by Sherica of ShatterProofGlassDolls.com
Growing up, I’ve never been a big fan on hair shrinkage. My hair appeared shorter, kinkier,and harder to manage. Then I got older and realized, “ain’t a damn thing wrong with that!” So what if your hair appears shorter. Whats wrong with short hair? So what if your curls become a little tighter, can you say fierce wash n’ go? And the truth is, your hair doesn’t really become un-manageable. You’ve just gotta detangle your hair with conditioner while its wet and maximize the moisture afterwards. The things you learn when you take the time out lol. I later found out that these were just some of the things said about our hair to make it seem..well inferior. But I’m a slave to that way of thinking no more *musketeer voice*! I’ve done my research and you know what? I love my hair even more than I did before!
How do you feel about your hair shrinkage?
I didn't have a problem at first but now I'm like wtf… it's shrinking more as it's growing and I don't get it.
I'm not a fan of my shrinkage…don't get me wrong, I LOVE my hair but I am trying to grow the biggest afro possible and the shrinkage is getting in the way of my greatness!! lol
I wrote in my blog about shrinkage. Check it out!http://curlydivacandy.blogspot.com/2011/09/shrinkage-stretching-experience.html
I love my shrinkage. It makes my twistouts look great. I would love a longer look but its good to be as is
For me, that the worst part of being natural. My hair is longer than when I used to relax it, but it does not show because it shrinks 2/3 of its length. With umidity is even worse. Seriously, I can't get used to it.
The only problem I originally had with shrinkage is that my hair doesn't all shrink evenly. At the sides of the back of my hairline, my hair is very tight colis, which are very well defined and cute but shrink up incredibly! The top of my head is more of an s-curl, with small enough waves that it is similar in texture to my coilier hair, but it has a much longer "pitch" if that makes sense. The middle of the back of my hairline is a looser wave than anywhere else. When I had a TWA, the front would grow so that it is was too tall haha, and then the back would be like a mullet. It's working out now that it's longer though, because the top of my hair is catching up with the bottom!
At first it bothered me but now I love it as it feels like I am playing tricks on people. My hair is now a bit past shoulder length but if it's not stretched you would never know. One minute people are like, "You cut your hair?" Then the next minute their in shock and saying, "Wow didn't know your hair was that long." Haha! It's also convenient during those hot days when I don't want my hair touching my neck. 🙂
I didnt mind shrinkage at first (never used to do stretched out styles) but for some reason now that my hair is longer the shrinkage is really bad and my hair is soooo dry…I'm trying diff ways to regain moisture again but its not working; now I have started to do stretch out styles and I'm liking the results so far. So either I put my hair up in a ponytail or stretch it out but even that takes forever to do bc my hair is so thickkkkkkkkk…my arms feel like fire after Im done doing all of that twisting….shrinkage def has not been my friend these past couple of months…
Oh my goodness, I wish I had this many comments back when I wrote this post on my website lol. Nonetheless, I appreciate the different opinions and lovely compliments. Thanks for all the responses Dolls ;-). Reading them gave me alot of insight on how some of my fellow naturalistas feel, and thats always a plus!
Sherica of Shatterproof Glass Dolls
I love my shrinkage! My hair also shrinks about 75% but it gives me more options for styling now that my hair is shoulder length. I used to hate it cuz I would look up to the naturals with long flowy hair. But since my wash and go's are easy….and also since I've learned how to effectively stretch my hair-my shrinkage does not affect me. I just make sure to braid my hair when its about 70% air dried….leave it in for a day…stretched hair!
Older generation still has those traces of a healthy hair on their heads whereas the younger ones are losing out on this pleasure. Hair requires to be treated differently than rest of the body, firstly because hair is delicate and can be damaged easily and secondly, this is the place more likely to catch dust and grime than anywhere else.
I've been transitioning for a year and a half cutting off my relaxed hair
along the way now I'm completely natural. I'm still learning what my
natural hair can do but shrinkage gets in the way of some styles I
could otherwise "flaunt". I'm a 4c and my hair shrinks about 75%
trust me. I don't totally hate shrinkage but man…..One things for
sure the more my hair grows looking at this from a stlyling
stand point is now my rule. thanks naturals!
