"The LORD is my light and my salvation, whom shall I fear?"

- Psalms 27 : 1

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Focus On...Banding


Because of my tight curls, stretching my hair had always been part of my regimen. My staple method through the years became twists, thanks to their ability to elongate, however, they take time because it's only when the hair has dried 100% that the stretching process can truly begin. Knowing how long air - drying can take, this means I can only get my hair stretched enough near the end of the week which is practically the beginning of another wash day. Let's just say I am not a wash & go girl...My tight curls do not in anyway permit that & not letting my hair dry nor stretch only results in a big mess that will most likely result in knots & tangles.

Therefore in search for a more effective & less time consuming stretching method I was led to try something new : Banding. Banding isn't anything new to me & I'm sure it's the same with most of you but I've always put it off thinking it was too much trouble.

What is banding?
Banding is a simple method used to stretch the hair by tying bands on hair sections from root to ends.

Why does it work?
It works because natural hair is elastic. This elasticity is what causes shrinkage and shrinkage can be reversed by manipulating the hair's elasticity. This can be compared to keeping a rubber band expanded for some time to loosen it.

My experience
After washing my hair I applied my AREWA Naturals' Leave In Conditioner & sealed with the Shea & Cocoa Hair Butter. I twisted my hair in 6 sections then banded with 2 kinds of hair bands (tight bands & the soft bands). I left the bands overnight and took them off on the next day. My results were not as good as I'd expected them to be. For one, my hair was still partially damp & though my hair looked stretched before taking out the bands, it shrunk immediately I took the bands out and undid the twists. 
My overall experience was a fail when it comes to what my goal was however it was a learning experience. The method might not have worked because I didn't let my hair dry totally or because of the twists. It might also have been because the bands need to be left in for a longer period of time or it could just be all of the above.
Will I be trying it again? Likely. Nevertheless, I doubt the method has that much more to offer than my present methods of stretching. Personally, banding seems like a great "secondary" stretching method that could be more effective when used on already stretched hair or on looser curls. Twists as a stretching method is effective because it helps smooth curls & kinks however banding focuses on just stiffening curls & kinks which results in elongation because this hinders shrinkage but this latter method can have little to no effect on really tightly curled hair.

Do not try banding on hair that is battling with balancing it's elasticity (by the tilting of the protein-moisture balance). This will result in serious breakage. 
No matter the case, do not use bands with metal clamps.
Avoid really tight bands. You should be able to turn the bands you use around your hair at least twice without difficulty. 

As I stated above, I used two different bands : conventional hair bands & small bands used for kids. I'm not how one or the other alter the results but I prefer the small soft bands because they are easier to use and there is much less risk of breakage with them. The tight conventional hair bands might work faster or the soft bands might work better with smaller sections, whatever the case I strongly believe it depends on the natural's unique hair characteristics.

Do you use the banding method?


  1. Awww, I'm sorry that this did not work out the way that you wanted :-( But I'm glad that you are willing to try it again. I use the banding method. When I do it, I sometimes use two bands (kids and regular) like you do. But I do not twist the sections first. I think that is a clever idea, but it takes more time to dry.

    1. You are right...twisting makes it take longer to dry. I will most likely be omitting the twists the next time I try them! Thank you sis!!

  2. Banding can work, but your hair needs to be completely dry. Try it again without the twists and let your hair completely dry before taking them out. Good luck, and I hope things work out for you.

    1. I'm sure it works sis...I'm just going to have to get it to work on my hair.
      Thank you for the tip sis!!

  3. When my hair gets long enough, I will definitely try this!

    Tell the World

  4. How many sections did you have? I usually have two - but that's because I wash my hair in the morning and leave them in for a few days to dry completely.

    If not, it's just a waste of time :/

    1. I had 6. It's definitely best to leave the hair to dry.
      Thank you for your input :)

  5. I have nominated you for versatile blog award. Please visit my blog for more details. http://deepbrownkinks.blogspot.com/2012/09/versatile-blogger-award.html

    1. You are welcome:)
      I have never tried using this technique but you could try taking off someo of the water on your hair before banding just to speed up air drying. I personally dont think banding would work for me...my tight curls would tangle if they are not braided and twisted at the ends or just loosely threaded.

    2. I can really relate. I also think banding is not really for me because my hair will do just that too, tangle like wow.
      Thanks for sharing sis :)

  6. I use it seveal ways : twist, braids, thread, bantu knot, french braids it depends of my mood the hairstyle I will do then or the state of my hair :)

  7. oh funbi... wherefore art thou funbi... my sister and i were just wondering where u r since u haven't updated for a while... hope u r well...:-)

    1. HEY sis!! Thank you for asking after me! All is well with me. Will bounce back soon to the cyber world by God's grace!
      How are you?
      God bless you richly


Thank you for stopping by! It really means a lot! Why don't you tell me what you think, ask a question if you have any or just show some love by leaving a comment? I would love to hear from you!

back to top