Natural Hair: Grow Long Hair with Heat
The Tension Method
This article details how to grow and retain length using heat on natural hair. One way to do this is with a method called “The Tension Method”. It is a way to use heat carefully on type natural hair so that it doesn’t break off or get damaged. Many use blow-dryers with comb attachments, or they use a vent brush to pull through hair while drying it. But this doesn’t work for everybody. For some women, this can still be hard to do because of the tight curls. I’m quite sure many natural ladies do not want to rip their hair out while they blow-dry their hair. It’s important to show your hair tender love and care. Even when it comes to using heat, you want to keep this in mind. These steps have helped me retain length over the years and I would like to share with others how to achieve this. If you like blowouts but your hair can’t handle the common way to blow-dry your hair, the tension method is an excellent way to achieve great results. And you can still embrace your natural tresses in a stretched state like anyone else.
WASH YOUR HAIR
The first thing you want to do is wash your hair. Either in the shower or sink, this step is important. Your hair needs to reset and have a fresh start to achieve the best results. You can detangle your tresses with your fingers or tool of your choice (wide tooth comb, vent brush, etc.) It’s best to use oil on your hair to detangle for better slippage and to prevent breakage. Grapeseed oil and olive oil work well.
Next, proceed to wash your hair, saturating your hair with water first, then use your favorite shampoo. Cleanse your hair twice if you need to. If you use conditioner, let it sit however long you like or follow directions on the bottle. If you like a more natural detangler and conditioner, apple cider vinegar is a great natural remedy to loosen up the hair as well. Use one part of the cider to 2 parts water, pour into a spray bottle and shake it up. Spray all over the hair and let it sit between 10- 15 minutes. Then rinse it out thoroughly.
Use a towel or old t-shirt to dry off your hair. It’s best to wrap hair in a towel or t-shirt to soak up a lot of water before styling. This allows for faster blow-drying.
PREPARE YOUR HAIR
Now you can use any hair moisturizer, detangler, oil, leave-in conditioner of your choice. Hair grease works great as well just be careful not to use too much. This step will help keep moisture in and can help protect your hair against heat. For some women, like me, I don’t necessarily have to put anything in my hair before blow-drying but you have to do what is best for your hair.
Now you can section your hair. You can either section your hair into 4 sections or more. You will need to put a hair accessory on each part, like a clamp, hair claw, or hairbands, etc. The purpose of doing this will make it easier to blow dry your hair. This will also ensure every part of your hair is dry. The parts don’t have to be perfect. You can just grab each piece of hair and clamp it together.
Next, you can detangle each section with your fingers or a tool. Start from the ends of hair all the way up to the root. This will cause less breakage if any. Make sure to be gentle with your hair. If you feel you don’t need to detangle you can just skip this step.
TIME TO BLOW DRY
Here is the fun part. Make sure your hairdryer is plugged in and choose the setting you think is fit for you. If you are not used to blow-drying, you can start on low/medium and a warm heat setting. Some women do great with high setting and high heat without damage to their hair. It’s best to start low so you know what your hair can handle.
Starting with any section of hair, grab the ends with one hand. With the other hand, grab the blow dryer and turn it on. Point/aim the dryer towards your hair. Try to get it close to the roots of your hair. As you dry, move the blow dryer from roots to ends of hair. Keep holding the ends of hair with a firm grip to keep the tension. The tension will help smooth out the hair. Repeat drying the section from root to end until you are satisfied with the results. When you are finished, your hair should be stretched and fully dry. You may have some definition of a curl pattern. If you like the definition you can leave it. If not, you can also use a wide-tooth comb to comb it out a little bit more.
Continue to blow dry each section. Depending on how thick and long your hair is, this can take between 15 min to 45 min. It just depends on your hair.
Finally, it’s time to style your big, beautiful hair! You can choose to leave it how it is and wear it out. Or you can set your hair for styles like braid outs, twist outs, roller sets, etc. Whatever you desire, you can now do with your new, stretched, natural hairdo.
This tension blowout can last anywhere from a week to a month with the right hair care. Basically, however long you decide not to wash it or get it wet, it will stay stretched. This method is great for retaining hair length when the natural curl pattern is stretched out to take in a lot more moisture.
If you decide to use this method periodically, eventually you will see results of length retention. It is a good low maintenance method that allows your hair to rest in between wash days. It also gives you more versatile hairstyles. This method is another option for natural hair for people who don’t mind using heat on their tresses. With the right tools and products, your hair can still flourish and have excellent hair growth.
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