EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SHRINKAGE
What is Natural Hair Shrinkage ?
Specific to textured hair, shrinkage refers to the tendency of natural hair to shrink on itself when in contact with humidity. It is a natural phenomenon that comes from the nature of the hair and its elasticity.
Hair shrinks and curls on itself, losing up to 70% of its length. But this is a good sign, it is a natural phenomenon that means your hair is healthy. Shrinking hair is natural hair that is in great shape but is also hair that can be easily tangled.
Shrinkage can be one of the most frustrating phenomena for some women, especially those with short hair. This is because it makes the hair appear even shorter. Which might be irritating for some women. It is important that I remind you that shrinkage is perfectly normal. However, if it bothers you so much, here are some things you can do to minimize your natural hair shrinkage :
How to better control shrinkage ?
Stretching your natural hair is one of the best ways to get rid of shrinkage. Good stretching techniques are also protective hairstyles.
Braid Out Hairstyles :
Make a three-branch braid, while for twist out or vanillas, we will make a two-branch braid. The braids provi- de more length but vanillas provide more defined curls. Leave it overnight and apply oil the next morning. The difference between the two techniques is the result. The curls will be bigger and more defined with vanilla braids, whereas with braids, the curls will be tighter.
Braids with wire :
Wrap wire around the hair strands starting from the root to the tip, then unravel after several hours to have hair with relaxed, defined curls. This technique keeps hair from tangling and knotting. Which means it will shrink much less.
Now, it is important that I remind you that shrinkage is perfectly normal and no matter how long your hair grows, you will experience shrinkage. However, if it bothers you so much, here are some things you can do to minimize your natural hair shrinkage :
The heat method :
This is when you use heat tools such as curling irons or a diffuser to straighten your curls. However, it is not advisable that you do this often as the heat from those tools can cause hair breakage, split ends, and even damage to your hair. Also, before you use these tools, make sure you apply a heat protectant (hair product that protects your hair from heat damage).
The no-heat method :
This involves the use of elastic bands, threading, curl formers, and more to straighten hair. This method is safer for your natural hair.
Style to Bed :
Have you noticed that your curls stretch out and your hair length is more noticeable when you braid or twist them to bed and take out the braids/twists in the morning? This is especially helpful if you want to restyle. Your braids or twists do not have to be perfect but make sure you wear your satin bonnet on your head before going to bed to help preserve the shape of the braids/twists.
As you now know, shrinkage is not a bad thing and is in fact, a sign of a healthy mane. So, even when you get frustrated that it does not allow the actual length of your natural hair to show, just learn to embrace it as part of your natural hair journey.