What is Hair Banding?

These are the kind of results that can be achieved with hair banding. - Black Hair Spot
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Try Natural Hair Banding/Threading for a NO HEAT Stretch

Banding means to wrap sections of natural hair with small hair bands in order to stretch your hair. When done right it can look as if you’ve blown your hair out with a blow dryer. But nope! There’s no heat used at all.

The nice thing about hair banding is that you can get stretched hair, waves or preserved curl definition. It all depends on how you go about it!

The practice of banding natural hair is borrowed from the African tradition of hair threading, which is still in use. Banding made African hair threading a bit simpler, but the results are very similar, and both stretch natural hair with NO HEAT. For this reason, we’ll be discussing both in this article.


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source: YouTube image – Hair banding with waves. (video further down below)


source: YouTube image – African hair threading. (video further down below)

To band or thread, all you have to do is take a section of dry or wet hair, and starting from the root, wrap the small elastic hair bands or thread down the length of your hair. Then leave your hair, as is, overnight or until it dries.

After you master the basic banding techniques, you’ll even be able to create cute styles for yourself or your girls. But more on that later. Let’s start with the essentials.

What You Need to Band Your Hair

You don’t need much. The basic tools and products of your choice, plus the actual bands listed below.

Hair Bands/Ponytail Holders

Covered rubber bands that don’t have the little metal piece work nicely, whatever way you end up using them.

covered rubber bands - Black Hair Spot


The little fuzzy bands work nicely for stretching your hair or keeping your curl pattern visible after defining.

Janecrafts Cute 24-100pcs Girl Elastic Hair Ties Band Ponytail Holders Scrunchie


What You Need to Thread Your Hair

If you want to try African threading, weave thread is good. Weave thread is also the perfect choice for creating modern threading styles that look like juicy twists or twist outs. (See video further down below.)

multi colors threads


Now that you’ve got your basics together (not much, right?), here’s how to proceed to get the end result you’re after.

How to Get a Good Stretch Without Heat?

It’s best to start with clean, dry hair, so that your results are predictable. If you have different products already in your hair, and it needs to be washed, your results might not come out the way you thought. Dry hair will give you straighter results.

Note: Each video below demonstrates how to do the threading or banding method on natural hair, with before and after shots included.

No-Heat Blowout: Banding on Long Hair

No-Heat Blowout: Banding on Short Hair

No-Heat Blowout: Threading on Long Hair

No Heat Blowout: Threading on Short Hair

Want smoother, shinier results? Here are a few tips to try on clean, dry hair.

    1. Comb out each section with a wide tooth comb before banding, but you’ll get smoother results if you brush each section, as well.
    2. For added sheen and strength, lightly apply oil to a section right before banding.
    3. Gently pull your hair to stretch it before applying the next band or wrapping the thread again.
  1. Leave the bands on overnight.

How to Get Waves from Banding?

If you want a wavy look, this is the time to try banding on natural hair that’s wet!

Want to Preserve Curl Definition Overnight?

Banding your hair overnight can give better results than pineappling. Try it for curl retention!

Styling Your Hair With Threading or Banding

Once you’ve got the hang of threading, try a more defined “twist out” using African threading.

Banding looks really nice on girls to create “bubble ponytails.”

Does the Band Method of Stretching Hair Break Off the Hair?

Because banding and threading both use high levels of manipulation, there is a potential for breakage. Here are some best practices to avoid::

  • Don’t band product-free hair. You should always have something on your hair that will act as a barrier between the fibre of the band or thread and your hair.

Heavy oils like coconut oil and shea butter products can provide a barrier, and also can help maintain hair moisture under the thread or band. Any fibre you put on your head is going to absorb moisture. This includes hair bands or thread. Dryness causes breakage.

  • Try not to use plain rubber bands. They can snap your hair right off.
  • Don’t band your hair too tightly, especially around the edges. It might make your edges smoother, but it can also cause traction alopecia.
  • Protect the ends of your hair by braiding or tucking the final portion. (See the video below on how to tuck your ends.)
  • Remove the bands or thread very, very carefully.

Can You Use Banding for Hair Growth?

Absolutely! If done correctly, banding and threading both act to protect your hair from dryness and breakage, and are therefore great for hair growth. To protect your hair the most, install the bands or wrap the thread close together. The roots, in this case, should be loose enough to have wiggle room. That way the prolonged banding won’t negatively affect your hair roots by being too tight.

And if you don’t like how the banded/threaded hair looks when you’re done, Africans are famous for slapping on a headwrap or wig.

Don’t forget, if you find the right black hair salon, you can get beautiful threading results that way too.

Have you tried banding or threading before?

We know naturals have been having mixed results with banding, in particular. Let us know if it works like a dream for you after watching the videos in this article. Or if you prefer the original African threading!

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