Is Shrinkage Hiding Your Natural Hair Growth?

Is Shrinkage Hiding Your Natural Hair Growth?

Natural Hair Shrinkage

When your hair begins to grow it also begins to shrink. We call this process “Hair shrinkage” in the world of natural hair. This is one of the biggest struggles naturalistas face when embarking on their hair journey. It can be upsetting and surprising at the same time. Once you begin to straighten your natural hair from its shrunken state you can be quite surprised at how long your real hair is.

For instance, Let’s say that you are finally done with chemically processed hair. Yes, I did say chemically processed for two main reasons. The first reason is that I do NOT want to offend my relaxed hair people. I too was once an avid relaxer girl at one point or another in my lifetime. The second reason is that the term “chemically processed” can include a multitude of products.

What is Chemically Processed Hair?

Chemically processing is intended to alter or change a person’s hair texture. The types of products used during this process can include hair relaxers, hair color, permanent waves, or whatever else we have grown accustomed to these days. Don’t get me wrong I am not against having processed hair. There are many people who are capable of having healthy chemically processed hair. I would just prefer to continue with my natural hair because although it entails more work, it’s easier for me to manage.

Hair Shrinkage perms and relaxers

Regardless of your natural hair type and texture, determining your growth cycle is important. You can transition or do a big chop. Transitioning is growing out your natural hair at the roots and being determined to hold on to your relaxed ends for length. You would essentially allow your hair to grow as it is but care for it a lot better. You would use less heat on your hair, maintain its moisture, and regularly clip your relaxed ends. If you don’t use the transition method you could just go ahead and do a big chop. A big chop is a process of cutting all your hair off and starting from scratch.

A big chop can also be similar to the transition method. Instead of gradually clipping the relaxed ends during a trim, you would cut the relaxed ends and keep only your new growth. While shrinkage is never a good thing it affects both equally the same. In my opinion hair shrinkage while transitioning is terrible. It just looks BAD. I would suggest gradually clipping away at it over time, but either way, it MUST go. Now you have a whole head full of new gr

Hair Shrinkage

What Is Hair Shrinkage?

Hair shrinkage is basically the process of natural hair basically hiding your actual hair growth. This happens when it draws up closer to the scalp area than you would like. This can cause your hair to look a lot shorter than it actually is. Shrinkage happens most often when your hair comes in contact with any source of moisture. This can be from hair washing, applying products, or any type of changes in the weather. Typically people who have type A, B, or C hair experience greater shrinkage due to the fact that their curls, kinks, or coils are fairly tighter than the other hair types. 

Do not be discouraged, shrinkage is a natural process. It doesn’t mean that your hair isn’t growing or that it is falling out. It’s simply your hair doing what hair does. This can be easily fixed in a different number of ways. You can pull your hair down as long as possible to track your actual length. You can straighten it with a flat iron or use a hair stretching source. When using a flat iron be mindful of your hair texture.

Black woman’s hair from thick afro to straight long hair.

Often times your natural hair will not remain straight for long periods of time. Straightening your hair will only last for about a day or two before shrinkage begins to take force. Your hair may become frizzy or “puff up” shortly after depending on the method and products used.

Stretching your hair can also include the hair band method, hair products, or twists. The hairband method is done by using rubber bands or hair ties. You can section off some of your hair or all of it and wrap them around your hair strands. You will do this all the way down the whole section from the root to the tip. This can be used to dry your hair or simply retain your hair’s length. You can twist your hair and then place the bands to group them all together.

There are many products on the market that can also be used to elongate your hair. These are not “hair growth products” but they are used to stretch your hair. This is to prevent shrinkage by blocking the amount of moisture being produced. These types of products work well by weighing your hair down and holding it in place while it dries.

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