Why stretch your curls? Stretching your curls allows your hair to hold in moisture for longer periods and makes it easier to manage.
Curly Girls who like to “wash and go” often notice that their hair looks and feels different, depending on elements out of their control, such as weather and wind. If it’s a very windy day, not only will your hair dry faster but you’ll also notice a more “blown around” look. Since your hair is blowing around so much, you’ll probably also notice more tangles and knots.
Stretching your curls eliminates this problem and is most noticeable and beneficial for curlies with type 4 hair, though 3c girls might benefit as well.
What Supplies Do I Need?
It depends on how you want to stretch those curls. If you’re looking to do it relatively quickly — say, so you can get out of the house in the morning — you’ll need a blow dryer with a hair diffuser. If you have more time and can wait, you’ll only need your hands and some bobby pins.
How Do I Do It?
With a blow dryer and diffuser:
- Wash and towel dry your hair as usual. Consider applying an emulsifier, such as Miss Jessie’s Curly Pudding after towel drying. This product is for use with curlies looking to give their hair some stretch, while keeping it free of the “crunch” you get with hairspray and gel.
- Using a diffuser attachment, hold onto your hair about an inch or so away from the ends and begin drying. Pull GENTLY (you don’t want to break any ends) as you do this. Once you’ve done all of your hair this way, remove the diffuser and finish drying, again scrunching and gently stretching the curls in the process.
Without a blow dryer and diffuser:
If you’d prefer not to use the dryer or don’t have time for one, you can also twist out your curls or braid them to give them some stretch.
- For the twist out, section off about a 1 and a half inch section of your hair and apply any hair crème you usually use. You will then gently separate your hair into two strands, and then twist that hair all the way down to the end and secure (you may not need anything to secure it if you have super thick hair). You can leave them like this (for a “twist out,”) or you can turn these into Bantu knots.
- To do the Bantu knots, wind the twist around itself in sort of a “bun” shape near the scalp and pin it down or tuck the very end of the twist “into” the knot so that it is secure. Repeat for the rest of your hair, then let it air dry for several hours. If you’re going to let it dry overnight, wrap your hair in a silk scarf or satin hair wrap to protect the knots and for your own comfort.
Love to wash and go, but can't figure out how not to freeze death with wet hair in the winter? We've got your wash and go hair for winter solution!
Let us know how you stretch your curls!