What You Need to Know About Hair Shrinkage

September 1, 2016  |  

If you’re a new natural, you may find that your hair is not totally showing off its true length in its natural state. While it may seem off putting for your hair to be shorter than expected, it’s completely normal and actually a good thing, as your hair’s shrinkage tells a lot about the health of your hair.

What is Shrinkage?

Shrinkage is a term to describe the loss of inches of our natural hair.  All naturals know this struggle and fight shrinkage on a daily basis because it hides our real hair length. Shrinkage occurs when our hair is at its best — super moisturized with healthy elasticity. Elasticity is a huge indicator of healthy hair and it’s what gives your hair the ability to withhold stress and manipulation. When your hair loses elasticity, it’s easily stretched, loses curl retention, and is easily prone to dryness and breakage. When we have curls and coils that are really moisturized and full of elasticity, it has the greatest ability to spring back to its natural, healthy shape.

Combatting Hair Shrinkage

While most of us just accept shrinkage, this is not the case for all. Shrinkage can be disheartening to those who are on a mission to grow longer natural hair. Here are a few ways you can combat the amount of shrinkage you have.


•Braid/Twist Out:

A weekly set style for most naturals, the braid out of twist out is by the far the easiest and most effective way to stretch your hair while producing elongated, defined curls. The tension of braiding and twisting helps your curls to retain length while the hair is stretched, so the coils won’t be able to shrink as easily.

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• Curlformers

These flexible mesh curlers are great to stretch even the tighter curls and coils. Similar to rollers, curlfomers stretch curls to create spiral curls. Just like with a roller, always give your hair enough time to dry before removing the Curlformers and you’ll be left with light, bouncy and stretched curls! If you need help using curlfomrers, watch how this natural hair vlogger styles hair in this tutorial.

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Great for the lazy natural, Bunning is the simplest stretched style and one of the best styles for hair that is either wet or dry, and can be achieved within minutes. For Bunning, make sure your hair is twisted around the hair and the ends are secured with bobby pins or tucked under. This will further stretch the hair and reduce the amount of frizz on the ends of the hair.

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