Natural Hair

6 Heat Free Ways to Stretch Your Curls

Stretched hair means less tangles, more manageability, and, of course, more hairstyling options.

Stretching is any method used to minimize shrinkage and elongate curly hair. However, over using heat to stretch your hair can lead to damaged and dryness. But fear not! There are plenty of alternative methods to stretch your curls that can leave you hair healthy, tangle-free, and ready to style. Looking for some new ideas on how to stretch your hair and keep it happy and healthy? Here are 6 heat-free ways to stretch any curl pattern.

by: Ariane Williams of

1. Braids

Yes, braids are more time-consuming than twists, but if you have kinky, high shrinkage hair, braids can also elongate your strands more than any other method of stretching. While braiding is a little bit more work, the results will be well worth it. Plus, in addition to being great for stretching, braids are a great protective style!



2. Twists paired with hair clips

If you don’t feel like braiding and decide to go along with twists, give them more stretch by adding hair clips to your roots and ends. The extra weight of the clips will add tension to the roots and curls, giving them more stretch.

If you don’t have high-shrinkage hair, adding clips may not be necessary and you can twist your hair without them!


Photo: VeePeeJay, 4C Hair Chick Vlogger

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3. Two-strand flat twists or cornrows

Two-strand flat twists and cornrows can be timely but, often produce great results! Along with stretching your hair, these methods can give you amazing curl definition. Check out why we love the Two-Strand Twist!


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4. Pineappling

The Pineappling method is commonly thought of as the best, because its the absolute easiest way to stretch your hair. Simply moisturize your hair,  then place your hair into one or two high ponytails. Then, wrap your hair with a satin scarf or bonnet before going to bed.


5. Banding

With banding, your stretching results will be phenomenal. Plus, this method works on all kinky coily hair types. Another added benefit: when you band your hair, it looks like you’ve gotten a fresh blow dry!

To do the banding method:

  1. divide your hair into sections.
  2. Gently wrap the ponytail holders around each section of hair from root to tip.
  3. Allow your hair to completely dry overnight before removing.
  4. wrap your hair with a satin scarf or bonnet.

You can use ouchless ponytail holders or hair weaving thread to band too.



To learn more about healthy natural hair care, check out Kimberly’s eBook “Curly Halo. You will build a healthy hair and life regimen to prevent breakage and yield growth.

6. Roller, Perm Rod, and Flexi Rod Sets

This method doubles as both styling and a stretching technique! Whether you use perm rods, rollers, or flexi rods you will get some stretch. Flexi rods will give you the most elongation because they are longer than perm rods or rollers.

You can find even more versatile hairstyles here!

There are more than just a few ways that you can stretch your curls without relying on heat. The best way to find out which method is for you is through experimentation. See what works best for your hair type and your schedule!

ABOUT THE WRITER: Ariane Williams has been wearing her hair natural for years. As owner of, she’s committed to helping other women on their natural hair care journey with articles and tips on how to take care of kinky, curly, and coily hair.

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