woman in white long sleeve top

Photo: Nicholas Bui via Unsplash.com

Using heat styling tools to stretch and style your hair can be convenient.  However, high temperatures can destroy the inner protein bond of the hair follicle.  Luckily, there are ways to stretch the hair without the threat of heat damage.

1. African Threading
African threading is a traditional hair styling technique that is widely practised in West Africa. The technique is very simple and involves wrapping sections of hair repeatedly and tightly with Chinese thread. Covering most of the hair almost completely makes for the ultimate protective style. Whilst threading is a style in and of itself, when unravelled the hair is effectively stretched.

2. Stretch plates
Stretch plates may look fiddly and technical but they actually provide a very simple way to stretch the hair. The plates work by holding the hair in place at several positions along its length. Hair should be slightly damp and once dry, the plates removed.

3. Curl Formers
Curl Formers are some of the most effective tools to stretch your strands without heat. They also have the added benefit of creating waves. Curl Formers come in different sizes to achieve a range of curl patterns.  They are available from Sallys.com.

Curl Formers
4. Braid out
When left in for the correct amount of time (i.e less than 8 weeks), removing braids can leave the hair stretched. However, if the braids have been in for too long, knots may form which can lead to breakage.  Experiment with different sized braids such as jumbo to achieve a different aesthetic.