It now seems like a war maintaining the normal length of your hair and preventing your hair from shrinkage. Sometimes, you might have to pull, twist, stretch, and pick for hours, only for your hair to contract back when it dries. Someone doesn’t need to be told any more of how annoying this situation could be.
Shrinkage mostly occurs later in a wash day. It can also occur when the weather is moist, or when your hair strands entangle. However, shrinkage is perfectly normal for curly hairs.
But, are you among those who want more moments of perfect and long curly hair? Are you among those who want to check the excesses of hair shrinkage? Do you wish to know the best secrets to lessen the presence of hair shrinkage? Then, having a full understanding of the underlying facts about your hair, why your hair shrinks, and how to naturally manipulate your hair into staying stretched, will put you in a better position to achieve this.
What is natural hair shrinkage?
Hair shrinkage, as it sounds, is the contraction of curls, making it tighten, which usually occurs after the hair dries. And this, in turn, brings about a significant decrease in hair length. But hair shrinkage may not necessarily be an indication that your hair isn’t healthy.
What’s the cause of natural hair shrinkage?
The phenomenon of hair shrinkage happens can be likened to how your clothes behave. When you dip your clothes in water, they get wet and gain more weight. In that way, the weight stretches the cloth and makes it to be elongated. Thereafter, when it dries, the water that had brought about the increase in weight would no longer be there. And this, in turn, brings about the shortening or contracting of the clothing material.
Hair functions in the same way. If it is wet, it gets puffed and elongated, because of the weight of water in it. But once it gets dry, through natural drying or the use of a hairdryer, and the weight of the water that stretches it is no longer there, the curl contracts or shortens.
But there’s a good thing about shrinkage which you should know. Shrinkage on the hair may be likened to a moisture barometer. It could be a good criterion to measure your hair’s porosity. Furthermore, apart from using it to get an idea of the extent of how your hair absorbs and preserves moisture; it’s also a significant criterion in measuring the health condition of your hair.
What does hair shrinkage indicate?
During the period when your hair is damp, its surface is always willing to assimilate water. And when your hair begins to lose moisture, your hair will twist and twirl into its natural pattern.
Having lots of hair shrinkage is a great sign that tells you that you have healthy hair, even if it seems bad. Therefore, your focus should be on how to reduce hair drying, to keep and make your hair retain its longer length and style.
If your natural hair doesn’t shrink from getting wet, then, there’s probably some heating problem going on. Also, if it doesn’t shrink a lot when wet, it may be a clear sign that your hair is not capable of absorbing moisture very well, due to the low porosity of your hair.
How do I curtail the effects of hair shrinkage?
Notwithstanding how healthy your hair looks, it does stop it from shrinking when dry. Hair shrinkage cannot be eliminated, but it can be reduced to its barest minimum. Hence, to curtail the excesses of hair shrinkage, there are some techniques to techniques to apply when styling.
Have this at the back of your mind, that the level of hair shrinkage you have, solely depends on your curl pattern, how you take care of your hair, how often you moisturize your hair, and the kind of anti-shrinkage products you use. Here are some ways to tackle shrinkage:
- Moisturize in the shower: Moisture is an enemy of hair shrinkage. Ensure you often hydrate your hair. Furthermore, check out the kind of shampoo you use. They can affect the level of hair shrinkage you have. Always go for the best hair shampoos and stick to them.
You can apply for shampoos that are free from sulfate ingredients. For instance, Cactus Rose Water Sulfate-free shampoo. This product will purify your hair from all its specks of dirt, without wiping out the natural oils in your hair. This product removes dirt and keeps your hair voluminous, which is what is needed when it comes to hair shrinkage.
- Break knots and tangles: Tangles of hair strands could cause shrinkage. They work hand-in-hand with dehydration, to cause shrinkage. Hair strands that are not properly detangled won’t get enough supply of hydration, which will make them shrink easily.
Apply Hair Milk 4-in-1 combing cream using your wide-toothed comb to brush your hair fully. Commence from your hair edges to your hair roots, and shatter any folded hair strands.
- Start conditioning your hair: It’s best to use a traditional rinse-out conditioner. For instance the Monoi Repairing conditioner. This product can evoke moisture into your hair and make the detangling process much easier. This hair product contains ingredients like coconut oil and glycerin. These ingredients will help make the process smoother. It will also make it possible for stretching to be partially achieved even before the stying process is commenced.
- Deep treat in your free time: If you have hair that gets dry too fast or more porous, you can use a more intensive moisture treatment product like the Coco Creme Curl Quenching Deep Moisture Mask.
It contains ingredients such as mango seed butter and coconut oil, which induce moisture and close it in the hair. Ensure you don’t rub your curls with too much oil or cream. A mild amount of cream will best help to stretch each hair strand.
- Stretch your curls with your hands: You’ll have to do some manual stretching. Note that the perfect period to stretch your hair is when it is in wet condition. At this time, ensure you stretch your hair using styling products. Then, as your hair gets dry, use a pick, just at the root, to pull and detangle any joined curls and loosen them.
- The banding method: This method is a great alternative to yarn for those who are new to the yarn braiding method. The only downside with this technique is that you will need quite a few fairly large rubber bands. However, it depends on the length of your hair.
To stretch your hair with the banding method, take a middle section of hair. Tie the section you took with the elastic. And reattach with the same elastic along the length of the section you took. If you have long hair, maybe the first rubber band will not be enough. In this scenario, you have to grab a second rubber band and continue in the same manner as you did the first one.
- Reduce shrinkage by blow-drying and brushing: Blow-drying will keep your hair stretched out, but it comes at a high price since it is done with a hot blow dryer. If you are in a hurry, this is a good alternative, except for the health of your hair. The brushing is done with a wide-toothed comb or that of the hairdryer.
- Style while you sleep: Even if your hair should be covered in a scarf or bonnet for bed, you can set it in a way that keeps your curls loose during the night. The posture you adopt while sleeping on your curls could alter the manner your hair looks. If your hair is long enough, gather your hair curls into a scrunchie, at the top of your head, and make it have the shape of a pineapple. This will in turn get your hair stretched and volumized.
Furthermore, remember that shrinkage is natural and normal. Though it may occasionally disturb your style goals; yet it’s a helpful signal that reveals to you the moisture level of your hair.
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