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How to STretch Natural Hair After Washing

You want to know how to stretch natural hair after washing?

It feels good to stretch out your hair and show your length, right?

Well, the techniques that you will learn about today are proven to help you easily show off all the hard work and...

...the growth you've gotten by wearing your protective braidstyles, eating right and using your botanical hair growth treatments during your natural hair regimen.

Am I assuming too much of you??? Lol! Anywhoo...

It's time to show what you got!


And even if you don't own any of the best hair stretching tools like high-quality blow dryers and professional silk press natural hair flat irons. Some of these methods don't require heat tools...

Still though:

If you stretch your kinky hair soon after washing...

...you'll want to make sure that it is atleast partially dried because that minimizes the chance of damaging it through the unavoidable manipulation that will occur.


If you try to straighten your hair while it's too damp that will cause unnecessary stress on your strands and can easily cause breakage.

So get ready to learn girly! 

Because today's tutorial will show you a bunch of ideas about how to stretch natural hair after washing THE RIGHT WAY!

African Threading
- How To Stretch Natural Hair After Washing

Some naturals avoid heat like the plague, even the best blow dryers for kinky hair.

Although it's not necessary to avoid ALL heat to avoid hair breakage, I got a treat for you if you feel that way.

African threading is a great way to stretch naturally textured hair after washing without using heat. This sub-Saharan African hair technique has been used for centuries to create unique protective styles to fight off shrinkage and to lift in kinky hair.

The key to completing this natural hair stretching process after washing without getting your hair tangled is to use the proper kind of thread.

Never use normal sewing thread as it is prone to damaging hair.

Get yourself some nylon weaving thread or spools that are made specifically for threading.

You can also use yarn, but...

...it's not the best choice because yarn can be more drying and you will need to add more moisture to your natural hair. 


Don’t knot the string at the ends of your hair or you’ll end up having to cut your hair to get the knots out.

Check out this African threading tutorial from From A to 4Z...

[See Article: What's The Meaning of "Coarse Hair"]

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Heatless Stretch using African Threading | 4C Natural Hair  [VIDEO]

Double Pineapple
- How To Stretch Natural Hair After Washing

Here's a way that stretches your curls but doesn't cause the back to lose too much definition, even on coarse hair.  

This also works if you have shorter layers of natural hair in the back or shorter hair overall. 

This natural hair stretching method requires you to pool your hair into two pineapples.  you can secure them with satin scrunchies and instead of just pulling all your hair into the sections at once, You should pull one small section at a time.  

Check out this tutorial from ShekinahShazaam...

How to Stretch Natural Hair After Washing
w/ The Double Pineapple Method   [VIDEO]

Bantu Knots
- How To Stretch Natural Hair After Washing

One really chic way to stretch out natural hair after washing is to install Bantu knots.

It's simple.

You just two-strand twist a section of hair and then take that same twist and wrap it around itself.

You can do this after washing because it works on wet or dry hair.

The Bantu knot process stretches the hair while creating beautiful curls and massive ringlets.

You can control the amount of curls you get and even the size of them by controlling the size of the hair sections you use for each Bantu knot.

PRO TIP:  Installing Bantu knots on freshly washed and air-dried hair helps your hair stretch farther. You just need a little bit of moisture and a good thick butter to make this happen. TGIN has some great hair butters to consider.

Learn more in this article I wrote...

Leave the Bantu knots in during the day and then remove them (only the knots, not the twists) just before going to bed so that you can sleep more comfortably. 

And hey:

If you want to leave them in, that's fine too.

The cool thing about Bantu knots is...

...you can either wear them "out and about" as a super-cute, envogue style or take them down and style as you see fit.

See this tutorial from NaturalKachi on the Bantu Knot Stretch Method...

How I Stretch My Hair Using Bantu Knots
- Beginner Friendly [VIDEO]

Braid Out
- How To Stretch Natural Hair After Washing

Doing a braidout should be an obvious answer as to how to stretch natural hair after washing.

But surprisingly, many naturals don't think of braidouts as a stretching method..

To achieve a successful braidout and a full heatless stretch, you need to know how to braid natural hair properly.

If not:

Your natural hair will be stretched, but it won't come out very defined.

You'll also need a good curl defining cream.

Once your hair has been braided properly make sure that you bobby pin your braids across your head. Check out the Braidout routine from Ahsante the Artist...

PRO TIP: Pinning your hair to your head with bobby pins is a critical step because it prevents your hair from shrinking down while it's drying.

