If you’ve been natural long enough—you know that shrinkage can be cray! It can rob of you hard earned inches! Personally, my hair shrinks up at least six inches (probably more… I don’t have a tape measurer otherwise I probably would check). Some people hate shrinkage, while others don’t mind it at all. When I first went natural I hated it... a lot. Especially because I wanted my hair to look longgg–not be like an afro! Not that anything is wrong with afros at all—just wasn’t my personal preference. Plus, back then being natural wasn’t really accepted. So I just got made fun of and got called Macy Gray and what not all the time *sighs*. But some people love their shrinkage! They love the versatility of it and never fight it. So if you are in that category, then this post isn’t for you (but share it with a friend or something)!
So there are a few ways I stretch my hair to get rid of some of the shrinkage. If I didn’t do these things, my hair would probably look a lot shorter and poofier.
1. Blow Dry Your Roots
When my hair is at least 90% dry, I pull my hair and then blow-dry the roots with medium heat. I don’t blow-dry them straight, but just enough to stretch my hair a little bit to give it some length. It works wonders! And only takes a couple minutes to do! You can really manipulate your hair with the blow dryer.
2. Put Your Hair In a High Bun
If you are #teamnoheat or just don’t want to use a blow dryer, you can stretch your hair a little bit by putting your hair in a high bun when your hair is almost dry. I wouldn’t do this while it is wet because it could mess up the way your curls dry. I do this when I don’t have access to a blow dryer. I’ll put it in a bun for an hour or so or keep taking it up and down until I get the length I want, lol. Make sure it is tight enough to pull your hair, and loose enough that it won’t make any creases!
3. Use A Lot of Product
Product weights your hair down, so that will help it to be a little longer. This is something you would have to play with to figure out what works best for you. Depending on what product you use and how much, it could make your hair look flaky or flat. So I use just enough to take away the frizz and fro and make my hair lay down a little bit.
4. Wait For Your Hair to Grow
I know some of ya’lI rolled your eyes at this! 'Cause we are all impatient and hate waiting for our hair to get to our ideal length. And that’s okay because I’ve definitely been there! But don’t worry! The longer your hair gets, the less shrinkage you’ll get! Length can loosen your curls and weighs down your hair. So naturally it’ll stretch.
5. Embrace it!
Instead of fighting it and getting frustrated, accept and embrace it! It is apart of the natural hair journey and it can’t be avoided. Now that my hair is longer and the length weighs it down, I have embraced my shrinkage and don’t mind it at all. It makes my hair look fuller and bigger, which I love! Even though I do stretch it a little bit, I couldn’t even imagine my hair without shrinkage now. I feel like it wouldn’t be me!