The ability for our hair to shrink back to its normal state after being stretched is a sign that it is healthy, but many women dislike their shrinkage and view it as a problem. I do not suggest heat, as even one application of heat can cause heat damage. Highly-textured hair should not be subjected to heat too often, as it can cause not only damage, but dehydration as well.
Our hair may be growing longer, but for some of us the shrinkage increases as our hair grows! I want to reiterate that shrinkage is not a bad thing, but if you prefer to wear your hair stretched, then here are five super easy ways to do that without damaging your hair.
Banding is a method of stretching your hair without trying to make it bone straight. Simply divide hair into sections, and place ponytail holders from root to tip on each section. Allow your hair to air-dry, and then remove the bands. If you want even straighter hair, then you can remove the ponytail holders, and wrap your hair with a silk scarf tightly to help straighten the hair. This can cause a lot of tension, which can cause breakage, so do not use this method often.
A fun style all by themselves, Bantu knots are a great way to stretch the hair. They can be created on wet or dry hair. Simply section your hair and twist the sections into Bantu knots, then allow them to air-dry completely. When you take them down, you will have a textured look, but with more stretch than your natural texture.
A high ponytail is a great way to stretch your hair without heat, and it also maintains a textured look. Make sure not to fasten the ponytail too tightly, or you will end up with straighter hair at the roots, and a curlier texture on the ends. You can also put your hair in a low ponytail for less tension and a similar effect.
Roller sets are a popular stretching technique among highly textured natural curlies. The bigger the roller, the more the hair will be stretched, so many use this style to achieve straighter styles. Make sure hair is properly detangled and completely wet before rolling, and if you want straight hair, just wrap your hair up in a satin scarf when it is completely dry. Mousses or setting lotions are the best styling product for this style.
Twist outs and braid outs help stretch the hair, and will still give you that textured look. Another great benefit of these styles is that the hair will be stretched when the style is old, and can be styled into a new look throughout the week. For extra elongation, when you have completed your style, pin your twists to the opposite side of your head. Flat-twist outs give more elongation than regular twist-outs, but all three —flat, regular, and braid-outs — help stretch the hair while keeping a textured look.
How do you prevent shrinkage? Or do you just not even worry about it?