Friday, February 10, 2012

Never Fear Shrinkage Again! Stretching From Tight Coils to Kinky Straight


If you want to stretch out your coils quickly, while still maintaining the movement, softness, workable texture, this post is for you.

I've been enjoying my coils with all of my co-washing and conditioner wash n go's. I haven't stretched my hair in a while. I had gotten pretty good at "ironing" out the kinks/coils safely and quickly. The texture that I get from specific techniques and products are neck and neck with what one would get with a blow out from use of a blow dryer. I would even go as far as to say it's even more stretched than the blow out. How? When I do a blow out, it seems to get "bushy" quickly. The reversion begins at the ends so quickly with a blow out. With this technique, the ends don't revert like that, so the hair and the hairstyle are gonna be predictable. Lets get on with it then.

This process starts with your wash. Ideally, I co-wash and then deep condition. Adding shampoo into this technique tends to work against the stretch process. Shampoo has a drying factor that actually springs my coils into action and helps them to coil up tighter. If shampoo is necessary (product build-up, etc), then I go ahead and shampoo.

De-tangle. Thorough de-tangle will get the stretch started, and ensure that once the hair is stretched, that it's moveable. Doesn't make sense to have stretched hair and you can't have fun with it and style it how you want. Styling on stretched hair is half of the fun! While the hair is coated with my best conditioner is when I like to start with my fingers and go under the running shower and do my finger detangle. Next I use my wide tooth comb (Jilbere) shower comb. Finally, I use a detangling tool that has teeth that are closer and will effectively prepare my hair for a stretch. All tangles should be removed by your finger detangling. The fine tooth detangling tool is simply to "smooth" the hair through. Avoid new tangles by working with your hair in sections, and twisting or braiding up those sections once you're finished detangling.

AIR DRY. Let your hair air dry some (about 50%).

Moisture. Now your hair is clean, conditioned, detangled, only damp, secured, and ready to stretch. Choose your moisturizer for your stretch based on the ingredients and how your hair will react to it. I like to use butters at this point. If I put a moisturizer that has mostly water, I am encouraging my coils to hang around. I will just use the water that's already on my hair, and lock it in with my butters. I use a homemade mix of mango butter, shea butter, coconut oil, olive oil, jojoba oil. Be generous, but don't make the hair greasy.

6 Plaits. Situate your hair (parting) in the direction that you want it to go. If you want hair coming towards your face, then place a plait in that direction. 6 plaits is all you really need for this stretch.

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