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6 Best Ways to Straighten Natural Hair Without Using Any Heat

Think of it as “stretch,” not straighten. Because without heat, honestly, you’ll have stretched your hair, and that’s good for other purposes besides swinging it in the wind.

You can have a banging ‘fro, an effortless bun and your detangling process can be forever smooth. Those are the benefits of stretched hair, and below are six methods you can use to get it done.

Method 1: Bantu Knots Can Straighten Natural Hair Without Heat

Bantu Knots for Straightening Natural Hair Without Heat

Bantu knots are sections of hair that are wrapped tightly around the fingers, then made into a little bun with the ends secured near the base, next to the roots of the hair. These give a slick, smooth stretch that has a slight curl.

Bantu knots work well as a style and also for stretching the hair. While you are waiting for the hair to stretch completely, you can still wear the look, provided you make neat parts.

How to Make Bantu Knots

Start with freshly washed hair that has been conditioned. Section the hair in a pattern on the head, with each section being at least two inches.

Apply a curl-defining cream to the section. Then while holding the section of hair at the base, twirl the hair tightly, wrapping the hair around the base in a spiral.

When you reach the tips and have a little bun, secure the ends underneath the knot. When the hair is completely dry, release the knots, then repeat the process on dry hair with hair oil. This might take two or three days to complete.

The Result of Bantu Knots

Because you’re creating small buns, your hair, as a result, will have a slight wave to it. You can create a lovely updo with Bantu knots that have been taken down.

Method 2: Twists Can Keep Your Hair Stretched Overnight

Twists are the most comfortable way to keep your hair stretched overnight. Twists don’t sit close enough to the scalp to straighten the entire length of hair.

You can install them at night to keep your style from shrinking up while sleeping. Twists are easy to install, and they don’t tug on the scalp.

How to Make Twists

make twists to straighten natural hair without heat

Section your hair. Start at the scalp and wrap two pieces of a section around each other until you get to the ends. The twist will puff after you’ve created it, and there won’t be any tension near your scalp.

The Result of Twists

Twists add a little curl from the mid-lengths to the tips of the hair. If you don’t want that, the curl is easy to brush out.

Method 3: Braids Create Waves in Natural Hair

Braids are installed tightly and close to the scalp to create wavy, stretched hair for the entire hair length. At least eight are installed, two per quarter of the scalp.

How to Make Braids

Starting with wet hair, apply a curl cream to one section. Divide each section into three lengths of hair. Starting at the roots, wrap the right outer section over the center piece, and pull it tightly in place.

Wrap the left outer section over the center piece, and pull it tightly in place. Continue these motions until the tips of the hair are also braided. Braid each section.

When the hair is fully dry, remove the braids. Resection the hair and braid it again, using hair oil to lubricate each section. After a day, remove the braids again and her hair should be fully stretched, wavy and ready to style.

The braids can be pulled up and pinned into an updo while you’re waiting. The process of drying can take a day and a half to two days to complete.

The Result of Braids

You can release the braids when they are fully dry and a finger comb to separate your locks. You’ll have a huge wavy mane. Think old Diana Ross pictures.

Method 4: African Threading Straightens Natural Hair

African threading uses weave thread because it’s strong enough to manipulate your hair without breaking. The thread is tied at the root of a section to make it straighter and give the hair more body.

African threading is done so tightly that the sections stick straight up. So it’s not ideal for wearing as a style.

How to Do African Threading

It’s best to start with dry hair that’s already been partially stretched with another style. Section your hair into eight sections and add a leave-in conditioner to each section. Take a length of thread that’s about three times as long as your hair.

Starting at the center of the thread, wrap each side around the roots of the section until it is secure. Wrap the thread at least twice from each side.

Then move down the length of hair, wrapping the hair with the thread by creating small Xs in the front and back of the section. Each time you make an X, pull the hair taut. Braid the tips.

Watch the below tutorial to learn how to do African threading to straighten natural hair.

The Result of African Threading

As long as you pull as you go, your hair will look almost as straight as if you’d used a blow dryer.

Method 5: Jumbo Rollers Can Straighten Natural Hair

use jumbo hair rollers to straighten natural hair

Jumbo rollers are plain rollers of an inch to three inches in size. They have holes in them and are smooth. Using jumbo rollers is an old-style method of straightening the hair.

Sometimes they are used with a bonnet hairdryer, but it’s not necessary if you have the time to let them dry in the hair. Drying can take a while as setting lotion is used, which prolongs the drying time.

How to Use Jumbo Rollers

Choose rollers that your hair length will wrap around once. You will also need end papers. Section your hair according to the width of the roller.

Apply a generous amount of setting lotion to the hair section and add the end paper to the tips of the hair so that it covers the tips completely.

Then wrap the section around a roller and secure it with a bobby pin. When you’ve completed rolling the entire head, allow it to dry.

The Result of Using Jumbo Rollers

Each section will come out flat with a slight wave. It can be combed through to remove the curl, or you can style the waves in an updo.

Method 6: Go for the Banding Method to Straighten Natural Hair

You can stretch your hair so that it will look like you’ve had a blowout by banding it. Banding is also a really cute hairstyle when you pin the sections up. So you don’t have to stay at home while you work out the style.

How to Use the Banding Method

It’s best to start with dry hair for this one. Divide the hair into one or two-inch sections. Use a leave-in conditioner on each section.

Apply small bands to each section, starting very close to the roots. Then space the bands down each section one or two inches apart. Leave the bands in your hair overnight, then remove them.

Watch the following tutorial to learn how to use the Banding method for stretching natural hair.

The Result of Using the Banding Method

The hair should be stretched straight, fluffy and ready to style.


Can I straighten my hair without using heat?

Yes, but it won’t be fully straight. It will only be stretched.

How can I straighten my African hair without heat overnight?

Try the banding method.

Can I straighten my hair in 5 minutes without heat?

No. That’s impossible.

What is the healthiest way to straighten hair permanently?

If your hair is curly naturally, there is no way to straighten it permanently. Even with a relaxer, you will still have to update the chemical treatment every six weeks.

How can I straighten my natural hair without damaging my curl pattern?

Because no heat is used, all of the methods in this article can be used to straighten the hair without damaging the curl pattern.

How many times can I straighten my hair before it gets damaged?

Although you may not notice, the hair is damaged immediately when straightened with heat.

Heat straightening stretches the protein fibers within the hair to the maximum, and protein fibers often break under the process. When you’re not using heat, the hair can only be stretched so much.

Why does my hair not stay straight after I straighten it?

This is because your natural hair pattern is curly. If it prevails, it actually is an indicator of your hair’s health.

How can I make my hair super straight?

You need two or three phases of high heat to make your hair super straight.

Can any hair type straighten without heat?

Yes, but the hair won’t be super straight. Instead, it will be stretched and more manageable.

What allows the hair to straighten?

The keratin within the hair shaft is what stretches to form straight hair.

How do stylers play a part when straightening hair?

Stylers coat the hair and keep the strands from drying out quickly so they can stay in the form you’re trying to straighten it into. Hair gel and setting lotion take the longest to dry and coat the hair with a thicker coating.

Mousse uses a lighter coating, as does a leave-in conditioner. Curl definers and curl creams are in the middle of the two. Each of the straightening methods in this article uses a styler, but you can use a different one depending on your comfort zone.

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