I dont mind the shrinkage. I think I used to be annoyed with it because it didnt show my hair's true length. Now that I am not caring about that, I'm cool with it. Plus it's neat to every now and then pull out a strand and see how far it goes lol
I DO NOT LIKE SHRINKAGE!!!! My hair shrinks and the coils all lock together. I haven't done a wash and go in over a year. It was okay at first, but as it got longer, it got worse. My hair is currrently CBL when stretched, but when it gets wet, it shrinks up to about three inches long. All of it except the heat damaged section in the back and on the right side that I don't want to talk about.
Every since I been natural I always dealt with skrinkage. It can be annoying sometimes but I learned to work with it and make it cute!
I accept my shrinkage….all curly or kinky hair shrinks. I normally WNG but the last week I have been experimenting with twist outs and braid outs because it's getting colder. My hair is more stretched out but I have to retwist or rebraid every night….too much work. I think my shrunken WNG is cute….I don't care about showing my length….although it's only 14 months since I BCed and I only have 8-9 inches of hair.
I just wish my hair would shrink uniformly. It doesn't. I have some shrinkage in the front. No shrinkage in the crown. LOTS of shrinkage in the back. If it would do one thing all over I'd be fine with it.
I agree with the person above who said that shrinkage is just another aspect of styling. My shrinkage is so extreme that I can get a huge variety of looks. I can go from a TWA to a sleek, almost-SL wedge bob…and still have a whole lot of options in between. I confess I get a kick out of folks' reactions…jaws be hittin the floor for REAL, lol.
As for detangling worries, seriously, it's nothing that a good conditioner-and-oil soak, followed by the right tools and PATIENCE, can't cure. My texture is mostly 4b, thick, fine, supertight coils.
Shrinkage can be a pain in the ass but for lots of us it's part and parcel of having natural curly/coily hair. If you REALLY don't like it, there are always (chemical) ways around it. Otherwise, learn to work with it and (hopefully) appreciate it. It's something else we (Afro-textured girls) have that nobody else does…
When I first started growing my hair out I did not like shrinkage but now that my hair is much longer and I've learned how to work with my kinks/curls, I embrace it. Instead of going through that extra step trying to blow dry my kinks to achieve that "longer" look when I do my braids/twists I just do them on wet hair. They last longer and don't pose a problem for me when I do my daily moisturizing routine. yes they shrink but I don't mind that any more.
i don't mind it, but i am trying to get my hair to grow enough so it doesn't matter!
I was just having this conversation with myself. 🙂 I love my hair and I understand that shrinkage is a characteristic of my natural hair. I've been natural for a year, and I love my shrunken fro!
Btw, you, your hair and those earrings are GORGEOUS!!! So pretty!!
Not a fan. Lol
I am suprised so many dont care for it, personally I love it.
I don't like it!!!
Shrinkage comes hand in hand with being natural so I don't sweat it at all. My hair is CBL when stretched but closer to chin length with shrinkage.
I tried the whole twist out thing during the summer and I like the look of stretched hair. What I didn't like was the nightly retwisting so I've been a WnG girl this fall. I don't mind the shrinkage…it's just a different look.
Pineappling my WnG at night stretches the hair little by little. By Day 3, I can rock a BIG curly fro or a really BIG puff for a few days. Then I wash and start again…shrunken for the first couple of days and then BIG and stretched for the rest of the week. I love both looks.
My hair is dense and now that it's kinda long, I do a pre-poo detangle on dry hair using Shea Moisture deep treatment masque mixed with olive oil. I divide into 5 or 6 sections and it takes about 20 minutes to detangle. Each day, I style with a water-based product and seal with an oil or butter which helps to minimize tangling.
I can't stand shrinkage, I like long hair. I will admit that sometimes shrinkage is beneficial like for example, when I'm wearing an updo and I don't want my hair falling too low. But for the most part, I really don't like it.
CHeck out this cute protective style from CHarjay aka "160days2lose2" video titled: Protective Style Exchange" Tutorial & Moisture Retention.
