5 Ways To Straighten Natural Hair Without Heat

As a naturalista, having to deal with shrinkage is an absolute given. So wanting to stretch or straighten your natural curls to comb at shrinkage or achieve a straighter look is an ideal feeling, I know. However, using heat to straighten your hair to make it more manageable, will only result in heat damage on your hair strands. Since heat is not the best option for length, I will be sharing 5 heatless ways to straighten your natural hair to avoid damage.

How to Straighten Natural Hair to Avoid Heat Damage

We will be outlining five methods you can use to straighten your natural hair without any risk of heat damage.  These methods are super easy to pull off and they can also double as protective styling ideas. It is recommended that you use oils like coconut, tea tree, or jojoba oil during the hair straightening process instead of using heavier styling products like shea butter or thick creams.

1. Using the Wrap Method to Straighten Natural Hair

If you are a natural with type 3C to 4A hair, the wrap method is a recommended heatless way to achieve stretched or straightened hair. This technique involves wrapping the hair around the head and smoothing it flat against the head and using bobby pins to pin your hair into place. For this method, you need to allow your hair to dry overnight. However, if you have thick curls, your hair may need up to 24 hours or more to dry completely.

What you need for the wrap method

  • Bobby pins
  • Wide-tooth comb
  • Wig cap
  • 4 hair ties

How to do the wrap method

  • Comb your hair with a wide-tooth comb and part your hair into 4 sections and detangle gently.
  • Undo each section, comb it to the side, keeping it as straight as possible, while combing.
  • Wrap each section to the side and put it in place with a pin.
  • Repeat for all sections of hair.
  • Cover your hair with the wig cap.
  • Leave overnight.
  • Remove the wig cap the next day and carefully remove the bobby pins.
  • Unwrap hair gently and style as desired.

For a tutorial on how to use the wrap method to straighten your natural hair, watch this video by DiscoveringNatural below:

2. Using the Banding Method to Straighten Natural Hair

Banding method

If your curl pattern is between 3C and 4C, then the banding method is a technique you should definitely try out. The banding is unbelievably easy to do, helps you achieve the best stretch and the finished look is often wavy, stretched out curls.

Because you have to use bands for this technique, you will need to be careful of the bands you choose, as hairbands are rough on natural hair and can cause hair breakage.

What you need for the elastic banding method

How to do the elastic banding method

  • Part your hair into two or more sections.
  • Apply the leave-in conditioner along with coconut oil to your hair.
  • Take a section, hold the hair straight and taut, and wrap the band around the hair, starting from the roots to the ends of your hair.
  • Repeat for other sections of hair.
  • Wrap your hair with a silk scarf to put it in place and allow it to dry overnight.
  • Take out the bands the next day and style as desired.

Curly Twirl shares in this video tutorial below, how to do the banding method in order to straighten your natural hair:

3. Using the African Threading Method to Straighten Natural Hair

African threading

           Instagram: @bhlgmarketplace

While putting our hair into styles with African threads was practiced mostly in the past, African threading is a great method for both stretching and straightening your natural hair. This technique involves parting your hair into small sections and wrapping each section with thread. If you need to straighten or blowout the kinkiest of natural curls, the African threading method is your best choice. This method is also a great protective style. 

What you need for the African threading method

  • Coconut oil
  • Leave-in conditioner
  • Wide-tooth comb
  • Weave thread

How to do the African threading method

  • Start with freshly washed hair.
  • Apply the leave-in conditioner to your hair.
  • Then apply coconut oil to your hair to moisturize it.
  • Comb your hair with a wide-tooth comb and divide it into smaller sections.
  • Cut a piece of weave thread and wrap each section around with it.
  • After you are done, cover up your hair and leave overnight.
  • The next day, loosen up the threads, apply some coconut oil and your hair is all straightened out.

Check out this how-to video by @MissSharz on how to straighten your natural hair using African Threading:

4. Using the Bantu Knots Method to Straighten Natural Hair

Bantu knots

While bantu knots are very stylish and can be used as a protective style, they can also be used to stretch your natural hair to give it a blown out look. To figure out how to stretch your natural hair with bantu knots the right way, you need to focus on where you complete each knot and then allow for enough time to dry well. Another favorite thing about bantu knotting your hair is that it adds a bit of volume to your natural curls.

What you need to make the  bantu knots method

  • Bobby pins
  • Wide-tooth comb
  • Moisturizer

How to do the bantu knots method

  • Comb your hair with a wide-tooth comb.
  • Apply the moisturizer to your hair evenly.
  • Part your hair into 2 sections to begin the twisting process.
  • Take out a smaller section and put them into twists.
  • Then take each twist and wrap it around the base of the section and secure it in place with a pin.
  • Repeat for every twist and allow to air dry.
  • Takedown the bantu knots and style as desired.

@NaturalKachi has a step by step guide on how to do the bantu knots method below:

5. Using Curlformers to Straighten Natural Hair


                      Instagram: @naturallychea

This may sound shocking to you but curlformers can actually be used to straighten your natural hair. Curlformers are really easy to install and helps you to achieve heatless curls and a blown out look. 

What you need to straighten your natural hair with curlformers

  • Setting lotion
  • Curlformers
  • Wide-tooth comb

How to straighten your natural hair with curlformers

  • Comb your damp hair with a wide-tooth comb and divide it into small sections.
  • Apply the setting lotion to each section while still damp and then finger detangle.
  • Slide in the curlformers into the curlformer rod.
  • Pinch the root of your hair and load it into the eye of the hook of the curlformer rod and pull the rod through.
  • Allow to dry overnight.
  • Remove the curlformers by pinching the top and pulling out.
  • Style your bouncy curls however you want.

@nappyheadedjojoba has a detailed video tutorial on how to use curlformers to straighten your natural hair:

You can also shop blow out hair extensions in ponytails, clip ins, wigs, and U-parts to match your natural looks, without having to put up with the stress of the hair straightening process.