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Curly Nikki

Shrinkage- It’s Not All Bad!

By January 27th, 202137 Comments


  • Anonymous says:

    I don't really care about shrinkage. I have long hair so if I want it long all i have to do is straighten it out. At times I like to rock a longer length with my curls so I stretch it. Sometimes it works, sometimes. Not. But, I LOVE your commentary on accepting your natural hair and WHO YOU ARE!!! I had Mixed responses, some family members, some co-workers. Like you, I DIDN"T CARE!!! Still Don't. I'm an attorney and I rock my natural hair professionally. Don't get me wrong, I still like wearing it straight at times but its only to switch it up not because I think its more beautiful. Thanks.

  • Anonymous says:

    Word, sis! I like compliments, but I'm not changing something I enjoy so more people can think I'm cute. What God has for me is for me, and that will come no matter how many people agree/disagree on what length or curl pattern they enjoy best on my person.

  • Anonymous says:

    Sweet video!! Keep up the good work.
    Love your sister,

  • Sonya says:

    I really appreciate what harmony said about shrinkage, black women, our hair, and white paradigms of beauty. I think some of us still don't understand that our natural hair is about so much more than just hair. I blogged about it recently at

    We need to love us before anyone else will.

  • palexb says:

    Since this sting is about shrinkage, let's start there. My shrinkage is about 70%. I got my big chop on 10/13/10 and I LOVE it. My hair is thickening up and growing fast. My hair was about an inch long and see-through when I first got it cut. Now my hair looks like it's about an inch long. I am rocking my wash and go, which is ultimately the best carefree hairstyle out there. I haven't even bothered doing the twists and braid outs and all that.

    Looking back I realized how I was never satisfied with my perms and weaves. I like them for a minute but I was NEVER satisfied for more months than a few months. And it wasn't easy to take care of. It was expensive. And looking back at my pictures, I have some cute ones, but I have some fake funky ones too. More than the pricetag should have allowed.

    Back to shrinkage, I found this site pretty early on, so I've been hearing about shrinkage since my big chop. I just figured that's not my problem and I delete the feeds. But apparently it is a HUGE issue in our community. So what does it all mean? Well India Arie said "she is not her hair", well I AM MY HAIR. And I love. Thank you for this video. It's a little preachy, but I'm a part of choir that gladly listened to the sermon.

  • BekkaPoo says:

    I get 50% – 70% shrinkage, but hey.. curls/coils do that. I don't feel the need to fight it, justify it, or change it.

  • oneswtl8y says:

    HA! My hair hangs low in the back too (though I was the only one that suffered)!! So much so that a lady IN CHURCH teased me that my bf was pulling my hair and that's why it was hangin! I HAAATE it! My hair is thin and 3C-ish (cork screws then, zig zags now after henna-ing). Henna has saved the day, because I put a stronger mix on the tighter pattern side, so now its more even and shrinks up better. I like shrinkage just fine. Just shrink EVENLY you!! *wags finger at head*. GREAT VIDEO! I was/am a wig wearer. I get pissed at my hair and stuff it under a lf or halfie. I'm getting better though. I totally agree with the beauty thing. GOD MAKES NO MISTAKES.

  • ♥ Halicakes ♥ says:

    I learned to accept my shrinkage recently. Hey, it comes along with the natural territory. 😀

  • Anonymous says:

    Firstly, I'd like to say "Preach it!". LOL! But seriously, I have similar multi-textured extremes as Harmony – but amped! The front half of my head is extremely tightly coiled and the back is very loose and wavy – I literally have a "line of demarcation" across my scalp where the texture makes an abrupt change. Oh well – I can't wear my hair "out" unless I do a braid/twist out. Sometimes I wish the shrinkage could be the same across my head to make life easier, but it just means I need to master the twist/braid-out to even out my textures.

    I hardly ever straighten my hair (only once in 2010) and have fine hair so that my bun collapses into a tiny little ball. There are people who still do not believe it's possible that my tiny little ball of a bun could stretch to APL; LOL!

  • Anonymous says:

    Awesome video! I love FreeWorshipFreeWors.

    I love shrinkage. It's part of the awesomeness of my natural hair.

  • Anonymous says:

    I didn't watch the video, but just had to chime in to say that it seems like the grass is always greener. I'd kill for more shrinkage and am constantly trying to find products that will tighten my waves, loose curls into 3C/4a coils (I actually think my hair used to be curlier and am mad that it is now loosening with age=(. So, for those of you who hate your shrinkage, know that there are women on the other side who would kill for it and plump, juicy twists and bigger twist outs and hair that went from MBL to a neck length bob.


