Simple Solutions to Stop Shrinkage In Natural Hair
Hands down one of the most frustrating battles naturals have with their hair is shrinkage. No matter how long your hair is, it always seems to magically shorten up when it dries. You take out the time to twist, define and ensure every curl is in place only for it to shrivel towards your scalp hiding all the length you’re worked so hard for.
What Is Shrinkage?
Shrinkage is like a magic trick. It's a natural phenomenon that occurs when your curly hair dries. When your curls are is wet, they hangs down in their natural elongated state. When your curls dry, they shrink up to 90 percent of their original length. As it dries and shrinks, the curl pattern becomes more defined and your hair appears shorter. Although shrinkage can be a nuisance, it is actually a sign of healthy natural hair. The more curly or coily your hair is, the more it will shrink as it dries. So, if you're noticing more shrinkage than usual, it could be an indication that your natural hair is thriving.
How To Reduce Shrinkage?
Clarify With Clay
Clay clarifies your hair and removes build-up from your hair strands. Clean curls are able to absorb more moisture and more moisture means less shrinkage. In addition, clay can also help to elongate and define your curls allowing you to show off your natural curl pattern. If you're looking to reduce shrinkage and give your natural hair a boost, consider the Dirty Curl Clay.
Another way to decrease shrinkage is to make sure that your hair is properly moisturized. When natural hair is dry and brittle, it tends to contract, leading to shrinkage. By keeping your hair moisturized, you can help it to stay healthy and minimize the amount of shrinkage. The best way to moisturize your hair is to hydrate it with the Knotty Nectar Leave-In Conditioner and follow up with the Sweet Cream Moisturizer to seal in the hydration. This process will help to ensure that all the layers of your hair gets the moisture it needs.
Experiment with stretched styles like a twist-out or braid-out. A twist-out is a popular option, as it gives you defined, elongated curls. Using a gel or foam on your hair before twisting or braiding will help to keep your curls elongated and reduce shrinkage. To do a twist-out, start by sectioning your hair into small sections. Then, twist the section of hair around each other. Once your entire head is twisted, air dry or sit under a hooded dryer. When your hair is completely dry, undo the twists, fluff and style as desired. Another option is a braid-out, which can also give you defined, stretched curls. The process is similar to a twist-out, but instead of twisting your hair you braid each section. Both of these styles will keep your hair stretched and help prevent shrinkage. If you really want to show off your length you can opt for a silk press (with a heat protectant of course). Experimenting with different stretched styles is a great way to combat shrinkage and achieve the lengths you desire.
Embrace The Shrinkage
Rock your fro with confidence! Stop fighting shrinkage and roll with it. Embrace it and rock your curls with confidence. Shrinkage is actually good because it means your hair is healthy and strong. So let your hair do its thing and embrace shrinkage! You'll be a lot less stressed when you do.
Despite how frustrating it is, shrinkage is a sign of healthy hair. When your curls don’t shrink it’s a sign of damaged, brittle, dry hair that will break off. Have you tried any of the methods we’ve outlined to decrease shrinkage in your natural hair? What has worked best for you? Share your tips and advice in the comments below!