Shrinkage Hair

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shrinkage hair guide

Natural Hair Shrinkage

Have you ever washed your hair, and get excited at the length, just to finish and notice all that length is no longer there? Have someone ever told you, that you should relax your hair or give up being natural because of the shrinkage or because they don’t understand it? Well we are going to address the elephant in the room and help you embrace it, we will also discuss ways to minimize it without losing your curl pattern in the long run.

1What is hair shrinkage?

When natural hair shrinks it’s a pain in the butt not being able to show off that wonderful length that you know is there. Shrinkage is a unique characteristic that gives us our own texture and definition to our phenomenal curly crown. Shrinkage is basically the reduction of the length of our hair when it dries since water weighs down your hair to their maximum length as it dries, your inches that were just there will disappear.

2More about hair shrinkage?

Shrinkage heavily depends on your hair type and your porosity levels, which is your hair’s ability to absorb moisture. It is completely normal for naturals to experience any kinds of shrinkage, even those who can see up to 8or more inches of shrinkage after their wash day regimen, and it’s a number one indicator for having healthy hair. Wondering how, well when your hair is properly moisturized and has great elasticity it’s healthy, not to mention if you are avoiding any heat, properly maintaining your hair at night and just overall being cautious about what you not only put on your hair but in your body as well. Yes, what we intake in our bodies does have an effect on our hair, skin, and nails, not so much the shrinkage just the overall healthy state.

3How to prevent shrinkage? Part #1

Since shrinkage is a way of our hair showing us that its healthy, there is no prevent thinning way to prevent it from happening unless one day you shea butter wake up and decide to no longer be natural or stop taking care of your hair properly. You can’t just get rid of shrinkage without damaging your hair, or drastically changing it. But there are some ways to lessen the amount of shine and, in case you want to do a wash-n-go, and other curl loving free-fro styles.

4How to prevent shrinkage? Part #2

A good way to overboard the amount of shrinkage is to stretch your hair, even if you do it slightly, it will make a difference. Some naturals stretch their hair to prevent tangles, matting, and shrinkage, but constant stretching can strip your natural hair of its curl pattern. Once you strip your mane of hair, try a curl pattern, then you will no longer have to worry about shrinkage. You can lessen the amount of driness and frizz by changing your hair care regimen. When you start using hair products that are specifically for your hair type, porosity and such you will notice less shrinkage. That means to start focusing on what your hair needs and not what your favorite social media guru is using for their hair.

5Anti Shrinkage Products For Natural Hair #1

There are also some products with ingredients that can help lessen shrinkage, by weighing down your hair, like:

  • Flaxseed – Depending on your hair needs and type, you may try a hair gel containing flaxseed. Flaxseed is a widely known ingredient that has a natural remedy for aiding in hair growth, help prevent thinning and maintain an overall healthy scalp. It can also give a nice shine and a wonderful stretch to your wash-n-go without flaking. For this, we suggest Aunt Jackie’s Don’t ShrinkElongating Curling Gel, this product is tried and true by many naturals.
  • Bamboo Milk – We recently came across this particular ingredient, but we are loving it. This is a natural ingredient coming straight from the bamboo plant, it contains Silica and natural chemical that provides hair with strength, moisture and can elongate curls.

6Other Anti Shrinkage Products For Natural Hair

  • Shea Butter – This product is like the holy grail of beauty, not only will it be beneficial for your skin, and not only can it moisturize your hair but if you would like to lessen your shrinkage you can do that too. Some people even eat it, we wouldn’t recommend that part though. It’s heavy for one, technically its one of the heaviest butters out. You may try it raw and unfiltered, just apply it to damp hair and perform one of the stretching techniques below. Just don’t go overboard with it, as since it’s the thickest butter, it can cause build-up and have reverse effects on your hair.
  • Mango Butter – Not as widely used as shea butter, this particular butter is packed with all the good kinds of fatty acids and vitamins that can benefit our hair. Using a product listed with this ingredient or even using a raw and unfiltered one will give us soft hair, protection from outside damage, moisture, hydration and of course provide some kind of aid in helping lessen shrinkage. Just like shea butter, you shouldn’t too much as it can also provide reverse effects.

7Styles For Shrinkage Hair

There are also styles you may use that will serve you a dual purpose, stretching your hair without damaging it and help you fight shrinkage, although these styles seem to provide a temporary fix you can always try them to help you win the battle, just not the war.

8Bantu Knots 

This style is a go to for naturals who are pass the twa stage, parted in square sections and tightly but not too tight twisting and wrapping your hair around itself, it will give you some bomb curls. And if you do them right you can even rock them as a style on its own, giving your hair a break from daily manipulation and freshening.

9Roller Sets 

Heatless curls for the win, yes! And depending on the size of the rollers, you will get various results. Apply them to dampened hair, allow to completely and thoroughly air dry. Not only will your curls be bomb but you won’t have as much shrinkage, and as the days go by and as long,you’re properly maintaining your hair at night, your curls will get better until your next wash day.

10Blow outs 

Blow outs can be created in a lot of ways but the most frequent and widely known, consist of using a handheld blow dryer. All your doing is blow drying your hair and depending on how tight your curls and coils are, you will be working in smaller sections. To eliminate some heat damage, you can start on the cool setting and work from the bottom of your curls to the roots, switching to a warm setting that is still effective and working from the roots to ends, and back again to the cool setting. Be sure your hair is properly prepped and moisturized, and you are using a heat protectant. People who frequent the use of blow outs are more prone to heat damage and breakage and will strip their hair of their curl pattern and be affected with frizz.

11Twist outs or Braid Outs 

Similar to the results of bantu knots and roller sets, this styling option can give you some tight smaller curls. These may also be worn alone or taken out to show off length, you can also perform these on already stretched and dry hair for more voluminous curls.

12Braiding 

A pretty old technique that is still used this very day and age, it consists of using either small ponytail holders or cotton yarn and wrapping them around a small to medium of section of hair from roots to ends, and allowing them to air dry completely, just be sure to not use any rubber or metal ponytail holders. You will want to be sure your hair damp, when doing this, the wetter your hair is the longer it will take to dry.

13Bunning Shrinkage Natural Hair #1

This is good if you wish to just rock your wash n go, and if performed correctly your hair doesn’t have to be 100%dry to achieve this. To do this technique you will want to perform your wash day routine like normal, once done and depending on the length and thickness of your hair you will pull your hair up into a loose bun, the longer your hair is you can perform the pineapple bunning method, loosely gathering your hair at the top of your head, if your hair is not that long, you may take a headband and draw your hair back away from your forehead, being sure that its still loose and nothing is tight. Keeping your hair like this for 1-2 hours, once the time is up you will remove the bun, and gently pluck or comb your hair out and style it how you want. You will get some length retained but not a lot, with this technique.