Banding natural hair is an alternative way to straighten the hair without heat usage. The bands accomplish this by stretching your strands as they dry, helping to elongate your hair.
Most naturals are aware they should stay away from heat and air dry as much as possible. The only issue is that air drying does not always give you the straight results you are looking for.
While banding is ideal for straightening, it is also more than that. Some naturals wear the bands out in public as a hairstyle.
No matter what purpose you have for using the banding method, you need directions on how to properly do it. Look no further, here is your guide to banding your natural hair.
Benefits of banding natural hair
One of the main advantages of banding that I have already mentioned is there is no heat. Therefore, you will be achieving the style that you were going to do regardless, but without heat or chemicals, and thus the damaging effects.
Another benefit of the banding method is that stretching natural hair decreases the risk of knots and tangles. Anytime you let your kinky textured hair air dry, such as when you wear a hair puff, you will notice shrinkage.
Shrinkage is your hair curling back into itself, thus forming knots. Some naturals will recommend you use banding for growth.
You can also find content online that mentions banding will help with hair growth. It does not!
Banding helps with length retention, which to most people looks like growth. The banding method takes about 6 relatively simple steps.
The most complicated step will be the actual banding, but once you get the first section done, you should finish with ease. You will start with clean detangled, moisturized hair, nest section, band, and eliminate any excess product from your hair before letting it dry and taking them out.
As with any method of straightening your hair, you always want to make sure you start on freshly washed, clean hair. Wash, condition, and deep condition your hair as you usually would on a regular wash day.
To avoid breakage, detangling cannot be neglected. I recommend detangling on wet hair, preferably under running water after washing while you are conditioning.
Bands, in general, tend to pull at the hair; it is critical that you get all extra knots and tangles out of your hair. This can be done with a Denman brush, a wide tooth comb, or your fingers.
Condition and Moisturize
Apply a leave-in conditioner or conditioner to your damp or wet hair. This added moisture and slip will be good for your hair because dry hair will, without a doubt, break off when removing the bands.
There does not have to be any particular pattern you use to section your hair. Just make sure that you are doing the section sizes as close to equal as possible.
This will ensure your entire head will dry at the same time. So don’t fret about whether your parts are straight, just that the sections are about even.
Once you finally reach the banding step, it is important that you decide what to band with. Some ladies do this with rubber bands.
It is recommended that you use elastic bands as opposed to regular rubber bands so they are not pulling your hair out as you remove them. It is important to note that the closer you wrap the hair tie, the straighter the results.
If you are just looking to stretch your hair, not to straighten it, you will be okay having large spaces between the bands. By stretching your hair, you will also save time and use fewer hair ties.
However, the larger the gaps, the longer the drying time.
Eliminate excess product / dry hair
Once you add hair bands to your moisturized hair, you may notice extra product sitting on top of your hair. You do not want to let it sit, as this will drastically increase your dry time.
Instead, use your microfiber towel or 100 percent cotton t-shirt to blot the excess product away. The key is to blot it and not to rub your hair as this will cause frizz.
Banding Short Hair
Banding short hair is very similar to banding long hair. The only difference here is you will use fewer bands, take less time, and you can count on having stretch hair (as opposed to straight).
Banding at Night
After you have finished banding your hair, you should sleep in them to ensure they have dried completely dried before removing your bands. If you are banding them nightly to preserve the style, pineappling is a good option.
With this method, instead of creating many sections, you will put your hair (as one section) into big bands. It will already be up, just add a scarf and/or bonnet and you will be set for bed.
Hairstyles that can be achieved with this method mostly revolve around children’s hairstyles. It is common for little girls to have multiple ponytails with many barrettes on the ends.
However, if you are an adult that wants to wear this as a style, you can rock the single-braid look.
The only thing that comes to mind, is if you opt for single-section banding. You could wrap the hair around and make a bun. However, this may affect your end results once the bands are removed.
On the bright side, your ends will be protected, and it may even create a curl on your ends.
How to remove your bands
Great care should be used when removing bands. You will need to apply a light oil to your hands before you start the process.
Then, remove the bands in the direction that you wrapped them. Do not just slide the bands off, as they are likely to take your hair with them.
There are no particular product brands that you need for banding. It would be best to use some ouchless bands from Goody to eliminate pulling of the hair.
For all the steps that were mentioned in this article, you will need:
Have you tried this? Tell me about your experiences in the comments.
Hey Curl Friend, I’m Patrina Haupt the creator and author of Natural Hair Queen. I hope you find my healthy hair care tips helpful in your hair journey. Healthy hair care practices are definitely, what helped me to achieve waist length hair.