Say Goodbye to Tight and Uncomfortable Locs.
Before knowing how to stretch locs, let’s know the answer to the most anticipated question, why stretch locs? Stretching locs is also an upkeep technique to keep locs straight and looking their best. But it also has vital benefits. Loc stretching techniques promote length retention and elongate the locs and prevent them from becoming too tight and compacted. Therefore, experts recommend stretching your locs regularly to keep them healthy and strong.
The importance of Stretching locs cannot be overstated. Neglecting to stretch your locs cause them to become overly tight, leading to breakage and even hair loss. Also, tight locs can be painful and uncomfortable, making them difficult to style and maintain.
So, in this article, we’ll give you a step-by-step guide of different methods for stretching the locs and tips for maintaining the stretched locs with all the other info about how to stretch locs.
Whether you are a seasoned loc wearer or new to the style, this article is for you!
Table of Contents
- How to Stretch Locs? Traditional, Alternative, and Instant Techniques
- Traditional Loc Stretching Techniques
- Palm Rolling:
- How To Stretch Locs? Alternative Stretching Techniques
- How To Stretch Locs? Instant DIY Stretching technique
- Tips for Stretching Locs and Common Mistakes to Avoid:
How to Stretch Locs? Traditional, Alternative, and Instant Techniques
Let’s explore and fulfill your search!
Traditional Loc Stretching Techniques
These techniques are traditional loc maintenance methods, i.e., palm rolling, twisting, and interlocking.
Palm rolling (loc re twisting) helps the short locs stretch.
When dreads are new, palm roll firm and tighten up the new knots. Palm rolling is most effective on new, or freshly twisted locs that have not yet fully locked. When done consistently over time, palm rolling (re-twisting locs) can help to train the hair to grow in a more elongated pattern, resulting in longer, more stretched-out locs. Natural oil, like olive oil, is best in this process.
Here’s how to re-twist your locs.
Tools needed: Hair gel or locking cream
Start with rolling the locs between your palms for several minutes. Start at the base working the way up to the tips. Roll all the locs in the same direction and use hair gel or locking cream to hold the style.
Please do not to over-twist locs; it can cause loc thinning and breakage.
Twisting is another traditional method of stretching that locs involves twisting two or more locs together to create a longer, more elongated loc.
Here’s how to twist your locs for stretching.
Tools needed: Hair gel or locking cream
To twist your locs, divide a manageable loc section into two and twist them together in a clockwise direction. For every twist, use gel or cream to hold the style.
Interlocking is a traditional method of stretching locs that involves using a special tool to tighten the roots and loosen the tips, creating a more elongated loc.
Here’s how to interlock dreads to stretch them.
Tools needed: Interlocking tool or latch hook, hair gel, or locking cream.
To interlock your locs, use a tool to create a small hole in the loc near the root and then pull the rest of the locs through the hole.
These traditional loc care methods work well to stretch dreads if all of them are practiced but with a gap between sessions.
How To Stretch Locs? Alternative Stretching Techniques
Banding is a gentle and effective method that involves hair bands to create tension on the dreads that train locs to elongate. It works on all hair types and textures but remembers not to overdo it.
Here’s the banding process!
Tools needed: Hair bands
Section your locs into small, manageable sections. The smaller the sections, the easier it will be to band your locs.
Wrap a small hair band tightly around the base of the first section of locs, near the scalp, and throughout the length. Ensure the band is tight enough to create tension on the hair but not so tight that it causes discomfort or pain.
Repeat this process on each section of locs, making sure to space the hair bands out evenly and not overlap them.
Once all of the sections are banded, leave the hair bands in place for several hours or overnight. The longer you leave the bands in, the more Stretching you will achieve.
After removing the hair bands, use your fingers to separate the locks gently.
Here’s one of the popular videos on the banding method.
As the name suggests, African threading is about using thread to elongate locs.
Here’s how to African thread your locs.
Tools needed: Thread
Wash the hair.
Take a piece of thread about twice the length of your loc and tie a knot at one end. Then, wrap the thread around the base of the loc several times, creating a tight knot that will anchor the thread in place.
Hold the loc in one hand and wrap the thread around the loc length with the other hand.
When you reach the end, knot the thread there to lock the style.
Apply this process on all locs. Make sure not to overlap the thread and avoid extreme tightness.
You can leave African threading for a couple of hours or overnight. The longer you leave, the more stretched the locs will be.
When removing the thread, undo the ends knot and unwrap the thread. Separate the locs gently with your fingers.
Here’s a YouTube tutorial on Stretching locs by African threading.
Braid-out stretching involves braiding locs together and leaving that hairstyle for a few hours or overnight for the result.
Here is how to braid out locs.
Tools needed: Hair bands or elastics
Take a small section of locs and divide it into three equal parts.
Braid the picked locs in 3-strand-braid.
When you reach the ends, secure the braid with an elastic band.
Repeat this process on each section of locs.
Leave the locs braided.
When removing the braids, separate the dreads gently.
Here’s the video guide: How to Stretch Locs for MAX Length + Easy Braid Out Style (Two Strand Twist Starter Locs on 4C hair)
How To Stretch Locs? Instant DIY Stretching technique
This hair dryer method is so cool if you want the instant length of your dreads. Here’s how you can do it.
Take a small section of locs. Apply hair dryer heat (low to medium) to its base and work toward the ends. Do this on all loc sections. This simple stretching method instantly increases the loc length. You can grow inches; no need to wait for hours.
But I recommend avoiding making this hair dryer method your habit because constant heat can damage your natural hair.
Tips for Stretching Locs and Common Mistakes to Avoid:
How often to stretch locs:
Aim to stretch locs every 4 to 6 weeks. It will prevent the loc from matting ad locking up too tightly. Early sessions can weaken the locs and make them prone to breakage. The suggested period allow locs to recover between sessions.
Keep your locs moisturized:
Neglecting moisturizing the locs is the most common mistake, which can make the locs dry and brittle. To keep your locs strong and healthy with moisturizing and hydration, I suggest using a light, non-greasy moisturizer or hair oil.
While stretching your locs can help to loosen them up and create more length, over-manipulating them can cause damage and breakage, like locs becoming thin and weak. Be gentle when handling your locs, apply minimal force, and avoid using excessive force or tension.
Protect locs at night:
Wear a silk or satin bonnet, or use a silk or satin pillowcase to prevent your locs from rubbing against rough cotton or other fabrics that can cause friction and breakage.
Wrapping it up
Here ends my guide on How to stretch locs. Either traditional, alternative, or instant technique, whichever method you choose, make sure not to apply extra force or manipulate hair too much. Always start stretching locs with freshly washed, dry hair.