Should I Stretch My 4C Hair?
By Tiffani Douglas
No doubt the shrinkage is real if you have 4C hair type! One of the biggest misconceptions about kinky, curly hair is that it doesn’t grow long. That’s totally FALSE! Type 4 hair can shrink anywhere from 30 percent to 75 percent, with 4C hair type having the most shrinkage. The good news? There are some techniques to help you get your length-game up.
Benefits of Stretching 4C Hair Type
Though you may see curly hair grow big before it grows long, underneath all those twists, turns and coils is a lot of length, and stretching your hair helps you attain those long, beautiful curls.
Achieved in various ways, stretching is a technique in which you elongate or stretch your curls in order to eliminate shrinkage without heat styling. Your hair naturally shrinks and appears shorter as it dries.
In fact, hair that shrinks is a sign that your hair is healthy. But, besides adding length to your kinks, stretched styles have other benefits too.
- Stretching helps to limit or remove tangles and knots.
- Stretching allows the product to penetrate the hair cuticle more effectively, thus reducing the extreme dryness often associated with 4C hair type.
Here are four techniques for elongating 4C curls.
Threading. African threading is a growing trend for natural hair girls, as it’s an alternative to blow-drying or flat ironing. Threading is achieved by wrapping thread around the hair for the purpose of stretching or straightening natural hair. The thread is applied just below the roots and is wrapped around a section of hair to the ends. When removed, hair appears straighter with little or no curl depending on your texture.
Twist outs & braid outs. If you want to keep the textured look and stretch your curls, a twist out or braid out is a great way to do both. Even after your style has aged, stretched styles can still be worked into other cute hairstyles. The Cashmere+Caviar Hair Gelle is ideal for twist or braid outs.
Roller sets. Roller sets are the “it” choice for naturally curly girls who want to give their kinks a stretch. Ensuring the hair is free of tangles, roll the hair tightly in small sections on large rollers. Allow it to air dry completely and wrap in a silk or satin scarf overnight.
Bunning or high ponytail. Try the high ponytail or bunning technique for straighter, more elongated curls. Twist your hair back into a bun, then secure it with a silk scarf. Add this method to braid outs or twist outs to further elongate your hair, creating as many buns as you want. Try using the Cashmere+Caviar Hair Silk for additional moisture.
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