Summertime is coming and you know what that means -- out hair! When the temperatures warm up, naturalistas live for a good blowout, braidout, twist-out, bantu knot-out, or even flat-ironed hair. And for many of us curlies--the bigger and smoother, the better.
At the heart of almost every good style is stretched hair. Check out these 5 methods and get ready for #goodhairseason!
For me, bunning is a great way to stretch only the roots of the hair. By creating buns with old wash and go hair, my roots and the perimeter of my hair are stretched, while maintaining the bulk and volume of my hair through the ends. Bunning is the perfect precursor to a half up, half down or pulled back style. Buns always work best on dry hair. Wet, bunned hair is an invitation for eternal dampness and tangle city. Amp up your sleekness for the bun and the takedown style by using a little Passion Fruit Curl Control Paste on your edges.
2. Blow Drying
Many naturals aren't a fan of blowdrying, because it can be, well, drying. But for the most elongated and stretched hair, blowdrying is the way to go. Just remember to deep condition your hair, and always use a leave-in and heat protectant to prevent the hair from drying out and causing heat damage. For deep conditioning, try Eva NYC Therapy Session Hair Mask. For leave-in and heat protection try Blow Dry Addict, It's a 10 Miracle Leave-In Plus Keratin, and Tresemme Heat Tamer Spray.
Banding is another popular way to go, because it only requires two things: scrunchies and patience. Depending upon how stretched you want your hair, you can band in as few as two sections, or as many as 10 (or more). Simply part hair into sections, and put each section in a ponytail. Move down the length of the hair, adding more scrunchies. For less stretch, space them wider apart. For more stretch, put the scrunchies close together. For hair that stretches quicker, wait until your hair is almost completely dry to band it -- or band hair that is already dry. Soaking wet hair underneath bands will take an eternity to dry. And remember -- don't cause too much tension at the roots!
Braiding as a stretching method gives you the best of both worlds. Not only does it elongate the hair, but the end result can range from a smooth crinkly style to flowy mermaid-esque waves. For less stretch and more definition, create smaller braids. For more stretch than definition, make larger (about 4) braids. For maximum elongation, make sure hair is completely dry first. Some naturalistas love to blow dry or band, then braid!
5. Bobby Pins
Don't want to chance ruining the rest of your style, but still want some stretch? Try bobby pins. I have multiple textures, and the front/center area of my hair shrinks significantly more than the back of my hair. To avoid mushroom hair syndrome, I almost always spend day 1 of my wash and go with a pulled back style using bobby pins. It allows the bulk of my hair to dry, and helps my hair to dry in the most shrinkage-prone areas of my hair to dry in the stretched position. Bobby pinning is also good for braidout stretching as well. Braiding the hair, stretching it across the head, and securing it with bobby pins guarantees even more stretch!