Last Updated on 25th July 2021 by Chauncey Morgan
Looking to cut back on hot tools that can leave your natural black hair damaged and dry? You have come to the right place! Today, I will talk to you about the five most effective ways to straighten natural black hair without using any chemicals or heat.
Back in the day, black people had to go through some harsh and damaging procedures just so they could wear their hair straight for a short amount of time. Even though a lot of tools and products have been invented to make hair straightening less damaging and longer lasting, there is still a limited amount of options when it comes to naturally straightening black hair.
While you might not be able to make your hair completely straight without using heat or chemicals, there are certainly a few things that you can do to stretch your curls and make them look straighter by using natural products and heatless techniques. Some of the techniques that I have found to be the most effective are bunning, banding, braiding or twisting, Bantu knotting, and wrapping.
Let me tell you this: Your hair is perfect the way it is, and you do not need to change it for anyone or anything. However, if you ever get bored and want to do something fresh and exciting to it, I encourage you to give these techniques a try. With that said, let’s look at what these heatless and chemical-free techniques for straightening black hair are all about!
How to Straighten Natural Hair without Heat: 5 Methods
When I think about straightening hair, my mind immediately goes to flat irons and blow dryers, and I bet yours does too. You must love your hot tools because they help you achieve gorgeous flat hair, but these tools are also very damaging to the hair. They can burn it and make it look lifeless, leading you to inevitable haircuts that you probably dread.
As I mentioned previously, you can avoid all the damage and dryness and those dreaded haircuts if you just turn to natural straightening methods. In case you do not know what these methods mean or what they require, keep reading to find out the basics of each one.
Method 1: Bunning
Bunning is a simple technique on how to straighten natural hair without heat. You can use this on black hair that is mid-length or longer. What you need for this method is a detangling brush or wide-tooth comb and a hairband. Here is what you need to do to straighten your hair using this technique:
- Make sure your hair is clean or freshly washed when using the technique. You should use special shampoo for curly hair, and you can also add some leave-in conditioner.
- Use the detangling brush to make the hair completely tangle-free.
- Comb the hair up to the top of the head.
- Using your hands or the brush, get the hair into a single bun.
- Use the hairband to secure the bun, but do not pull it too tight as that might lead to indentation
- Let the hair air-dry. This can take anywhere from 24 to 48 hours depending on how thick and long your hair is.
Method 2: Banding
To straighten your hair by banding, you will need to get a detangling comb and a lot of hair bands. The thicker and longer your hair is, the more bands you will need for this technique. Here is what you should do:
- Wash your hair and apply leave-in conditioner to all of your hair.
- Detangle the hair using the brush.
- Divide the hair into sections. Depending on how thick your hair is, you can choose to have two or more sections.
- Form a ponytail using a ponytail holder. Repeat this step for each section of your hair.
- Hold the ponytail straight, and start wrapping the hair with the hair bands from the roots to the very ends. If you want, you can also use a piece of satin to help make each section straighter. Repeat this step for each section.
- Let the hair air-dry completely. You can also add a silk scarf to your head to keep the hair in place.
- Once the hair is completely dry, take the bands off and enjoy your stretched curls and straighter hair.
Method 3: Braiding and Twisting
These two techniques are also popular ways on how to straighten natural black hair without chemicals or heat. If your hair is thick and very curly, braiding or twisting will stretch out and loosen them out a bit. Again, don’t expect silky straight, but rather, gently stretched hair.
Both braids and twists require the same steps that are easy to follow. Here is what you need to do to straighten your hair using braids or twists:
- Wash your hair and detangle it.
- Split the hair into as many sections as you need depending on the thickness and length of your hair.
- Braid or twist each section separately, beginning at the root of the hair and going down to the very ends.
- Once the section is braided or twisted, pull it to the opposite side of the head and secure it with a pin.
- Leave the hair to dry completely before taking out the braids or twists. During this step, make sure that you are gentle with the hair and you take out the twists slowly because doing otherwise will cause the hair to frizz up.
- Finally, comb the hair and style it.
Method 4: Bantu Knotting
Invented by the Bantu people many years ago, the Bantu knots are a great way to stretch or tighten curls depending on the look you are going for. With this technique, you should expect to leave the hair in the knots anywhere from 24 to 48 hours, so it is advised to use the technique only when you have enough time. Here are the steps to create Bantu knots:
- Wash your hair and detangle it.
- Section the hair into small sections. Make as many sections as you need depending on your hair.
- Take a section of hair, twist it, and then wrap it around the base before securing it with a pin. Check out how to do it in the video below.
- Let the hair air-dry, leaving the knots in during the entire drying period.
- Once the hair is dry, you can gently take the knots out and style the hair.
Method 5: Wrapping
Finally, I will talk about the best straightening technique for those who have 3C to 4A type hair. If you fall into this category and have approximately 24 to 48 hours of spare time, you can definitely try this heatless technique to stretch and straighten your curls. Here is what you need to do:
- Wash your hair and detangle it, making sure that there are no knots in it.
- Section the hair into as many sections as you need.
- Using a comb or brush, take each section of hair and brush it straight.
- As you brush each section of hair, take the section, pull it to the opposite side of your head, and pin it down to secure it. Repeat this process on each section of hair, wrapping the hair around the head.
- Using a wig cap or silk scarf, wrap the hair up and let it dry.
- Once the hair is completely dry, take the hair down and style it.
Now that you know how to straighten natural hair without heat, you should know the answers to some of the questions regarding the processes that others have already asked. Here are some of them:
Can I achieve the same level of straightening without heat?
You can certainly straighten black hair without heat, but the results will be different from those achieved with the usage of heat. Do not expect these previously mentioned techniques to give you completely straight hair as a flat iron or silk press would. Often, these techniques will stretch the curls rather than completely straighten them.
Why does black hair need to be wrapped?
From all techniques that I mentioned, wrapping is the most common one that black people use to straighten their hair naturally overnight. Black hair needs to be wrapped in a silk scarf or wrap because that will help the hair stay frizz-less and tangle-free. In addition, this technique can be used to avoid breakage in the hair, protect it, and restore it.
That’s All You Need to Know on How to Straighten Natural Black Hair without Chemicals or Heat
Who says you have to use heat to straighten your black hair? Following these five easy techniques will help you keep your black hair as straight as it can be without using chemicals or heat. If you follow the steps correctly, you will achieve flawless, frizz-free, and shrink-proof straightened hair!
Help me improve my list and add some more techniques by telling me more about your experience and straightening techniques in the comments below. I cannot wait to read all about your beautiful hair and your hairstyling journey!