Ah, the quest for lessening natural hair shrinkage! It seems like every week I see a new product that claims to elongate, stretch or loosen curls for natural hair. At first, I jumped on the bandwagon with every one that came out. The only thing I got from any of the products I ran out to buy was a dwindling bank account and the same shrunken hair I had before using anything. I’ve come to terms with the fact that there is likely no miracle product out there that will make your curls longer. There are, however, techniques that you can master to achieve curl elongation. Today, I’d like to discuss my favorite one: blow drying those roots!
Now, if you are the type of curly girl who shys away from blow dryers, ALWAYS, then this post is not for you. I used to be that way until I found the benefits of using a blow dryer here and there. Blow-drying is not something that should be done daily or with extreme heat, but it’s not THE DEVIL either. The method I’m referring to today only calls for blow-drying once every few days, and you can do it with low heat. So you get great results with minimal damage. Here are the steps:
1) Wash and condition your hair, finishing up with a good water+vinegar rinse
2) Get 4 ouchless hair bands and partition your hair into 4 sections (two in the front and two in the back.
3) Apply an oil (preferably a heat protectant oil like grape seed oil), then your leave in, then a styler, then your favorite gel, raking each product through, one at a time.
4) Put the hair in the section back into the ouchless hair band and repeat the steps above on each section.
5) Once you’ve raked all products through and placed all your hair back into the bands. Carefully slide the bands down to the middle of each section. Place your fingers gently around your hair and lightly pull, just enough to stretch the curls and create some tension.
6) Get your diffuser, set it on low and blow dry directly at your roots for 2 to 3 minutes on each section. Move the dryer around. Do on top underneath and on each side of the hair section.
7) Remove the bands from each of the 4 sections and give your hair a good shake! From here, you can either let it air dry the rest of the way (shaking it periodically, so the curls don’t set sticking together) or give your hair another two minutes of blow-drying while holding your head upside down. Try both ways to see which you like better.
8) Voila!! You’re roots are stretched, giving you elongated curls!
I’ve been doing this for the last three months, and I absolutely love it! I haven’t noticed any significant changes to my hair thus far. I mean, I haven’t seen any more knots or dryness than what’s usual for my hair. I suggest you give it a try at least once to see if it works for you. If you’re worried about damaging your hair, save it for special occasions when you really want to show off some length. I hope this method helps you!