A few people above commented about not liking shrinkage because of detangling issues. I used to have this problem before I cut my hair again because the ends were damaged beyond belief and my hair was super dry all of the time. Now I don't have this problem mostly because the majority of the damaged ends are gone, but also because I changed my regimen to something that is actually effective (though I'm still working on the moisture part). All I have to do to detangle my hair is to slather on some conditioner in the shower, wait a few minutes, and then run my fingers through it until I feel it's good enough. The key here is to wait long enough for the conditioner to sink in. If you experiment with it, you can feel the hair getting more manageable as time passes. It only takes a couple of minutes.
Got rid of all of my frustrations, and my hair still shrinks up like it did before.
I occasionally wear my hair slightly shrunken only cause I love my afro..I can't do this often, because I'll have SSKs and tangles GALORE like I have now lol(from just letting my hair be)..I can't stand shrinkage on my two strand twists when I'm trying to wear a protective style because my twists in the back will just shrink up to my scalp which does not look cute.
Mullet LOL! Love it!
Boy oh boy! When I first BC (after 10 months of transitioning)I didn’t like the shrinkage because I missed my length (BSL since childhood), but I had the most perfect coils from just shaking my head like crazy….Fast forward two years later I WISH I had crazy shrinkage because as my hair got longer it got heavier, so now it only coils on the ends and not through the length and I get the "flat top". I guess the grass is always greener….
I am only a little over a month post BC so my hair is still a bit "short." I transitioned for 7 months so when it was cut I still had a fair amount of hair for my TWA. As for shrinkage I don't mind it. It is easy for me to say because my hair is short. I guess how my hair grows out will really determine how I feel about shrinkage, but for right now I welcome shrinkage and hope that I will still love and appreciate it as my hair grows.
@JMartinez516. Mullet solidarity! I thought I was alone with my fro-mullet!
Yeah…I kind of have the mullet thing happening too. I won't mind shrinkage as much when my hair shrinks to my shoulders and the mullet has grown out. Right now it kind of stinks.
I have been natural for about 18 months and have two visibly different textures of hair on my head. Incredibly dense and fine coils on 3/4s of my head and then on the back much looser, less dense curls. If I just let my hair shrink I would have a mullet. Not. Kidding.
When I have more length (and can hide the mullet) I might try it but for right now, shrinkage is not my friend.
Like others who commented above, I have mixed feelings about shrinkage. My hair is fine in texture, so shrinkage does help in giving me the appearance of much thicker and fuller hair. It does, however, bother me a little that my hair looks so much shorter than it actually is. But, as my hair grows longer it becomes less of an issue as I am beginning to experience the best of both worlds — length and appearance of thickness.
I love shrinkage!! You can have two completely different looks in a matter of hours. My 4z hair has crazy shrinkage and I've just embraced it instead of fighting it.
I like shrinkage; the curls are so ultra defined. But I don't love it because whenever I'm not wearing stretched out hair people always assume I cut it again. Also with only have 5 inches of hair, I don't want it to be any shorter than it already is.
I used to have a HUGE problem with my shrinkage. There…I said it! LOL But, I've gotten over it. If that's what my hair does, then that's what I have to accept.
Now, as someone said, I use it as a style. When I know I really don't want to mess with my hair for a few days, I do a wash n' go because I know I will have a head of shrunken curls. I just pineapple throughout the week and in a few days, it's "poofed out" like I like it.
I no longer let it worry me…it is what it is.
I don't mind shrinkage to a certain degree, beceause some styles look better with it. Also it's funny to see the expression on peoples hair when you have it pulled out, or if you were to flatiron the hair. Sometimes having shrinkage can be a hindurance to how you may think your hair is not growing when it really is growing. I currently have in my 1st set of mini twists and I love it. I should have put these bad boys in the starting of my hair in 09, and I will definitely do these every month esp. since it's getting into the cooler months. My hair grows quick anyway, so I should retain about another 3 to 4 inches within the next couples of months.
I have mixed feelings about shrinkage. I like SOME shrinkage, but when things shrink up to provide a chia pet look, well, I'm out, done,through.\
Some shrinkage is awesome for providing a curlier, full look.
I love it. Sometimes I purposely wear my hair in a short fro. And then I can flip things around and do twist outs and my hair is medium length again. Sometimes I spritz my hair lightly with water when I want my twists to be thicker.
