What is hair shrinkage and how to combat it?

Ever heard the term used within the natural hair community saying shrinkage is real? Well, it is. For every natural, their hair will experience shrinkage in some way shape or form. It can be after washing and styling their hair. Shrinkage is when the hair appears shorter than it actually is. Your hair could be at bra length but after washing and styling, it reaches shoulder length. Depending on the hairstyle as well the hair can shrink up to 50% of its true length. You should not be alarmed by the shrinkage that your hair receives because it is a sign of health.

Hair Shrinkage

(source: @thedollhouz)

How Does Shrinkage Happen?

Remember that shrinkage occurs naturally. Due to the curly nature of our hair, sebum isn’t able to travel down to the tips of our hair. The oil gets stuck at the crevices or corners of the curls. Hence, the majority of our natural hair doesn’t get the moisture, protein, and sheen that it needs from our natural sebum. Therefore, we have to apply products to our hair, specifically water-based, to add moisture, protein, and lustre. When water is applied to our hair, the hair cuticles are lifted, and the water is absorbed. Once the water is absorbed, the hair curls or shrinks into its natural curl pattern. Also called shrinkage. As you can see that shrinkage is not bad, it indicates that our hair is healthy because it is able to absorb moisture and hold it. Therefore, if your hair does not shrink after a water-based product is applied then 
your hair is not in a healthy state!

Solutions To Combat Shrinkage:

The Solution to keep your curls elongated for a long time is through the use of products, styles or embrace it.

1. Products: 

Firstly, is using products that keep your curls elongated. You can use butters like this one by Educated Natural. Choose butters that contains nourishing ingredients that will moisture, strengthen, and sheen to your hair strands. As well as, Aunt Jackie’s Elongating Gel is an amazing gel that does what it says it actually does. It is made from flaxseeds that are filled with omega fatty acids that will nourish your hair strands and follicles. These products add a layer that will help you to avoid shrinkage.
2. Styles:
Next, styling helps to keep your hair stretched. You can do styles such as Braid-outs, twist-outs, High Bun, Banding and many other styles. These styles allow you to manipulate your hair by stretching it to its true length in order to combat the natural shrinkage. Therefore, allowing you to combat shrinkage.
3. Embrace It:
If you have natural hair, then shrinkage is one of the man facets of dealing with it. Instead of complaining about the shrinkage, how about you embrace it? Embrace the shrinkage that comes with your natural coils, curls and kinks! It may be easier said than done, but just remember that shrinkage is inevitable for your natural hair.

Hair Shrinkage

Source: @fromato4z

Remember shrinkage is natural for black hair. How do you combat it or do you embrace shrinkage?


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