I wrote this post weeks ago, but I thought it may not be useful until I saw my sister struggling with her hair. She wanted to show off her length but every time she released a twist or braid out, it shrunk up super fast.
A big part of having natural hair means you have to accept the fact that, your hair is curly and it will never show your real length unless you take measures to make it do so.
Now I get asked often, ‘how do you get your hair to look like that?’ (See picture above). Or ‘how do I make my hair stay stretched?’
 
Let me quickly add that, using heat is always an option but since I hardly use it, it will not be discussed in this post. 
 
I use various methods to stretch my hair, but my top three are braids, buns, and African threading. Each of them gives my hair different length and volume results so I choose either depending on the look I’m going for.
Bun-results How To: 'Temporarily' Retain Stretched Natural hair
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img_2174-768x1024 How To: 'Temporarily' Retain Stretched Natural hair
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Stretched Natural Hair with African Threading

Braid-out-Results1 How To: 'Temporarily' Retain Stretched Natural hair
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In my title, I used the word ‘temporarily’ because, truth be told, natural hair does whatever it wants. However, the following are steps I take to maintain the length and volume of my hair while wearing it loose for a day.*
Step 1
• Release your hair from any method you used to stretch it. Pick it, fluff it or gently pull and arrange it to the shape you want it to sit with your fingers.
 
Step 2
• Do NOT spritz your hair. By that, I mean do not spray your hair with any liquid based moisturizers. It will shrink up! It sounds obvious, but a lot of people make this mistake.  If you want to moisturize your hair because it feels too dry, wait until you’re tired of wearing it loose.
Step 3
• Try not to sweat a lot. I live in Nigeria so this one is difficult for me. When I begin to sweat, the hair at my nape shrinks to 40%. It’s not so bad, but it defeats the point of showing off length & volume.
 
Step 4
Try to avoid using products with glycerine when you are going for this look. Glycerine is a humectant, therefore, it attracts moisture to your hair. Also, If you live in a humid area it may affect all your efforts.
 
It’s as simple as that so when next you’re styling your hair and taking it down to wear it out, incorporate the steps above and your results will definitely be better.
 
Don’t forget to hashtag #igbocurls in any of ‘How do you wear your bun’ pictures on Instagram. 
 
Peace & blessings,
Chinwe J