  • LBell says:

    I forgot to add: The rest of that video was ON POINT. And I'm sure there are plenty of women whose feathers were ruffled by the blast but the truth will set you free…

  • LBell says:

    I've always said shrinkage is the third dimension of natural hairstyling. Personally I LOVED being able to go from a TWA "look" to a BAA (via twistouts/braidouts) to straightened hair (even though I haven't straightened in ages). I have extreme shrinkage so I was used to getting asked "Did you get it cut?" I was always like: When I get it cut you will know it! And when I chopped back down to a TWA last year they were like: Yep! lol

    It's not about getting attention (sigh…so tired of women always minimizing themselves and apologizing for ish!) so much as it is about enjoying yet another cool aspect of this hair type. I'm sorry that some are still stuck on how they think hair is "supposed" to look and behave but the mental transition to accepting your hair isn't something that happens overnight…

    Now that said, the one thing I would change about my shrinkage if I could is this: I'd like most of it to shrink at a more-or-less even rate. I wouldn't mind having 80%+ shrinkage if it did that ALL OVER instead of just in the front. But having done WNGs exclusively for the last year I've discovered that I have a patch of hair near my crown that has VERY little shrinkage. I always thought my area of least shrinkage was in the back (just like FreeWorship…I totally relate). This one patch has been jacking up my style though. Also, I'm graying, and a lot of the gray doesn't shrink as much. Imagine long white strands on top of black carpet. Grrrr!

    When it comes to shrinkage, I think having a good shape does help. I purposely cut my sides and back very short compared to the front because they don't shrink as much. Of course this works for WNGs; if FreeWorship is wearing WNGs she might want to consider getting a shape.

  • Anonymous says:

    To anonymous at January 7, 2011 6:41 PM:

    I think the issue about people seeing "true length" isn't about validation, strictly speaking, but more so as the best measure for non-curlies to understand just how healthy the natural hair is. Where "true length" is just a proxy for "healthy." I agree that it seems we've all been kinda pre-conditioned to equate length with hair health, but sometimes that just the easiest barometer for others to see and it's going to take a while for that notion to fade. Just my two cents.

  • Jenell : BlakIzBeautyful says:

    I could do without shrinkage, but honestly its not the end of the world. if our hair didn't shrink then it wouldn't be curly!

  • Pinkgirlfluff says:

    I love shrinkage!!! I love hair in general so whatever it decides to do, I know how to make it hawt. lol.

    Shrunken or stretched, I have faith that it's going to look great and that it's fly on me regardless because this is how I was made.

    A higher power loved this look so much that he/she decided, I want to make something for all the world to see with this super cool shrinky, coily, thick, water loving hair. That is enough to make me feel beautiful from the neck up even if I'm not feeling my outfit!

    But it's cool if others don't feel that way. You have to live in that body so do you! Stretch it to your ankles if you need to. lol.

  • Natural-E says:

    What an inspirational video!!! I think that many naturals really need to get over length obsession and "enjoy the journey". Because all it is is buying in to societal hype and white majority standards of beauty. It's okay to want long hair and to have it, but that should not be the complete focus. Once a person learns how to take care of their hair, it should grow. Long hair has a lot of challenges just like shorter hair. Enjoy the journey ladies!!! Again great video Nik!

  • KeetaRay says:

    I don't "love" shrinkage, but I accept it. I'm not bothered by it (anymore – Lol) — Great vid!!! It's all a part of natural hair 🙂

  • mizcreativelyme says:

    love this chica and i don't mind shrinkage at all. i like to see the look on folks face when they really see how versatile my hair can be from one day to the next

  • Anonymous says:

    you guys how to stretch out ur hair?… im transitioning and i have no idea how to stop my shrinkage!!… i dont want to blow dry it out every day,.. tipz anybody?

  • Anonymous says:

    Love Harmony's down-to-earth personality! She always a nugget of wisdom and practicality in her videos that I appreciate!

  • Bree says:

    I get what she is saying but I don't think it is not necessary that you aren't embracing your journey just because you don't care for one aspect of your hair such as shrinkage. Just because people want their hair to hang/look a certain way and want their length visible doesn't necessarily means they are looking for validation I think people need to stop throwing that idea around when it is not true for most nor should someone resort back to a relaxer. I really don't have a problem with shrinkage in general but it depends on the style and look I' am going far that i have to factor it in

  • EmmaG says:

    Priscilla, Thank you for the encouragement. I hope no-one on this site believes for a minute that caucasians don't have trouble after a wash. Sales for texturizing and volumizing shampoos are going through the roof. Everyones got issues. Things are really bad when an African woman doesn't feel pretty unless she has a caucasian hairdo.

