Whew! Your hair session has finished and you have just spent hours detangling, washing, drying and stretching your hair! Now you are ready to make your protective style last for a week or two only to wake up in the morning and BAM, to your dismay find your hair in the exact same state you started with before detangling. For those ladies who know what I’m talking about this can be a bit frustrating and pointless at the same time especially all the work that can be entailed to achieve that stretch. Hair is beautiful, shrinkage and all but regarding myself the act of stretching is not concerning with the physical aesthetic but simply convenience. Stretching my strands makes my detangling process 10 times easier. Therefore maintaining stretching as long as possible is a necessity. So if stretching is a solution for more manageability or simply an aesthetic either way I will show you how to stretch it out and make it last.
- No Humectants: Humectants are mainly found in hair and skin products to promote moisture retention. These hygroscopic compounds contain a chemical structure that draws water from the atmosphere and binds it to various sites along the molecule. Don’t get me wrong humectants can definitely be a good addition to your regimen if you are experiencing dryness but for ladies who are trying to maintain healthy stretched strands you should stay clear because water naturally causes reversion of your curls. Despite the use of humectants, healthy hair can retain moisture.
- Bagging: To maintain stretching when you take a shower simply throwing a scarf on your hair will not do. Additional assistance of a shower cap or what I actually prefer, a plastic bag. The convenience of using a bag is not only for more room but the handles of the bag give you more leverage to tighten around your hairline for a more sealed in effect. The less moisture that seeps through your shower cap or bag the more likely you will be able to maintain most of your stretch.
- Cooler Temperatures: Now that summer is finally upon us try showering at cooler temperatures. Hot showers induce steam and that steam is (relative) humidity. Steam increases the air temperature so it can retain more moisture therefore by adding moisture you increase the humidity levels. More humidity equals reversion to natural state.
- Reduce Products: Mo Products Mo Problems. Loading your strands with too much products makes your hair more susceptible to shrinkage because your strands are smothered and not able to breath. Also over use of products on your scalp covers your scalp pores and like your strands this leaves no breathing room which produces more sweat.
- Scarf: Scarfing your hair at night preserves your stretched curls and preserving means less manipulation. Your body generates heat and heat produces moisture so the more you play with your hair the more you are at risk for reverse on.
- Updo Styles: Unless your hair is shorter than shoulder length then you are in luck but if not, wearing your hair down in contact with your skin will automatically make you hotter and the more your body responds to the heat the more you will sweat.
- Wrap it up: Since I wear my hair in updo twists 100% of the time I do not just throw my twists in a scarf all willy nilly. I would suggest for you to bun your hair at night underneath the scarf or large braids or twists then release in the morn. Some type of resistant protective style (not too tight) will help in maintaining your ideal stretch.
Again reversion is by no means a bad place for your hair to be after all how can your state of naturalness be bad but for those who are using stretching to combat tangling and manageability issues then these tips just might be for you.