I'm not afraid of water. I'm not ashamed of shrinkage. It is what it is.
I hate it and probably always will! Why would I want my hair to look shorter than it is. Shrinkage for me means breakage and unmangeable hair, so I never allow it to happen to its fullest extent, e.g. I wash my hair in plaits, so the water doesn't shrink it to much.
I've got mixed feelings toward shrinkage. I BCed in September, and even though my TWA has grown about 1-1.5 inches since then, it still looks the same length! Currently, many of my curls only look about 0.5-1.0 inch long, but when stretched, they're all 3-5 inches long! It's frustrating to see my curls tighten even more in the rain, humidtidy, etc. I can't wait until next September; hopefully, it'll be close to chin length by then.
I didn't have shrinkage but im becoming careful about it. This article seems very helpful for me. I liked this blog. You can like my site also
Listen y'all. If my hair looked like the lovely lady in the picture's hair, you would get NO complaints from me AT all.
I have FINE, THIN, tigntly coiled 4C-NAPPS and I empathize with posters "wah-wah-wah, my hair is sooo unmanageable" rants UNTIL I see the person's curl texture. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME? I'd give an eye-tooth to have to detangle 4a coils!
*shakes head in disbelief*
My hair is thin and fine, and when it was relaxed it was flat with see through ends. Shrinkage has given me a bangin' fro that when stretched hovers over my head like an angelic halo.
Thanks to shrinkage, my hair secret is safe; no one sees my thinning crown! LOL
Im glad several of you guys amdit you hated your short afros (TWA) thats exactly why Im transitioning as long as possible 'cause once you cut off our hair there is no going back!
I just really can't stand with my hair's coils getting tight and not being able to comb through it or pull apart. I dont so much care about the short effects, but when the roots start acting up! Arggg!
I hated it when I had the TWA, I'm good now. I normally wear it stretched but since I started working it out again, I've been sporting WnG's so shrunk hair it is…s'all good.
i've finally come to realize that shrinkage in my opinion is just another form of hair styling for me. It aids some of my styles, makes my coils come out more and at the end of the day i know i have a lot of hair so it's all good. no more stressing or trying to undo something that i can't help
Lets not get it twisted, most of us want long(er) hair, we are tired of the breakage weather relaxed or natural. So shrinkage is something we dont like but really there is only so much you can do about it.
Nobody likes their hair to appear (shrinkage) shorter then it really is!
I love shrinkage because it makes my hair look thicker and bigger! I'm always looking for curl "enhancers" that will make my curls tighter! I've tried natural and commercial products and have had a little, but limited success. So, the search continues!
+1 to Tomi-Chan
My strands are also very thick, and coily. It's not that I don't like the LOOK of shrinkage, it's the side-effects that come with it.
Shrinkage for me means tangles galore and if healthy hair is important to me and I'm trying to retain length, having to detangled shrunken, tangled hair will not help me in my quest.
If my hair shrunk, but did not tangle so much in that state, I would be like….#winning. Probably would wear my hair shrunken more often just because it adds another style to the versality of my hair.
If this had been posted about a year ago, I would have been "Yeah! #TeamShrinkage!" But after 3+ years of naturalness and growing my hair out, shrinkage lost it's initial novelty. I BC'd, had a TWA, and had super short hair for the first time in my life. I never hid my hair waiting for it to "grow out". I loved my TWA. And I would never do it again. LOL.
I do accept that some degree of shrinkage will always be there, but it can get out of hand. I'm BSL when stretched and my wash n'go (even with product) shrinks to a little about my chin. Also, the more my hair shrinks, the less volume I have. Shrunken to your scalp hair does not equal big hair :/ I have noticed that naturals with less severe shrinkage (usually type 3s) have wash n'gos that are huge and only expand with time. This is what I expected to experience as my hair grew longer, but it was not meant to be.
My hair is very very thick and very very coily; each strand is literally a string in width and there are many of them. Shrinkage makes detangling excruciating, especially since my hair shrinks to about 1/5th its actually length when wet. Washing my hair is probably the most dreaded aspect being natural. My frustration often manifested as a four hour love [screaming] session with my kinks.
Gotta say though, I do love her body and durability.