Pre-Stretched or Not: How to Tell the Difference

Pre-Stretched or Not: How to Tell the Difference

Posted by I Kick Shins on Nov 19th 2020

Ever wondered how to tell if a pack of braiding hair is pre-stretched or not? Look no further, we’ve got ya covered!

Definition

Pre-stretched (aka pre-feathered or pre-tapered braiding hair) comes down to a natural taper at the ends, as opposed to the blunt ends in a normal pack. It’s a popular look for braids that have loose ends that are sealed by dipping in hot water.

If you prefer blunt ends like the kind you’ll get from sealing with a braid sealer or lighter, you’ll likely want to stick with regular braiding hair rather than pre-stretched.

Because stretching hair takes time, some stylists prefer to only work with pre-stretched hair, or will charge an additional fee to stretch the hair before your appointment.

IKS-specific

There are several easy ways to tell if a product on our website is pre-stretched:

  • The words “Pre-Stretched” will appear somewhere in the name of the product.
  • The beginning of the product description will talk about the hair being pre-stretched, and will explain what that means.
  • It will be listed in the Pre-Stretched Hair category.

If a product on our website doesn’t mention anything about being pre-stretched, that means it’s not pre-stretched.

Industry-wide

If you’re out shopping at your local beauty supply or online at a site that doesn’t have detailed product descriptions, there are a couple easy ways to tell if the hair you’re considering is pre-stretched.

Because being pre-stretched is a desirable feature, most pre-stretched hair will say “pre-stretched,” "pre-feathered,” or “feather tip” somewhere on the packaging.

You can also tell by looking down at the ends of the hair. A regular pack of braiding hair will have blunt ends like this:

I Kick Shins kk jumbo braid
I Kick Shins kk jumbo braid, not pre-stretched.
RastAfri Freed'm Silky Braid
RastAfri Freed'm Silky Braid, not pre-stretched.



In contrast, pre-stretched braiding hair will have more pointy, tapered ends like this:

RastAfri Pre-Stretched Freed'm Silky Braid
Pre-Stretched Freed'm Silky Braid

RastAfri Pre-Stretched Freed'm Silky Braid
Pre-Stretched Freed'm Silky Braid

Can’t find it pre-stretched? No problem!

Any type of braiding hair can be stretched by hand, so if you’ve got your heart set on a color that’s not pre-stretched, don’t give up hope! Kersti Pitre has a great tutorial on two great methods for stretching hair available on  YouTube.