|Dry Twists (Twists done on Dry Stretched Hair)|
Whenever I want to show more hair length, twists on dry hair is definitely the way to go. When I do my twists on dry hair, my natural curl pattern has most likely already been stretched by:
- blow drying
I haven't used heat directly on my hair since January 2010 so blow drying is not my first choice when it comes to stretching. I prefer not to cause any more damage than necessary to my ends and it is definitely not necessary to do so when preparing for a protective style such as twists in my opinion. A huge factor in my preference not to use heat to stretch my hair is the fact that I have not mastered the proper technique to blow drying or found the right products to use on my hair when blow drying so I feel more comfortable using other non-heat methods to stretch out my hair.
This is the most simple method for me to stretch out my hair because it only takes 2-3 minutes to complete. I have only banded my hair all in a single ponytail in the lower back portion of my hair, but banding can be done on multiple sections. I do this method right after I get out the shower with wet hair. I apply my leave-in conditioner to my hair and gather all my hair back into a low ponytail. I do not use a brush to smooth down my hair because: (1) it is not important to achieve slick edges (to me) for a twist set and (2) less manipulation by hair tools equal less wear and tear on the hair that can lead to unnecessary damage. I use my hand to smooth down my hair into the ponytail and secure the ponytail with an elastic band (the ones WITHOUT the metal piece). I make sure the ponytail is not too tight to pull on my edges and lead to breakage. Then starting at the base of the ponytail, I take elastic bands and wrap them closely around my ponytail until I make my way to the end of the ponytail.
I allow the hair to fully air dry to achieve maximum stretching results. Once my hair dries, I remove all the bands, fluff my hair out, and voila! I have stretched hair.
From my experience, braiding my hair does not give me as good of a stretched result compared to banding. However, when I am out of bands, I do not hesitate to turn to braiding my hair to stretch out my hair. The process is very similar to banding except for the fact that I am braiding (hehe...duh) either a single braid or 4-6 braids. I usually do not use any elastic bands unless I am securing the end of the braid(s). Whenever I do a single braid, I ALWAYS have a tendency to braid UPWARD since it is easier to maneuver my hair in that manner but doing so does not significantly affect the results of the stretch.
Same as for banding, I allow my hair to fully air dry before removing the braid(s) and fluffing out my hair. I have seen others repeat the process two to three more times to achieve more stretching of their natural hair. I have not tried this yet because I am usually ready to go ahead and twist my hair. I might have to try this out to see if I can achieve even more stretching of my curls.
I hope this helps give you some ideas on how to stretch your hair. I believe using no heat is better for the hair although it can give you the best stretching results. Being in the South, my dry twists do not stay stretched for too long due to the crazy humidity. Therefore, blow drying often is not a necessity for me. Plus, nine times out of ten, I end of running water through my twists after at least a week of wearing them. Not worth the effort of blow drying.
If you have any other methods of stretching your hair, please do let me know. I would love to see your stretching techniques!
Thanks for reading and until next time...