Natural Hair Reflections :: Stretching

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The longer my hair gets, the more I understand the jargon, methods, and lingo that I read on the natural hair boards.  It’s kinda like I have ah-hah moments now.  Little “oooh, so that’s what they meant” moments.  The latest one deals with stretching hair.  I really didn’t understand why people stretched their hair.  I thought it was just because they didn’t like the shrinkage.  To stretch natural hair, means to either not let it dry loose, so that it doesn’t shrink up or to manipulate it when dry so that the curl is stretched out.  This can be achieved by banding, twisting, braiding, bunning and a few other methods.  A lot of naturals like to stretch their hair not just to reduce shrinkage and show more length, but also to cut down on tangles and knots.  I didn’t truly understand this until my hair was long enough to twist.  I twisted it for the first time, because I just wanted something different from the teeny weeny afro (twa) every single day.

After twisting it for a couple weeks, I took a break and out of laziness wore my twa for a couple of weeks.  When I went back to my twists the next week, I noticed that my hair detangles in half the time when it’s been twisted and released.  I rocked a twist out for three days before I washed it.  My hair detangles fairly easy, but I felt like I only ran the tangle teezer through my hair like five times and I was done.  Like butter.  That was when I had my first, “oooh, so that’s what they meant” moment.  I get it now!  Stretching my hair actually makes life easier and I’m all about easy.  Not only does my hair look longer, but my washing sessions are easier.

So for any new naturals out there that were wondering about stretching your hair and why so many seasoned naturals do it, that’s why.  I’m glad I could have the ah-hah moment for you.

Freelance Graphic Designer, Lifestyle Blogger, Natural Hair Enthusiast and Fitness Convert...yeah, I wear a lot of hats. :)