Shrinkage, I would argue, is THE most annoying thing for afro hair especially for us coily haired (aka 4-type hair) people and dealing with shrinkage is a nightmare. Yet, a better word I would use instead, would be accepting. It’s something we have to embrace fully, completely, even if it drives us up the wall and back again.
If you don’t know what shrinkage is, which would be surprising, it can be described simply as when the hair curls up and into itself when drying. Thus giving the appearance of shorter hair! It is a pain because:
a) It knots, tangles and makes detangling a right pain in the butt.
b) Hair is more prone to breakage in its shrunken state –because of all the tangles it causes. This is definitely the case for my own tresses, and makes me cry every time.
c) It’s inevitable. All of those with curly/afro textured hair experience it, some more evident than others.
It’s honestly inescapable, so why fight Mother Nature? Here is a few ideas that help me a lot in combating shrinkage!
Set Your Hair
Setting your (wet) hair is the easiest method, when you have the time… and energy. Braids, bantu knots, banding/threading are all great methods to avoid shrinkage and you get to see and play around your full length, which is a nice little bonus.
Heat methods are also an option- but be wise not to do it everyday and use heat protectants like TRESemme Heat Spray . Any type of ‘direct heat’ tools achieves a sleeker look, and can last longer without having to ‘re-set’ your hair every night.
All in all, it’s all about one’s perception of shrinkage. Yes it can be a pain, but with the right management and routine, it’s easy to use to handle. Also it’s especially great when you see the look on some people’s faces when see your true length!
Loving your hair in every state is one of the building blocks in a natural hair journey.
Comment below to tell us how Dealing With Shrinkage worked for you. If you have any hair style tips and advice, contact us here and share it on Hey Naturals website.