Monday, January 30, 2012

Shrinkage & Stretching (REVIEW!!!! = various stretching methods)

Gaah! January's already almost over? Just 1 day to go till February? Wow!

Anyways, hey everyone!
Today (well, yesterday), I decided to talk to you guys about stretching, stretching your hair/curls (not the err...exercise stretching thingy). Okay! so,  so far, I've tried stretching my hair by doing two strand twists (and three-strand twists), African threading (aka Ghana Plaits), basic braids (box braids), bantu knots, scarf&ponytail holder and setting rollers (there's another name for those, but I can seem to remember it right now.

My hair shrinks like A LOT! There have been some days that I go out rocking a beautiful afro, but by the next few hours, my hair's a frizzy mess or should I just say a shrunken frizzy mess. Someone once asked me, "did you cut your hair?" and I was like, "no." The same person then asked, "then why does it look way shorter," and I was like, "because it shrunk." I then held part of my hair and pulled it downwards to show it's actual length and that I didn't cut it and the person I was talking to was like, "oh, wow!" Some people just kept staring at my hair for a while after that. The person I was talking to has natural curls too, but a different curl type/pattern, plus, she doesn't have to deal with so much shrinkage (it's hard to notice if she even gets shrinkage). Anyways, so this led me to start trying to stretch out my curls. Here's a brief review on the following methods I tried:

  • Two-strand (and 3 strand) twists: I did this while my hair was damp (you can find vids on how to two-strand twist and three-strand twist on YouTube). When it was dry and I had to leave the house, I took the twists down. I have to say, I liked the twist-out look it gave, but like when it comes to stretching and shrinkage, after a couple of hours, my hair shrunk. On a different day, I was bored so I decided to two-strand twist my hair. I didn't wet my hair before doing this because I felt kind of lazy and well, I wasn't planning on combing my hair (it was already detangled). When I needed to take out the twists, I took them out (obviously) and like it gave me that twist out look too, and my hair did seem a bit more stretched than when I did the twists with damp hair. Unfortunately, after a few hours, my hair shrunk (but not so much). When it comes to stretching my hair, I don't think twists would be my go-to method. They are good, but it takes quite some time for me to two-strand twist my whole hair.
  • African Threading (aka Ghana Plaits): I have tried African Threading my hair with both wool and weave thread (not at the same time!). You can find vids on how to African Thread hair on YouTube (I recommend checking out the one on I have to say that this is one of my go-to styles when it comes to stretching my hair. I love the soft waves/look it gives my hair, I like how my hair feels when I take them out, there are various ways to African thread and like some times, people think I have extensions in or I have some sort of weave when I do certain forms of African threading (with weave thread). When I African Thread my hair, it stays stretched way longer than when I two-strand twist my hair. The last time I African threaded my hair, I had it like that for a week before I took it out and I did it on damp (almost dry though, but still damp) hair.
  • Basic Braids (box braids): I love the braid out look when I take basic/box braids down :) I always braid my hair wet and then let it air dry/dry naturally. Basic braids have helped stretch my curls and kinks each time I've done them, but, well, after some time (hours), my hair shrinks. I must say, I think basic braiding stretches my hair to about the same length two-strand twists do or sometimes, it stretched my hair more than twists. You can find vids on how to basic braid on YouTube (check out the one on
  • Bantu Knots: I'm not a huge fan of bantu knots and bantu knot outs, but I can do them. Bantu knots do stretch my hair, but my hair still shrinks after some time. At some point, bantu knots gave me sort of a curled-relaxed hair look. I didn't really like it, but it wasn't so bad. I have tried a combination of two-strand twists and bantu knots (twisted my hair then bantu knotted that twisted hair). The -out look it gave looked kinda nice, but it's not a look that'll be like my go-to style. Also, bantu knots are not my go-to method for stretching my hair, but it works wonders for some people.
  • Scarf&Ponytail Holder: First, I'll explain how this is done. You hold your hair up with a ponytail holder while still damp (or wet, it's your choice) and if you get worried about your frontal hair/frontal edges, you leave out a bit of the hair there and flat twist of flat braid it. Next, you tie a scarf over the hair that's held up my the ponytail holder (make sure you don't get the scarf over the flat twist/braid). Do whatever you need to do till you need to take this down (your hair has to be fully dry when taking it down, by the way). This method was my go-to style at some point last year. I don't do it anymore because right now, I'm not a fan of holding my hair up (, I want to grow out my hair a bit more before I hold it up like that again.
  • Setting Rollers: Tried this method out yesterday when my mum found her rollers from the 90s :) (oh! and I soaked, washed and so on, the rollers before I used them on my hair because they hadn't been used in about a decade). So, how I did it: I got random bits of my hair and got some of my moisturising conditioner mix (made up of John Frieda Friss-Ease: Curl Activating Daily Conditioner, some rosemary oil, some canola oil, a bit of my pH balanced leave in condition mix and a tad bit of water. I eyeballed all the ingredients. I love how this makes my hair feel! :) ). So, after I got the conditioner mix onto my hair, I finger combed a bit then slid a Denman Brush through (to make sure I had no tangles) then I hand stretched my hair (pulling) and wrapped the ends round the roller then I rolled it up holding my hair so it's stretched then pinned it up. I did this to every bit of hair on my head and I had my hair like that for...hours (I was moving house so, I just tied a scarf over it while shuffling between houses and moving). When I took the rollers down, my hair felt so good (from my mix :)), smelt so good (mix too!), it had that professional salon-set hair look that can be combed out into a bob or something, but what I was looking for was what I found - stretched hair! This is a go-to method for stretching my hair now! :)
Okay! so, I'm planning on trying out 'banding' as a new method for stretching my hair. I believe it might work, but well, let's wait and see! :)

Thanks for reading! :)

My go-to stretching methods: African threading and, setting rollers.

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