The Best Heat-Free Stretching Technique for 4C Hair

The Ultimate Heat-Free Hair Technique for 4C Hair

heat free hair tips

I have a dedicated strategy to stretching my 4C hair that I think will work. I am happy to share it today. Give it a go and let me know how you get on. It works best with 4C hair being the kinkiest and thickest of all Afro textured hair but you can also try it on other black hair types if you want.

Tools Needed

  • Wide tooth comb
  • Heat protectant serum
  • Scarf
  • Kirby grips/Bobby pins

How to stretch your 4C hair without using heat or extensions

Step 1: Start at the back of your head and straight braiding mid-size chunky braids

I prefer braids to twists because braids stretch your hair better when it is done heat free. The first thing you should do is part the hair at the back of your head. The bigger your braids, the less stretched your 4C hair will be. After you have parted the back of your head, apply heat protectant serum liberally. I know you are wondering why you should use heat protectants if you aren’t blow drying your hair.

These serums actually help to soften 4C hair in order to get the hair ready for stretching. I haven’t looked back since – apply a few drops of the serum on the sections of your hair that you are going to braid. Remember, your braids don’t need to be perfect since you are doing this for heat-free stretching, not to impress anyone.

I prefer doing chunky ‘braids’ or in my country we used to call them mabutu. Braid them all the way to the end without allowing strands at the end to remain open.

Step 2: Connect the braids together

If you have managed to braid a few sections in the back, middle and front, you should be braiding your sections together. For example, if you have 6 braided sections in the back, take 3 of them and braid them together so they are connected in ‘one’ big braided section. Repeat this across your head until you are finished. I’ve noticed this helps to straight 4C hair because it keeps the braids more intact since you don’t have hair extensions to fall back on.

Step 3: Use hair Kirby grips or bobby pins to pin down the sections

This is a tip that I love for my hair and I’ve found that it works well with your hair section. Take a Kirby grip/bobby pin or 2 and pin your braided sections down with it so that your braided sections lie down flat. You can take one bobby pin and ‘flatten’ 2 braided sections at one time for example. You won’t tear or break your hair because the pin is going to be opened and essentially it will clamp down your braided hair sections without entering inside the braid itself if that makes sense.

Step 4: Cover your hair with an African headwrap

I love African print headwraps to cover this heat-free 4C hairstyle. You could do this on Friday night for example and then cover your hair with a headwrap when you are leaving the house on the weekend. Not only will you look gorgeous with an African headwrap, your hair will be stretched over 2-3 days thanks to the technique, the heat protectant serum and the bobby pins that clamp down your braided sections.

When you unravel your braided sections, you should notice that your hair is stretched thanks to the technique. The longer you do this technique for such as 2-3 days, the better the technique is. I love it because it is heat-free, it doesn’t cost any extra money to do and it actually helps to elongate and lengthen 4C hair. If you are worried about growth, this is a good technique to see hair growth for 4C hair.

How does this technique work for you? Is it something you like the sound of or is it too complex?


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