styling, stretching it will make your life a whole lot easier. By keeping your strands elongated, you can prevent them from becoming stiff and stuck in one position once dry. This will make it easier for your combs and brushes to glide through and also make it easier to style and manipulate your hair. 

Allows Even Distribution Of Styling Products  

When your hair is shrunken, you may notice that the products you apply do not touch every part of your hair. This can affect the outcome of your hairstyles. For example, the reason your wash n’ go's may not be turning out as good as you'd hope, may be because the full length of your hair is not getting properly coated with your styling products. But, once the hair is stretched, you can apply something like Sofnfree's Curl Elongating Gel evenly and get flawless results. 

Can Aid In Length Retention 

If you want to grow longer hair, keeping your natural hair stretched can help you retain length and help you achieve the long hair of your dreams. Since stretching minimises tangles and knots that can lead to breakage, you will be able to keep the hair healthy and maintain the length of hair that naturally grows out of your scalp each month. 

Improves Hair Shine And Smoothness 

Stretching the hair allows the natural oils in the scalp to seamlessly travel down and coat the hair strands. This natural oil helps to soften and smooth the hair while improving shine. It also reduces moisture loss and keeps the hair from becoming super dry and brittle. 



5 No-Heat Stretching Methods For Natural Hair 

1. Banding Method: 

The banding method is one of the most popular heatless stretching methods for natural hair. This no-fuss method only requires hair ties, and it is great for stretching your hair when it is already in a hairstyle like twists out, wash n’ go's, or braid outs. Before stretching, make sure your hair is well moisturised with our Manuka Honey leave-in Conditioner or the Everyday Curl Refresh Spray. Then divide the hair into 4-6 sections.  

Working one section at a time, grab about two hair ties and pull the hair tightly from the ends. Then wrap the hair ties around the full length of the hair from root to ends. After banding the whole head, cover it with a satin bonnet to keep it protected while you sleep, and take the hair ties out the next morning.  


2. Bantu Knots:

Bantu knots are an amazing way to keep your natural hair stretched. However, it is important to make sure the hair is freshly washed and conditioned with Sofnfree's Hydration Shampoo and Moisture-rich conditioner before trying Bantu knots. Once your hair is clean and dry, divide it into eight sections and apply our Manuka Honey leave-in Conditioner. Then, twirl each section of hair around from root to tip before wrapping it around itself to form a neatly stacked bun.  

The great thing about Bantu Knots is that they are also a protective style. You can leave them in for a few days and wear them out before unravelling to reveal stretched curls. You can apply some of our Curling Cream before making your Bantu knots if you want to wear the unravelled Bantu knots with a little curl definition. 


3. Threading:

Threading AKA African threading is a very common stretching technique that originated in many African countries. This is one of the best stretching methods to go for if you want to achieve a blowout without using heat. With threading, you will get the most elongated look possible, but it takes slightly longer than the other methods on this list. Before Threading, make sure your hair is strengthened with Sofnfree's Manuka Honey & Avocado Oil Deep Conditioner to prevent any damage to your cuticles. After deep conditioning and moisturising with our Leave-in Conditioner, divide the hair into 6-8 sections and properly comb through each section to remove any tangles.   

Then grab some yarn or rubber thread and tightly wrap it around each section of hair from root to tip. Leave the thread on the hair overnight. Then take them out the next day by applying some of our Hair & Scalp oil to your fingers before gently loosening the thread from the ends all the way up to your roots. Feel free to use a wide-tooth comb to further fluff the hair if you want to rock a fro with your stretching hair. 


4. Plaits and Twists:

Three-strand plaits and two-strand twists are another great way to keep your natural hair slightly elongated. The great thing about both options is that you can get a gorgeous braid out or twist out by the time you eventually take down the twists and plaits. If you want to get beautifully defined curls while keeping shrinkage at bay, apply a generous amount of our Curl Elongating Gel or Flaxseed Oil Curling Mousse to your hair before proceeding to make your twists or plait. Trying to divide the hair into 4-8 sections to get the right balance of elongation and definition. 


5. Braided Ponytail:

This Is another easy stretching method that's perfect for those on a busy schedule who need something easy. All you have to do is moisturise the hair with Sofnfree's Manuka Honey leave-in conditioner, then use a silk scrunchie to put the hair into a ponytail. Try to keep the ponytail sleek but not too tight. Then make a three-strand plait with the ends of your hair. You can wear the braided ponytail for a day or two before taking it down to reveal your elongated curls. This method works best for people with medium-length and long hair. It is also important to note that you will only get a slight stretch with this method. 


Stretching your natural hair can help improve the manageability of your curls and coils while reducing shrinkage. However, if you have always thought your only option was heat styling, the heatless stretching methods we have discussed in this article will really make your life easier. No matter what method, you choose you are sure to end up with great results that will also keep your hair super healthy and allow you to show off the length of your gorgeous mane. 

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