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Natural Hair Shrinkage: What Is It And How Can You Manage It?

Natural Hair Shrinkage: What Is It And How Can You Manage It?


@J. Balla Photography

Most individuals with natural hair have to face shrinkage. For example, you could spend several hours stretching, twisting, and styling your afro curls when wet or moist. But once it dries, your curls shrink in size. Shrinkage happens after your hair gets damp or wet. This causes your hair’s cuticles to elongate and expand due to the water weight.

Once your natural hair dries, your hair can go from a long, stretched strand to a more compact, tight curl. But rather than being a bad occurrence, shrinkage is part of what makes your afro hair unique. It can be affected by many things, including the products you use, your curl pattern, the weather, when your afro curls were last washed, and the hairstyles you wear.

Shrinkage is a sign of healthier hair as it means that when your afro curls are hydrated, they appear plumper and more elongated. Conversely, when your curls shrink back to their original size, you should know that it is time to top up your afro hair with more moisture. Shrinkage is also a great way to determine how porous your natural hair is and how well it absorbs moisture so you can build a better haircare routine. While your afro hair will always experience some type of shrinkage, there are some ways that you can reduce and manage it.

Take Advantage Of A Gentle, More Moisturising Shampoo

To ensure your afro curls remain hydrated for a more extended period, use our sulphate-free shampoo with manuka honey which can cleanse your curls without drying out causing the removal of your natural oils. Our manuka honey formula can keep your afro hair full of volume and hydration for longer as it seals in moisture and can treat dry scalps condition twice to detangle and hydrate.

Curly hair shrinkage can also seem more apparent with natural hair, as tangles and frizz can prevent your strands from getting the moisture it needs. So, apply our Moisture Rich Conditioner With Manuka Honey & Avocado from your ends to your roots to encourage equal distribution and maximum absorption. This process can help make your journey to less shrinkage smoother by starting to elongate your curls before applying styling products.


@Austin Wilcox

Then, to impart more hydration to each strand use our Leave-In Conditioner With Manuka Honey & Avocado Oil onto damp or dry afro hair. After taking a small amount of this mixture and rubbing it between your palms, apply it all over your curls, especially at your ends. Next, use your wide-tooth comb to gently brush your curls to ensure this product is spread evenly across your natural hair.

Mimic The Steaming Process For A More Intensive Deep Treatment

When your afro hair dries out quickly, even after a regular moisturising routine, this is a sign that you need to incorporate a deep conditioning treatment into your routine, at least once a month. Start this process by using a generous amount of our Curling Crème With Coconut  & Jamaican Black Castor Oils all through your and down to your ends to ensure complete coverage.

Then tie your hair in a bun and put all of it under a shower cap. Next, wet a small microfibre cloth with water and squeeze out the excess water. Following this, put the cloth in the microwave for two minutes. Once done, use gloves to place the hot towel over your shower cap in the centre.

Lock in the moisture and begin the steaming by putting a second shower cap over your head. Leave for 30 minutes. After the time is up, remove the shower caps and cloth and rinse the mixture off with cold water. Coconut oil and castor oil are two ingredients that can reduce hair shrinkage as they can seal in moisture.


@Sam Burriss

Stretch Your Afro Curls Naturally After Your Wash Day

Rather than using heat to stretch your natural hair, think about elongating your afro curls through techniques like threading, banding, twist outs, or a roller set. Alternatively, our Curl Elongating Gel With Flaxseed Oil & Rosewater can reduce shrinkage by giving you elongated curls with definition and without a hint of frizz.

Elongate While You Sleep

Adopt a pineapple up-do style to keep your hair from shrinking or getting matted during the night. Of course, don’t forget to wrap this style in a silk or satin scarf. Lastly, to keep your curls even more hydrated at night, use a light spray of our Everyday Curl Refresh With Coconut & Jamaican Black Castor Oils before putting it in a pineapple up-do.

Shrinkage is a natural part of everyone’s natural hair journey. But, once you understand more about what causes it and your hair’s curl pattern, you can develop your anti-shrinkage routine. This could comprise of natural hair products that are kinder to your curls and can help them reach their potential.


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