The 3 Best Techniques to Try If You Want to Stretch Your Natural Hair Without Heat

Going natural more often than not means committing to a minimal-heat lifestyle, so showing off the length of your hair sans shrinkage comes with a different set of rules. Blowouts may seem like they're the only logical option when it comes to switching things up and stretching out your hair, but believe us, there are ways to do it that involve way less damage and no heat at all.

YouTube has a wealth of content catered to people with kinky and curly hair, so naturally, it's the perfect place to turn to find tutorials and how-tos on how to give yourself a blown-out look without the heat. Read ahead for three of our favorite methods to stretch out your hair.

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Braid-outs are easy to accomplish, and because they are tighter and create more tension, they allow you to achieve a little more length than you would with a twist-out. As demonstrated in the above video, all you have to do to pull it off is install several braids throughout freshly washed hair. If your hair is wet, you can keep the braids in for several hours or as long as it takes your hair to dry, but if you're installing them on dry hair and you still want your curls to look as defined as possible, you'll likely have to keep them in longer.

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The banding method is the process of wrapping small or medium-size sections of wet hair up with elastic hair ties so the hair is able to sit in a stretched position until it fully dries. Depending on how long your hair is, it can be a tad labor intensive considering all the extra hair ties you'll need for it, but the results are always well worth it.

Here's how you do it: after washing, conditioning, and detangling your hair like you normally would, part your hair into however many sections you'd like. Then, wrap each section in an elastic ponytail holder, working your way down the section from roots to ends until the entire section is wrapped. Remove all the elastic bands once all of your hair has dried, and style it however you wish.

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African Threading

Threading is similar to banding, except instead of using elastic hair ties, you use thread. To get the results, prep your hair in the same way you would for the banding process and divide your hair up into small sections once that's done. Then, wrap each section of hair with thread from the roots to the ends and remove the thread once your hair dries fully. Depending on how small your sections are and how tightly you wrap your thread, you should end up with a blown-out look.