How I Stretch My 4C Natural Hair After Wash Day - Braid Out Routine [VIDEO]

Flat Twist Out
- How To Stretch Natural Hair After Washing

If you know how to cornrow natural hair, then stretching out your hair with a flat twist will be a breeze.

The flat twist-out consists of parting your natural hair into cornrowed sections but then flat twisting your hair and allowing the twists to set before unraveling them for your desired style..

This is a great way to stretch natural hair after washing.


This method avoids frizziness.

The main concept of the flat twist for stretching hair is to have it laying flat against your head and doing that gives you definition down to the roots. 

Check out the tutorial from Quijuandas below...


High Bunning
- How To Stretch Natural Hair After Washing

High bunning is an excellent way to stretch your natural hair after washing. 

You can do a bun on either old wash-n-go hair, or freshly washed out of the shower hair.

High bunning makes sure that your roots are sufficiently stretched.

Just remember:

If you do a high bun right after washing, let your hair partially dry out first...

...because a high bun can hold a lot of dampness if your hair is too wet.

Take a peep at the high bun to stretch natural hair vid by Pure Estrogen below....

PRO TIP: You can boost the sleekness of your high bun with a dab of Passion Fruit Curl Control Paste on your edges or a type-4 edge control if you have coarse hair..

How To: Super High Puff/Bun on Stretched 4c Natural Hair [VIDEO]

Roller Sets With Magnetic Rollers
- How To Stretch Natural Hair After Washing

Roller sets using magnetic rollers have some definite advantages over twisting when it comes to stretching your natural hair and then being able to and air-dry it.  


Roller sets take less time to air dry, are easy to do, and stretch your hair far better than braids or twist stretching techniques. 

So look:

If you're a person who needs to save time, I think you'll may like to make this a part of your permanent hair care routine.

Also, here’s a really cute high bun Cuban twist from Toia Barry 

Below you'll find a great roller set with magnetic rollers tutorial video by DiscoveringNatural...

Stretching Natural Hair with Magnetic Rollers [VIDEO]

Jumbo Braiding
- How To Stretch Natural Hair After Washing

Using a jumbo braid is one of 3 natural hair stretching methods that YouTuber SummyrTyme employs in order to stretch and elongate her natural curls.

She pulls all of her hair to the front of her head, only braiding the root.

She then secures the loose ends with a scrunchie and sleeps in the braid overnight for maximum stretching effect.

Check out her video below to get the details on how to do the jumbo braid, plus two other easy ways to stretch natural hair after washing.

3 Easy Stretching Methods (NO HEAT!)
Natural Hair [VIDEO]

Using a Straightening Brush
- How To Stretch Natural Hair After Washing


This is sometimes seen as a more controversial method of stretching natural hair. but it works amazingly well.

Straightening brushes are electric brushes that have heated ceramic bristles that work to stretching your natural hair after washing.

As you brush your hair with a straightening brush the heat from your device will cause your kinks and curls to loosen up and stretch out.

So if you're looking for a straighter style after you stretch your hair then this may be a good option for you to use.

Some straightening brush models give you the option of choosing the amount of heat you want to apply.

If you have type 4C hair and you do not like to use too much heat on your hair, then a straightening brush might not be good for your hair because you will have to use too much heat to fully straighten. 

Best Products To Use When Stretching Natural Hair

Using a high-quality stretching cream is always helpful when you want to define your look, have more shine and bounce to your hair after your braid outs and twist outs.

Even if you're not doing the twist out, the right stretching cream will help you loosen up tight Kinks and curls.

And this happens no matter which natural hair stretching method you decide to use.

One of the Holy Grail products for stretching natural hair has to be Kinky Curly Curling Custard.

Natural hair honeys from around the world love this delicious smelling, hair-softening product as a stretching cream.


And there are other options as well, whatever you choose to buy, make sure that your natural hair stretching cream is non-flaking, non-greasy, and lightweight.

And because everyone's hair is different:

Make sure that the stretching cream you get is appropriate for your porosity level and hair texture.

The best way to use stretching cream for natural hair after a wash is to just apply a small amount while you're detangling your hair or after your hair is detangled, apply your favorite growth oils, and use a cream to lock in the moisture.

After that, you can choose the natural hair stretching method of your choice and proceed with your routine.

If you choose wisely your natural hair will turn out soft, moisturized, and poppin” like Orville Redenbacher.

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Melissa Lee is a Contributing Editor to NHP and a former owner of the BlackhairOMG website. She formed 4C Trichology Growth Services, LLC., a US based hair care consultation service. She has also contributed as a writer and consultant for various hair and beauty websites. Melissa can be followed on Twitter here.

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