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By Mary Wolff
Curls are beautiful in all their variations. While they are beautiful, they may require a good amount of care to stay healthy and looking their best. One of the biggest problems in curly hair, especially for those with thicker hair, is shrinkage. Shrinkage can make your strands look smaller, shorter, and flat. When it comes to preventing shrinkage in natural hair, here are a few tips to help you keep hair looking its best.
Heat is a tricky thing for curlies. It can damage hair when used too often and without properly moisturizing strands. When dealing with shrinkage, it can be your best weapon of defense. Blow drying at the roots is a good way of preventing shrinkage in natural hair because heat causes hair to expand. The key here is to let your hair mostly dry on its own before using the blow dryer. You will get the best anti-shrinkage results if you blow dry roots that are only slightly damp as opposed to soaking wet.
With the same principle as blow-drying roots, a complete blowout might help prevent some shrinkage. This will help show off your length, but you should use this method in moderation to avoid long term hair damage. Also, make sure you use a heat protectant to be on the safe side. One of my favorites for this is Every Strand Coconut Oil & Pure Shea Protective Leave-In Hair Treatment because it is a two-in-one moisturizing treatment and heat protectant.
If you want to forgo heat altogether, another option is banding. This is a method that uses hair ties to gently stretch out either wet or damp hair. You simply section hair and place the hair ties from root to tip to stretch out hair. Let hair air dry and wrap in a satin scarf to help with fizz. It is important to note this method can lead to breakage so only use it occasionally.
This method of preventing shrinkage also uses the same principle of stretching hair. When you pull your hair into a high bun, you are essentially stretching the hair to avoid shrinkage. You want to pull the bun tight enough to give a good stretch but not so tight that it hurts or breaks your strands. After a few hours in the bun, take hair down and be shrink-free!
When dealing with shrinkage there are few ways to handle the matter. With these tried and true methods, never worry about shrinkage again!