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January 18, 2018 3 min read

By Toia Barry

Whether you hate shrinkage with all your might or you just want to show off more of your length, you may get the itch to stretch out your kinks at some point in your journey. Of course, using a blow dryer or flat iron is probably the most convenient way to get it done. But if you're looking to maximize the health of your strands, then here are a few ways you can stretch your natural hair without using direct heat. Read on for more of our hair stretching tips.

3 ways to stretch hair without heat


While a flat iron or blow dryer may help add some hair length to your curls, it can lead to damaged hair if done on a regular basis. If you are looking to learn how to stretch natural hair without damaging your curls, braiding is a great place to start. If you know how to do a simple plait or braid, then this is likely the simplest technique for stretching natural hair, since no tools or accessories are needed. Just install medium- to large-sized braids across your entire head, and you're done. For a really good stretch, the fewer number of braids you can manage according to your length, the better.

After cleansing and conditioning your hair, apply a moisturizer that will help hydrate and smooth the hair down as it stretches, like Mielle's Avocado Moisturizing Hair Milk. For best results, be sure to hold the hair taut, but not so tight that you risk causing damage to your strands or scalp. Keeping your natural hair moisturized and hydrated will help maintain hair health and length.


If your braiding skills are limited, then you can try banding. Banding not only helps with stretching, but it also prevents hair shrinkage and breakage. With this heatless stretching method, all you need are hair bands or ponytail holders. After moisturizing, place sections of your hair into ponytails, then continue to place the bands along the length of your hair to promote stretching. The bands hold your hair in the stretched position as it dries to elongate the hair. To ensure that you don't cause hair damage, shrinkage, or breakage in the process, use bands that do not have metal pieces. Also, to help prevent snagging on the strands, try applying something like our Mongongo Oil Pomade-to-Oil Treatment to create a nice protective barrier. This treatment will also give hair shine and prevent frizz.


In order to maintain healthy hair, consider using your flat iron, hair dryer, and other damaging hair stretching tools less. In fact, a simple hairstyle can actually be a great hair stretching technique as well. Yes, stretching your hair without heat can be as simple as pulling your hair back into a bun! Again, this protective style is most effective when your hair is still a bit damp. If your hair is shorter, then try two or more buns.

To take it an extra step, you can braid your hair while damp, leave it overnight, and then put your hair in a bun afterward.

The Bottom Line

When it comes to hair stretching, be sure not to damage the hair shaft in a hairstyle that does more harm than good. In order to prevent hair breakage and shrinkage, consider these simple hair styling tips from the Mielle team. In addition, use the help of natural hair products for best results. When you're looking to wear styles that call for stretched hair, we hope these heat-free methods will come in handy!

What methods do you use to stretch YOUR hair?

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