  • Anonymous says:

    FreeWorship was one of the first you tubers I checked out on a regular basis when I first started wearing two strand twists. I like her atitude. The summer of 2007 I finally got tired of flat ironing my hair and then have it fro up in the humidity so I just rocked a fro for the summer and dared anybody to say something negative. I have no problem with shrinkage. First day twists looks like I have little shag then they lengthen each day until I take them down for a twist out. I've been natural for the majority of my 50 plus years and I love my hair especially since I've learned how to keep it moisturized.

  • Anonymous says:

    I just don't get the upset over shrinkage. It's what our hair does albeit some ppl have serious shrinkage than others bt it's part of the course. Maybe those ppl who hate shrinkage with a passion should just perm their hair.

  • steph302 says:

    I'm 1.5 yrs post relaxer, and I appreciate shrinkage sometimes. It makes my hair look more restrained when I don't want the wild look I sometimes have. Right now I have in some mini twists that I did on wet hair, and the shrinkage makes my twists awesomely curly.

    I saw some older pics of Tracie Thoms from Cold Case with beautiful shrunken twists, and I had to try it. (CN did a wonderful interview with her a while back. I never realized her "bob" was twists. They looked like a coil out or something.)The shrinkage makes the twists look fuller and pre-styled instead of just like they're hanging there.

  • Anonymous says:

    When I first BC'd, I was not very fond of how much my shrinkage was/is. That was short lived though. Now I've come to accept that it's a part of who I am. I am so done with not accepting things about me.

    As a child, I inflicted a few self-complexes of my self, such as being dark skinned, overweight, and not having straight or wavy/loosely curled hair. As an adult, I've overcome all of that thanks to my Lord and Savior! I accept myself as a whole, not just part of me, but all of me. I love my milk cholcolate skin tone, I'm at a healthy weight, and I absolutely adore my kinky curls, no matter how much they shrivel up. ;o) I became 100% natural on 12.22.10, so this is a new phase in my life. A phase that I am thrilled to embark upon. I accept this positive and new transition in my life along with it's challenges. It strengthens me in more ways than one can imagine. :o) So to finally answer your question, I LOOOVE my shrinkage!

  • Channing says:

    I love my natural hair but I absolutely can not stand my shrinkage. It has and still is the hardest part of being natural for me, I don't mind some, in fact my stretched styles usually only hit a little past shoulder length and I like that but I have MBL hair and can get an above the shoulder wash-n-go! to me that's ridiculous, not only is it knot city, it pretty much gurantees that I HAVE to do something to my hair whenever I wash it.

    I'd love to be able to do a real wash and wouldn't want to change my curls for anything but I wish they didn't come with so much shrinkage.

  • Anonymous says:

    I loved watching this video! She made me feel better about rocking my twa and dealing with all the crazy stares I have been getting from strangers every single day. I love that she stayed natural out of spite. I would probably do something like that too! LOL!!

  • Anonymous says:

    I don't get the big deal. I'm not sure what validation people need regarding how long their hair "really" is. Is it a competition? Do you think that you are more attractive to people because of it? There are so many things about you that people can't see…they can't see your IQ. They don't know where you live or how much money you make. I just wonder why it bothers people that people can't see how long your hair is. I mean, anyone who doesn't have straight hair has this issue. Why do people focus so much on such a superficial measure?

  • Anonymous says:

    I love this video!!! It's so true…..

  • Nik says:

    I agree with Breanna, it is funny to see people's faces when they see your real length. I'm loving my shrinkage right now because my comb coils are hanging in for week 3 and they still look good. Otherwise, I figure its just a part of the journey and not a huge deal.

  • Breanna says:

    I really don't like the shrinkage part. But it's really funny to see the expresssion on peoples faces when they see how long your hair really is. Sometimes depending on the style often I don't mind the shrinkage because it actually will better adhere to the shape of my face, and stand up and out.

  • Anonymous says:

    It's 50/50 sometimes shrinkage lets a 2 day style last 4 or 5 for me. Especially when it's those rainy moist days out side and my hair will contracts at will. but if my ends look well then hey, i rock it.

  • KCAS says:

    I try to live with it, but I really don't like shrinkage. It takes about 2/3 of my real length. I already gave up of a waist-length hair because it would have to grow to my knees due to shrinkage.

  • Unknown says:

    hate shrinkage but its apart of being natural so I will learn to love it i n time. 🙂


  • Anonymous says:

    After watching the video, I still don't like shrinkage.

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