Thursday, January 14, 2010

Natural Hair Shrinkage and Stretching

Happy Thursday Good People. Today I gonna talk about Shrinkage and ways to stretch Natural Hair. So......Here we go!
The curls in tightly coiled, otherwise known as kinky hair can shrink up to 80% of it's actual length. Meaning that hair that's actually shoulder length when in full shrink mode can look as short as a TWA. Shrikage is despised by a lot of natural Divas, and I can understand why. But their are styles that calls for shrinkage sometimes, and their are times styles call for longer hair.

*Here are a few techniques to stretch out the curls so they can loosen up and retain their length.

Banding is a technique that uses rubber bands or elastic hair bands (preferably) to stretch out the curls in natural hair.A section of wet hair is combed and then a hair band is placed around it in order to make a small pony tail. Next, the section is banded a few more times down the length of the ponytail to keep stretched out curls secured in place. This is repeated around the whole head and then the hair is either air-dried or dried under a hooded dryer.

Thin twists help to stretch out the roots, but the ends of the hair still shrinks a lot. Thicker twists usually stretch out the length of the hair, but they leave the roots un-stretched and looking a bit puffy.So whenever I make twists, I know that once my hair dries it will still look much shorter than it is, especially if I've made smaller ones.So if you want to stretch the curls further, Iwait until your hair dries, and then simply wet and then re-twist your hair again. It's a bit time consuming because your hair won't be fully stretched until after a few more times of re-wetting and re-twisting. But it is a sure way of loosening curls.

*Braiding Braids create the same stretching effect the twists do, but because three sections of hair are used for a braid, rather than two, the hair is more tightly wound so the curls won't stretch as much as they would with twists.

*Pinning and Ponytails
Putting your hair into a ponytail and the pinning to loose ends down is a great way to stretch you hair also

*Bantu Knots
The knots are created by making a square shaped part, then the roots are held while the remaining length of hair is wrapped around it. Once the hair is dry the knots are taken down.

Another technique for stretching out tightly wound natural hair is to use heat by way of blow-drying, hot combing or flat-ironing the hair. These tools can be used to get the hair stick-straight if you're so inclined - although blow-drying can be used to just loosen up the curl. But if you choose the option for stretching out you curls I suggest you use a really good heat protectant or else you may end up damaging your hair!

But Do Know...That shrinkage is always going to happen with curly hair - whether it's loosely or tightly curled. I suggest we learn to work with our shrinkage intead spending time and money fighting against it! Love and embrace your shrinkage!

Thanks for your support! God Bless!


  1. This was really helpful..thanks!!!!

  2. Banding is a great idea! Thank you!

  3. Thank you for sharing! I've always been natural - but, I've always been best friends with my flat iron!! Recently, I've decided I'd like to wear my hair curly primarily, but I can never seem to last longer than 3 weeks. I get major shrinkage and it gets matted and tangled. I'd never heard of stretching... other than the twists and braiding. Thanks for sharing! I'm looking forward to trying out some of these techniques! Just found your blog, looking forward to looking around :)

  4. I am going to try the banding method because my shrinkage is out of control and driving me mad!!! Thanks for all the info chica!

  5. im not getting the definition for my curls through twist or brushing in circular motions its got to be what i am using on my hair. i also dont know what type of hair i have.