Imagine fantasizing about how you intend to wear your hair and flip it from left to right and then boom, shrinkage happens. Nothing really prepares you for shrinkage. For those who might not know, shrinkage is when your natural hair transitions from stretched and lengthy to more compact and short hair. Basically, as the name suggests, your hair shrinks.
Shrinkage is frustrating for a lot of people. Interestingly, our hair (especially 4C hair) shrinks when it loses moisture. To an extent, shrinkage is more of an alarm blower to let us know it's time to hydrate our hair. It also helps us understand what our hair porosity is or how well our hair retains moisture. So shrinkage isn't all bad. Although you cannot do away with it entirely, here are some things you can do to reduce its effect.
Style your hair before bed
When you leave your hair in an afro and go to bed, rest assured that by the time you wake up, your hair would have shrunk. You can put your hair in chunky twists, two strand twists, in a pineapple style or just braid it and get your scarf or bonnet on. Your hair would look much better in the morning. Now, all you need to do it moisturize and style it for the day.
Don't get it wrong. Detangled hair does shrink. However, detangling properly helps get rid of knots and tangles. These knots and tangles do not make you see the real length of your hair. Make sure your hair is properly moisturized before detangling. It helps to detangle your hair in sections with the aid of your fingers, a detangling brush or a wide-tooth comb and of course your water and leave-in conditioner.
Deep condition regularly
Shrinkage is often associated with dry hair. This is why Deep conditioning regularly is a good idea. Basically, deep conditioning restores moisture to your hair. Moisture is one of the essential things needed to keep your hair healthy. After deep conditioning, don't apply too much oils to weigh down your hair. Moisturizing hair mists such as the Aloe Vera Hair Mist is a better alternative.
Stretch you hair (with heat)
Using heat on your hair isn't necessarily a bad thing. You have to always use a heat protectant and medium heat. Plus, it's ideal to use heat sparingly. To stretch your hair, you can always blow dry or go in for a silk press to know its real length. On the issue of silk press, do these sparingly and with a certified salon. You don't want to risk the chance of your hair getting heat damaged.
Stretch your hair (without heat)
This is a better alternative and fun as well. African threading is the new sexy hairstyle. All you need is a thread and you're good to go (after moisturizing of course). Banding is also another way of stretching your hair without heat. But when in doubt, just go in for regular natural hair twists.
Shrinkage is part of the natural hair care journey. All you can do is to embrace it and not dwell so much on it. In fact, studies have shown that shrinkage is a sign of having healthy hair. It means you hair has 'bounce' and not heat damaged. Most importantly, keep your hair moisturized as often as possible. For further hair consultation, please contact +233 204 600 464 or @eyanaturals on Facebook and Instagram
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