How To Stop Shrinkage on Natural Hair
Do you have natural curly hair and struggle with shrinkage? It can be frustrating when you spend hours styling your hair, only to have it shrink up within a few minutes. Shrinkage is a natural characteristic of curly hair, but it doesn't have to be a problem. In this blog post, we'll provide you with tips and tricks on how to stop hair shrinkage, prevent shrinkage after washing natural hair, and keep your 4C hair from shrinking. Let's get started!
What Causes Shrinkage in Natural Hair?
Shrinkage in natural hair is caused by the natural curl pattern and the amount of moisture in the hair. When the hair is wet or damp, it will naturally curl up and appear shorter than when it is dry. Additionally, certain hair products or styling techniques can contribute to shrinkage. Understanding the root cause of shrinkage can help you better prevent it.
Possible causes of shrinkage in natural hair:
Natural curl pattern:
Shrinkage in natural hair is caused by the hair's natural curl pattern. Curly hair has a coiled structure that can contract or expand depending on the amount of moisture in the hair.
Lack of moisture:
When the hair is dry or lacks moisture, it can curl up and shrink. This is because curly hair needs moisture to maintain its elasticity and shape.
Hair porosity refers to the hair's ability to absorb and retain moisture. Hair that has low porosity can be more prone to shrinkage because it is harder for moisture to penetrate the hair shaft.
Using too much product or using heavy products can contribute to shrinkage by weighing down the hair and causing it to curl up.
Using heat styling tools such as flat irons or curling irons can cause heat damage to the hair, which can lead to breakage and shrinkage.
Harsh styling techniques:
Pulling the hair too tightly or using harsh styling techniques such as backcombing or teasing can also contribute to shrinkage by causing the hair to break and lose its shape.
High humidity can cause the hair to absorb moisture from the air, which can lead to shrinkage.
By understanding the possible causes of shrinkage in natural hair, you can take steps to prevent it and keep your hair looking its best.
How to Stop Shrinkage on Natural Hair?
One way to stop shrinkage on natural hair is to stretch the hair. This can be achieved using different techniques such as banding, braiding, or twisting. These techniques help to elongate the hair and prevent it from shrinking. When using these techniques, it's important to start with clean, detangled hair. Apply a leave-in conditioner or moisturizer to the hair to keep it hydrated, and then begin the stretching process.
- Banding: Using hair bands or ponytail holders, section your hair into multiple small ponytails. Gently pull the hair tight and secure each ponytail with a band. Leave the bands in for a few hours or overnight, and then remove them to reveal elongated hair.
- Braiding: Divide your hair into sections and braid each section tightly. Leave the braids in for a few hours or overnight, and then unravel them to reveal elongated hair.
- Twisting: Divide your hair into sections and twist each section tightly. Leave the twists in for a few hours or overnight, and then unravel them to reveal elongated hair.
Another way to stop shrinkage on natural hair is to use hair products that contain ingredients that help to elongate the hair, such as flaxseed gel or aloe vera juice. These products work by adding weight to the hair, which stretches out the curls and reduces shrinkage. Apply the product to your hair while it's wet or damp, and then let it air dry.
How to Prevent Shrinkage After Washing Natural Hair?
After washing your hair, it's important to keep it moisturized to prevent shrinkage. Using a leave-in conditioner or moisturizer can help to keep the hair hydrated and prevent it from shrinking. Apply the product to your hair while it's wet or damp, and then let it air dry. It's also recommended to stretch the hair using one of the techniques mentioned above to prevent it from shrinking.
How to Keep 4C Hair from Shrinking?
4C hair is known for its tight curl pattern and high shrinkage rate. To keep 4C hair from shrinking, it's important to keep it moisturized and stretched. Using a leave-in conditioner or moisturizer that contains natural oils can help to keep the hair hydrated and prevent it from shrinking. Additionally, avoiding heat damage and harsh styling techniques can help to maintain the hair's length and reduce shrinkage. Here are some additional tips to help keep your 4C hair from shrinking:
- Detangle your hair gently using a wide-tooth comb or your fingers to avoid breaking or damaging the hair.
- Use a satin or silk pillowcase or hair bonnet to protect your hair while you sleep. Cotton pillowcases can absorb moisture from your hair, which can cause it to shrink.
- Avoid using heat styling tools such as flat irons or curling irons as they can cause heat damage and lead to breakage and shrinkage.
- Try protective hairstyles such as twists, braids, or bantu knots to keep your hair stretched and protected.
Shrinkage is a natural characteristic of curly hair, but it doesn't have to be a problem. By understanding what causes shrinkage and implementing these tips and tricks, you can reduce shrinkage on your natural hair and achieve a more elongated and bouncy look. Remember to keep your hair moisturized and stretched, and avoid harsh styling techniques to prevent shrinkage. With a little bit of patience and the right techniques, you can enjoy your beautiful natural curls without the frustration of shrinkage.