Shrinkage is one of the most polarizing natural hair dilemmas. Some people hate it, only styling their hair in a dry stretched state to avoid the loss of length at all costs, while others fully embrace the shrink and consider it a sign of healthy curls. We here at NaturAll Club don’t choose sides, and encourage you to figure out what works best for you!
Depending on your hair texture, you may experience more, or less, shrinkage. Courser hair with tighter coils may experience significant shrinkage, while loose curls or waves may not. Depending on the style you wish to achieve, shrinkage can be worked around or eliminated completely.
First and foremost- Shrinkage is normal in all curly, kinky, or coily hair; the only hair without shrinkage is pin-straight hair, so it does not have to be all bad news. The tighter your curls, the more shrinkage you’ll experience because length is lost in forming the shape of your coils. However, shrinkage is one of the most common complaints we hear from the natural hair community.
The only method to completely eliminate shrinkage would be to straighten your hair. It’s important to remember that shrinkage is caused by the curl pattern of your hair, so removing the pattern, even if only temporarily, would virtually eliminate shrinkage. Be sure to use a heat protector, and a lower setting to avoid damaging your hair. We recommend our Pure Avocado Oil to moisturize and add shine to the hair after you use heat tools. The lightweight formula hydrates and smooths flyaways without weighing the hair down for a flawless, and shrinkage free, finish!
For a heat-free that requires far less manipulation, stretching the hair is recommended. Stretching hair can be done in a multitude of ways including braiding, twisting, and using bantu knots. By manipulating the hair when moist, and letting it dry in place, the hair doesn’t have a chance to coil, leaving you with elongated, or stretched, hair. We recommend using our Nourishing Avocado Leave In Conditioner to moisturize hair without weighing it down for bouncier results. After the hair dries, release the twist/ braid/ knot and lightly finger comb to reveal a heatless blown out texture with significantly less shrinkage. See our blog post about hair stretching techniques here!
The third method is to fully embrace your shrinkage, and style your hair however you want! Try using NaturAll Club’s Flaxseed Gel or Avocado Curl Custard to define your curls without leaving it feeling crunchy or hardened. The flaxseed moisturizes and strengthens hair leaving you curls defined and bouncy!
Whether you decide to straighten, stretch your hair, rock your natural curl pattern, always remember to be observant of the health of your hair. At NatuAll Club, we strive to respect the natural coils and kinks of hair, and encourage you to take the time to embrace and celebrate your shrinkage! It is part of your healthy hair journey, and an incredible dimension of the beauty and versatility of natural hair, so enjoy it!