What is so bad about shrinkage?
Going natural can be a beautiful thing. Few things are more inspirational than fully embracing your natural curls and are more exciting than trying out different styles and looks to accentuate your do. However one thing that stops many women from starting or continuing on their natural hair journey is shrinkage. Many naturalistas detest shrinkage because it makes your hair appear to be shorter than it actually is. As natural hair loves moisture, it tends to hold onto it VERY tightly forming curls that make hair look very short. This is very common in natural Afro hair and is primarily seen after your hair has been washed. Shrinkage can also occur due to environmental moisture for example when the climate is humid. Artificial environments where moisture is present such as in the bathroom or shower can also lead to shrinkage of your hair.
It’s Not That Bad
The reason many women prefer to avoid shrinkage is because we want proof that our locks and our curly hair are growing and shrinkage prevents us from getting that proof! However, shrinkage is natural and normal in curly hair and can even be a sign of healthy hair. Coils that spring back once they have been pulled on show elasticity and strength. Also, shrinkage protects your hair as afros and curls can avoid surface friction because they do not come into contact with your clothing as often as other hair styles and textures. So maybe it isn’t that bad. If you are still worried about shrinkage after you have washed your beautiful afro hair, here are some tips that might put back a spring in your step.
Make It Work!
There is no need to be a victim of shrinkage 100% of the time. You can stretch your hair in a variety of ways so that it more accurately reflects its true length. One way is to braid your hair and another is to use twist outs. The longer these are worn, the more the hair grows in length and in width. You can also use Curlformers, roller or straw sets to keep the cuticles smooth and obtain soft, sleek curls sans shrinkage. Banding and Bantu knots are good options as well. There are also some more permanent solutions for shrinkage like ‘heat training’ and using chemical products but be wary of these methods because when they are used regularly they can significantly damage your hair. Don’t be too hasty about getting rid of shrinkage permanently – it’s a sign that your hair isn’t damaged and is strong enough to bounce back to its original state.
At the end of the day, is shrinkage really a bad thing? No! If fact it’s a good thing. Not only it is a sign that your hair is healthy and strong, it also makes your hair more versatile giving you the ability to make the dramatic change from a cute short Afro look to a silky straight diva look in just a few hours. So embrace shrinkage, it is after all just a natural part of having natural hair. Work with it, instead of against it and both you and your hair will be happier.
Embrace Your Inner AfroDeity
Embrace Your Inner AfroDeity
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, by Alicia At AfroDeity