Natural Hair Shrinkage – Frienemy




Natural Hair Shrinkage – Frienemy

As you transition from relaxed to natural hair, there will be times that you feel as if you natural hair is not growing at all due to natural hair shrinkage.  Transitioning from permed to natural hair means  the days of seeing one to two inches of new growth after your relaxer touch up are over.

Natural hair plays tricks on you and you will notice this pretty fast as you start your transition to natural hair.  If you have not seen your natural hair since you were a child, you may not remember the kinks and coils that were probably stretched out with braids and various beads or bows.  Depending on your curl pattern (hair types range from 1 – 4 with 4 being the tightest coils), your hair can shrink to only show a small percentage of the true length.

There are pluses to natural hair shrinkage.  You can shape short looking hair into a cute style, without having to cut it.  It is sometimes fun to straighten hair and have people wonder if you have a weave installed.   Natural hair in a shrunken state does not touch your clothes so breakage is minimized – so a sort of built in protective hairstyle is another plus of shrinkage.

However, there is also a downside to natural hair shrinkage – fairy knots aka single strands knots.  The more your curly hair is allowed to hang out with other strands in a shrunken state, the more prone you will be to having single strands knots.  Once your hair shrinks, it will be more difficult to detangle and if your hair is allowed to dry fully in a shrunken state, you will have a beast on your hands.

Another downside is trying to style your natural hair.  There will be times when you really want your twist out or braid out to look a certain way.  Once you get it perfect and step outside, it’s humid and your hair shrinks up into a frizzy mess.  It can be very frustrating, but with holding products you can combat shrinkage and frizz.  All in all, I would say that shrinkage is a frienmy that you will eventually learn to manage.