4 Ways to Stretch High Shrinkage Type 4 Hair

Shrinkage isn’t all bad. Sometimes you just want to stretch your hair a bit without heat.

For some of us braiding or twisting our hair after washes simply does not work to stretch hair. So, lets take a look into what actually does produce a nice stretched out look on high shrinkage (Type 4) hair. Don’t worry, you don’t have to resort to using the blow dryer if you don’t want to to get the stretched out, natural hair, you want.

But first here’s 15 Dope, Amazingly Awesome Pictures of  Shrinkage

Style Your Hair When it is Dry and Not Wet

Instead of working on wet hair, style your hair after it has dried. This way your hair doesn’t shrink back up after you have worked so hard to detangle and style it.

Use the Right Product

There are products that we can use that will help to expand our hair rather than shrink it up. I find that buttery products give me the most stretch. I personally love Shea Moisture Deep Treatment Masque and Miss Jessie’s Baby Buttercreme on my high shrinkage hair. Both products give my hair moisture and the stretch that I need.

Pineapple it


Yes, Pinappling DOES Work on Type 4 Hair, even 4c. Pineappling by far, for me at least, just works better to stretch my hair without heat.  Pineappling is far easier than braiding or twisting my whole head. By the time my hair air dries I still may need to do some minimal stretching but get tons more length in my hair than if I were to try to set my hair in twists while it’s still wet. You can pineapple your hair overnight or sometimes I even just pineapple my hair until it has finished air drying during the day and then I style it.

4c afro puff

Me with one high ponytail on wash day. At night I can then set with twists or braids for a more stretched out look.

Style or Set it

When your high shrinkage hair has finished air drying you can now set your hair for a twist out, two strand twists, or any style that you would like. You will find that your hair will already be way more stretched out than if you were to style your hair while it is wet.
Not a fan of the shrunken look that you get with wet styling? Then the time invested to stretch your hair until it is dry  is well worth it. Your hair will also absorb your moisturizers better, because if you struggle with this issue, like I do, you know that when you spend a lot of time moisturizing your hair in its wet state your hair just sucks that moisture all up by the time it has air dried. When you don’t have the time you can always blow dry your hair, but do so sparingly. I personally try to limit my heat usage to avoid damage.

What do you prefer? Wet styling your hair or styling it after it has air dried?


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