Shrinkage is probably the thing I dislike most about natural hair. I just feel like I’ve worked so hard to grow my hair and then it goes from like bra strap length to ear length *side eye*. BUT shrinkage is usually a sign of hair health. It shows you don’t have heat damage and is usually a sign of moisture so it’s not sooo bad after all. However, I know that a lot of people want tips on how to combat shrinkage so here are some suggestions:
- Use more product – the more product you use, the more it’ll weigh your hair down. This will stretch the curls/kinks out – but be careful not to use so much that you get build up.
- Do a stretched style e.g. braidout, twistout etc – if your hair is stretched out, shrinkage isn’t as bad
- Blow dry your roots – when your hair is mostly dry, gently pull your hair and blow dry the roots (on medium heat). This will help to stretch the roots and make your hair look longer and thicker. Don’t blow dry them straight but just enough to stretch them out a bit!
- Use heavier products – this is similar to the first point but, if you use heavier products, your hair will be weighed down, thus reducing shrinkage
- Put your hair in one or more buns – when I want to stretch my hair quickly, I put my hair in one or two buns for at least an hour. This helps to stretch the curls/kinks out. This is another benefit using the pineapple method at night
- Use an afro comb – when your hair is dry, gently use an afro comb to pick the roots out. This will add length and body to your hair
- Put clips on the ends of your hair – this works if you use heavy-ish clips. When you’ve applied your products to your wet hair after washing, attach clips to the ends of your hair so that your hair dries in a stretched state
- Banding your hair – this is a process where you put hair ties all along the length of your hair while wet or damp. This will stretch the hair out.
- Smooth products downwards – when you’re applying your products after washing, smooth the products in downwards. If done properly, this can help to reduce shrinkage
- Wait for your hair to grow! – this seems annoying LOL but as your hair grows, it’ll get heavier so the shrinkage will be reduced
- OR JUST EMBRACE IT! – over time, I’ve learnt to embrace the shrinkage! I love the look on people’s faces when I pull my hair and they see that my hair is actually double the length it looks lol. Shrinkage is an inevitable part of natural hair and we might as well embrace it! And besides, it’s kinda cool that you can have a little ‘fro one day and shoulder length locks the next day. Oh the versatility of being #teamnatural!
I hope that helps you to combat or embrace your shrinkage!
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