Okay, so I haven't used my blow dryer since June 2011 (that means it's been 5 months)! Not because of anything but pure unadulterated laziness. My arms felt like they were about to fall off the last time I used a blow dryer on my natural mane. However, I can get my hair to stretch to 2 times the length of my coily hair. And I can do this in 1 day. By day 2, my hair is stretched to full length (the full length that I would get from a blow out). I'm gonna outline the steps I take to do this for reference. Hoping this will help anyone who wants to style on stretched natural hair. Or if you just want to minimize coily hair tangles---or if you just want to enjoy your length, that's cool too.
|Coily, Un-Stretched Hair|
|Natural Hair Stretched to Long Length - Day #2|
1) Start with Washed/Conditioned or Co Washed Hair
2) You can Finger Detangle or Detangle with a Tool
3) Use a Microfiber Towel and Get Rid of Excess or dripping water
4) Spritz or rub in your favorite leave in moisturizer (this is to ensure no matting or tangles occur).
5) Air Dry loose. (If you are not comfortable doing this, you can twist the hair in large sized twists).
6) Once Fully Air Dried, Pull Back into a Pony Tail (or Two Pony Tails--depending on Length). You will need to spritz the hair with a little water or Aloe Vera Gel in order to do this manipulation. Do not try to manipulate your hair while dry.
7) Smooth the hairline all the way around (nape too) with a soft bristle brush. This will ensure the smooth and sleek hairline that you can achieve from this stretch.
8) Enjoy your pulled back ponytail styling for the day.
9) At nighttime, you will take down the ponytail, and fluff out your hair. Do this with your hand coated with your favorite Shea butter mix or pomade. These ingredients truly help with stretch because they have minimal water.
10) Again, Before manipulating your hair, you must spritz the ends to avoid breakage. Remember, you hair is totally dry now (but it's still moisturized because it was moisturized before it was air dried). Also, you will want to lightly spritz your hair shaft for a "set". Do Not RE-WET, just lightly spritz.
11) Section hair into 6-8 sections for your braid out. Use the Shea butter or pomade to stretch out your hair. Rubbing your coated hands from roots to ends for each section, you will literally "straighten" your hair shaft. Smoothing out the coils in preparation for the braid. This will remove the coils so that your braids are "straightened".
12) Use a satin tie scarf to "lay down" your edges overnight
13) In the morning, take the braids down and enjoy a stretched braidout
14) The next night, you will do twists (not braids). Do about 12 twists. Use products as needed (you gotta feel your hair to know if it needs additional Shea butter mix "for stretch" or if it needs additional water or Aloe Vera Gel "for set")
|Natural Hair Texture Stretched --First Day|
|Maximum Stretch From this Technique|
|Easy Styling on Stretched Natural Hair|
Your stretched hair will be soft and move able if you used products that work well with your hair, and do not have "build-up" issues. This can very easily last you 1 week (or more) if you manage the products well nightly. You will find that the Shea butter mix or pomade places a "barrier" that will not easily be intimidated by light water spritzes. So you can still moisturize lightly without reverting the hair! So many benefits to this process. Go ahead and store away that blow dryer. You won't be needing it for now.