Thursday, September 25, 2014

As Seen on Youtube: No-Heat Way to Stretch Natural Hair

How many times have you spent hours clicking through a million YouTube beauty/fashion videos?  With topics on how to create the perfect eyebrow, how to get a defined bantu knot-out, how to apply makeup for a natural look, or ten ways to tie a headscarf (there's more than one?).  So many out there, some are alright and others are just inspiring.  Sometimes I think "inspiring" has two meanings.  One is "Oh, cool!  I could do that!"  And the other is "Amazing...but definitely beyond my current capabilities. Maybe one day."  But you can't get to "one day" until you start today...

I actually learned how to flat-twist from YouTube a year ago (still not very well or neatly, but at least...) so I decided to try out more of the cool things I see in videos.  First up, how to stretch my hair without heat.  I don't use a blow dryer, just let it air dry into a semi-shrunken state.  Flat twist-outs don't really stretch it so much and I was perplexed as to how so many natural haired women started tutorials with stretched hair.  Seek and thou shalt find.  Last Sunday night after washing it I tried.  I blended techniques from two videos:

TheChicNatural used hair ties at the base of each section and folded the thread (6x the length of the section) in half with the loop end at the top.  I followed those techniques.  Nadine of GLYC actually did the threading process twice (two nights), using coconut oil on the second round.  I wasn't about to do this twice (how would I go to class the next day?) but I decided to use coconut oil in my first and only round.  Also, once she completed a side she threaded them together so I tried to do that too. 

What I Used: spray bottle with water only // SheaMoisture Restorative Conditioner // Trader Joe's (non-deodorized) Coconut Oil // (12) hair ties // rat tail comb and wide-toothed comb // duck-bill hair clips // hair weave thread // scissors

this took me FOREVER
In the morning I unraveled everything to find my hair sufficiently stretched.  Success!  It did feel a little dry though (despite using the coconut oil).  So it was stretched.  "Now what?" I thought.  I had not made any plans beyond taking down the 12 threaded sections.  I wouldn't have had time anyway.  Instead, I spent five to ten minutes trying to manipulate it in some cute way but just ended up tying it in a low ponytail with two black barrettes on the side.  Ugh!  

That Monday night I put in six ugly flat-twists (because I think the stretched hair was supposed to make it easier to style in twists or what have you).  Two days later, its back to its unstretched state.  So much for that.

I don't know if I'll do it again but it was cool to try, I guess.  Hmmm...maybe I should have taken a photo in my hair's post-wash and conditioned super-shrunken state.  Oh well.  Anyway, check out TheChicNatural and GirlsLoveYourCurls channels on YouTube.  They both have a lot of great stuff.

Happy Thursday! 

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