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How to Handle Shrinkage

As you probably already know, all curl types experience shrinkage. Shrinkage is inevitable but you may be wondering about some ways to reduce it.

First, what is hair shrinkage? Shrinkage is a decrease in length which occurs as kinky, curly hair goes from wet to dry. It is typical for all curls of type 3 and 4, for some locks of type 2, and unusual for healthy type 1 hair. The reason for this difference in length is that while hair is wet, it is weighed down, so curls stretch and fall to their maximum length. As hair dries, inches of length disappear.

If you experience shrinkage it means that your hair has great elasticity and doesn’t break easily. Elasticity equates to strong hair. Shrinkage on natural hair is a sign that your hair hasn’t been damaged by heat or chemical styling. Your hair’s ability to bounce back means that it’s in a healthy state.

Here are some tips below to help reduce shrinkage:

1. Blow Dry Your Roots

Although you should be careful about how much heat that you apply to your hair, if you’re using a good dryer, you can apply a heat protectant. When my hair is at least 50% dry, I pull my hair at the roots and then blow-dry with medium heat. If you want a longer look without straightening your curls in the process, a diffuser is definitely what you should attach to your dryer. Use it after your hair had air-dried halfway in order to get the best results.

2. Use A Lot of Product 

Some product weights your hair down, so that will help it to be a little longer. Beeswax and Candelilla Wax has the kind of properties that will seal your hair, reduce frizz and yes, help to prevent shrinkage. If you wear a lot of wash n' go's try elongating stylers like our Lemon Gello Moisturizing styler. Also, for products which state “anti-frizz” on the front label. Curly Temple has formulated our anti-frizz product, Island Frizz, with the intention of smoothing the curl and reducing shrinkage. 

3. Try Stretching Styles

Stretching your natural hair is one of the best ways to get rid of shrinkage. Good stretching techniques are also protective. These hairstyles include twists, braids, low bun, banding, and the African Threading Method. Bantu Knots are the perfect option for the lady looking to use a little less heat on her locks. They stretch out the hair without using any heat and don’t require any special styling skills. Make sure to leave a little bit of space between your scalp and your knots to make sure you don’t overdo with the pressure on your scalp.

4. Love it!

Instead of fighting it and getting frustrated, accept and embrace it! Remember, shrinkage is part of the natural beauty and versatility of your hair! You could try these stretching techniques and hairstyles, but also look for ways to celebrate your shrinkage. Having natural hair makes you very versatile.  You can choose to have your hair look short or you can choose it to make your natural hair look long. hat is the benefit of versatility.  How many other hair textures can say that?