Heatless stretching is a damage-free way to add length or volume to your curls.

There are certain methods in my hairstyling that will make my curls to appear more stretched and elongated. Sometimes, it’s due to the styling products and tools I use; other times it’s just my everyday routine. I have found that my fine 3C curls stretch very easily so I’m especially particular with my techniques. They  change from mild to moderate because on wash day, I like to keep my curls tight and let them loosen up as the days pass. My day 1 stretching technique will be totally different than day 4. So as my curls stretch, so do my techniques.

1. Clipping Technique

On day 1, I’m focused on keeping my curls defined without a ton of shrinkage. Duckbill or double prong clips can be used to provide a very mild form of stretching. It’s an easy way to keep the curls you want stretched while letting the others shrink.

After washing my hair, I like to use my Jane Carter Curl Defining Cream to style. This moisturizing cream keeps my curls defined and helps fight shrinkage. Made with shea butter, avocado and jojoba oil it leaves my curls soft and not crunchy. I start by raking this throughout my hair and scrunching my curls. Then, I like to add double prong clips randomly along my ends to maintain the length while it drys. The finished look is elongated curls that are shiny and defined without frizz.

2. Pineapple Technique

The pineapple technique is by far the easiest form of stretching for me because it is a normal part of my bedtime routine. At the end of day 1--and for the remaining days of the week--I do this to preserve my style. I start by placing all of my curls in a loose ponytail at the front of my head and secure them with a smooth elastic or scrunchie. Even though it is mild tension, the ponytail stretches out the roots and provides length. 

3. Braiding Technique

Braiding is an effective method of stretching, especially if I’m looking to loosen up my curl pattern. It’s also a great prep for any other heatless styles like flexi-rod or perm-rod sets.

After day 3 or 4 when my hair has naturally stretched, I part my hair into 4-5 sections and begin braiding. To intensify the stretch, I like to pin my braids against my scalp using bobby pins. Normally, I don’t add any product to my braids but I love adding CURLS Blueberry Bliss Curl Control Paste along my hairline for smooth edges in the morning.

To protect against friction and keep my braids in place, I wear a satin scarf to bed. In the morning when I take down my braids, I’ll use a tiny amount of jojoba oil to separate. Lastly, I gently shake out the style to reveal my beachy waves.

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