When the hair appears shorter than its real length, shrinking is almost unavoidable. There are, however, methods of minimizing and preventing shrinking. I mean, it’s an inconvenient aspect of any natural hair or curls, but it’s also one of the more straightforward natural hair issues to resolve. You’ll be well on your way to enjoying your natural hair journey in no time if you have a firm grasp on your hair texture, why shrinkage occurs, and how to ensure that your curls stay together. This article includes four ways for avoiding hair shrinkage. If you are looking for ways to say goodbye to stringy, lifeless hair, continue reading to learn more.
What is Hair Shrinkage?
Hair shrinkage is the annoying transition of your natural hair curls from a longer, stretched-out form to a tighter, more compressed state. This process of hair strand contraction aids in the loss of moisture in your hair. It’s an upsetting circumstance when your hair grows shorter than it should. If you have type 4c hair, you are more prone to suffer from this than people with type 3 hair. This is because the tighter your hair is, the greater shrinkage you are likely to undergo. Hair shrinkage normally occurs when your hair becomes moist from washing, sweating, or living in a high humidity location.
What Causes Hair Shrinkage?
Hair shrinkage is similar to the shrinkage of a sponge. Consider the cuticles on a strand of hair to be the small holes in a sponge that absorb water to soften and stretch the sponge. The hair works in the same way. Water/moisture enters, making each strand more elastic and adding weight, causing it to stretch and expand. When you leave a sponge out and the water evaporates from it, the sponge shrinks back to its original size; the same thing happens to your hair after it has been moistened.
How to Avoid Hair Shrinkage
If your hair shrinks back every time you curl it, it means your hair is in excellent condition. But as expected, it may not always give you a pleasing appearance. As a result, we have included some of the most important strategies for preventing hair shrinkage.
Moisturize while you wash
No matter how you want to think about it, the revolution against hair shrinkage begins in the shower. You may not realize it at the time, but the products you use have an impact on how much and how quickly your hair dries out in the long run. Start with an anti-frizz, sulfate-free shampoo that cleans without stripping hair of its natural oils to help retain hydration.
This helps to remove dirt and debris while also keeping hair healthy, which is ideal when shrinkage is an issue. While doing braid-outs, twist-outs, or just washing and going with your hair, anti-frizz treatments will always help to smooth and elongate your natural hair curls.
Keep it twisted when washing
A twist in time saves a breakage. Haha! The simplest solution to your hair shrinkage issues is to avoid allowing your hair to shrink on wash day. When washing your hair, arrange it into multiple twists to keep it in place. Remove a twist only while applying shampoo, conditioner, or rinsing. Even after you’ve gotten out of the shower, only pull out one twist at a time to style your mane. When your hair is wet, keep it in elongated twists to prevent it from shrinking.
Stretch to keep the knots at bay
Natural hair shrinking occurs when it is not adequately detangled and knot-free. This has less to do with wetness and more to do with tangles such that when you apply your products, hair that hasn’t been completely detangled won’t get the right distribution of hydration.
Well, one of the best strategies to prevent this is to stretch your natural hair. Twists, braids, low buns, banding, and the African Threading Method are just a few of the hairstyles that will aid in the stretching process. As you already know, natural hair especially type 4c becomes tangled easily and the tiny coils cling to each other to form knots. So, stretching your hair will help to remove knots while also reducing hair damage and shrinking.
Condition regularly and deep treat when you can
It’s just as effective as it sounds — conditioning! For this, use a standard rinse-out conditioner to add hydration while also detangling. Emollient and moisturizing components in recommended conditioners, like glycerin and coconut oil, will help to make the process much easier.
Conditioners like coconut milk act as a primer to give moisture, while curl puddings add hydration and smoothen each strand to keep frizz at bay. Also, if your hair is dry and porous, incorporate a more thorough moisture treatment, such as hair masking, into your monthly hair care regimen.