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Learn four hair-stretching techniques that don't include heat.

Cipriana Quann
Apr, 20, 2015

For many, using heat is a quick and simple of way for a long lasting stretch, but on the other hand this choice can also be the most detrimental for our strands, especially those transitioning! Let me show you how to produce similar results, as I reveal 4 techniques on how to stretch transitioning hair without heat.

1. Protective Styling: Protective styling is known to do just that... protect, is actually a pretty quick and fail proof way of stretching hair. Certain styles of course get the job done more efficiently such as braids, cornrolls and bantu knots, which offer more tautness; a key component in a lasting and effective stretch. Remember to wet or dampen hair before you place the protective style of your choice. The water enables a more effective stretch.

Tip: For those who are transitioning and decide to use protective styles to stretch your hair, try to create a bit less tautness around the transitioning area of your strands. Chemically treated hair is weaker since the hair bonds have been permanently altered, especially with wet hair which increases a further temporary altercation. Placing too much strain can cause breakage.

2. Banding: What you will need is a pack of ouchless elastic bands or kiddie size ponytail holders (elastic bands equal quicker dry time than the thicker material of ponytail holders). After washing or co-washing hair, divide damp hair into however many sections you desire (more sections create a more successful elongation). Place bands around the sectioned hair from root to tip in the similar fashion of placing your hair in a firm ponytail. Also additional bands per section create a lengthier stretch.

Tip: Though wet hair is preferred there is no unfathomable way that any of these style can't be done on dry hair without producing a stretch that is up to par, it is just the combination of clean strands free of products and wet hair, ensures you will get the most from each technique.

3. African Threading: Similar to banding, threading is a more effective way aesthetically, of creating a blowout without the use of heat. Like banding, you will need to section the hair on previously washed hair. Divide hair into sections and loosely twist (loosely twisting is optional, but I find twists contain the hair making it more manageable for threading). Then take weaving thread and knot one end. Place the knot at the base of the sectioned hair, tie off or double over the knot while holding firmly and begin to wrap the thread along the section of the hair. The less spaces you create between the hair and the band as you work your way down to the end of the section results in more length. Ribbons or yarn can be used for a less time consuming method. Tip: You want to make sure hair is very damp, not wet (should feel very moist almost like hot humid day). Wet hair is not ideal for African Threading due to drying time unless you have time to air dry for hours. You could also use a hairdryer but then that would negate the solution of stretching without heat.

4. Curlformers: Though this technique will give your strands a more spiral effective and is more costly than the previously mentioned options, curlformers produce excellent results in stretching natural hair. Using a simple hook method to pull wet to damp sections of hair through a long wearing PTE material (the curlformer), entrapping the hair into a spiral formation, which you then let dry.

Tip: If this is your preferred choice of stretching, make sure to visit curlformer's site to get an idea of the size, quantity and proper usage of this item. Also for all methods mentioned, make sure to keep a water bottle handy to dampen drying sections of hair and that the hair is completely dry during the removal process of all these techniques.