It is easy to forget my hair is growing. Every time I wash my hair I see and feel it getting longer (so much work on wash day) but when it dries I’m left with the same length I’ve had for what seems like years. It shrinks all the way up and I’m tired of the shrunken look.
My hair will stretch on its own after a few days of me wearing it out, banding it, or pineappling it at night, but never stretches fully to its true length. I got sick of it one day and desired to straighten my hair, but I remembered I had tools to combat shrinkage. I tried one of my usual stretching methods, banding. I banded my hair in small sections. There was only minimal stretching and I was not pleased.
Then I decided “why not stretch out my hair a little with the blow dryer?”
But was this cheating?
Was I being deceitful about the length of my hair and even worse using heat to do it? (just kidding about the heat part).
I’ve stretched with heat here and there but eventually, but I got to a point where I didn’t mind my shrinkage anymore and I didn’t want to make a habit of using heat on my hair too often for a not “good enough” reason.
I did a poll on Instagram and 83% of voters said stretching with heat was NOT cheating.
I stretched my hair lightly with my yellow bird hair dryer that night- (I mistakenly stretched the length of my hair at first. Then I correctly focused heat on my roots). I did not use any heat protectant and did not stay long on each section.
I saw the difference, my hair was now touching my shoulders, it was big and fluffy like I wanted it to be! I was happy with it for the day, feeling like I solved some sort of problem with this easy fix.
By the time I got home my hair was back to square one.
The slightest humidity in the air shrunk my hair back to its original-ish length. My hair was still big but it didn’t even look like I had stretched it. It lasted less than 24 hours.
Stretching your hair with heat is not cheating. Natural hair is versatile and the ways we manipulate it with heat is just one of the few ways we can display it’s versatility. However, for a regular twistout it didn’t make as much of a difference as I thought it would. Going the extra mile to bust out the hair dryer is not worth the small change I saw. I’ll keep this trick readily available whenever shrinkage is on my nerves but I think after wash day I’ll stick to whatever length I get and I won’t get upset.