Helpful Do’s and Don’ts to Slay Your 4c Hair Stretching
Before we dive in let’s just clear up exactly what hair stretching is by clarifying what it is not...
Hair stretching for 4c hair is NOT meant to completely straighten.
Hair stretching for 4c hair is NOT going to change the curl pattern permanently.
Hair stretching your 4c hair is NOT the only way to achieve growth.
So what exactly is hair stretching for?
Hair stretching comes from an ancient African tradition that uses protective stylings to naturally lengthen the curl. While it does promote length retention, it most importantly allows for easier detangling and management, particularly for tightly coiled 4C hair.
Stretching usually falls into two categories: stretching with heat and without heat. While we’re not trying to tell you how to live your life, JOS Founder and master stylist, Johanne Joseph, does recommend using minimal heat.
While every once in a while is perfectly fine, in the long run compounded heat damage is the hardest for your kinks and coils to bounce back from…
Neither method is right or wrong, here are a few Do’s and Don'ts for both ways.
Stretching Natural Hair With No Heat
DO: Stretching your 4c natural hair should always begin with a clean base that is properly moisturized.
DO: Use the LCO Method to make sure that the oils are sealed before styling, even if it is a low manipulation style.
DO: Leave your hair wet or damp for most of these stretching methods. Completely dry is usually more brittle and susceptible to breakage.
DON’T: Keep these styles in for more than 2 weeks. While it is almost impossible to overstretch a curl as water will automatically return the hair to its natural state, you can overstress the hair cuticles which leaves weak hair.
Stretching Natural Hair With Heat
DO: Deep condition and add a protein treatment to hair before applying heat.
DO: Air dry your hair so that it is not wet. A great way to pre-stretch the hair is after your wash regimen divide hair into sections, braid, and leave hair wrapped overnight.
DON’T: Overheat! The goal is to stretch the hair not straighten.
DON’T: When flat ironing your natural hair don’t go over each section more than once.
DON’T: Use heat to stretch hair that is already damaged.
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