Why shrinkage isn’t the enemy.

Hair Care

Why shrinkage isn’t the enemy.

Do you just hate it when you’re looking like a little glitter bomb and then you see rain clouds collecting to also appreciate? You know they’re going to literally rain on your parade and turn your fluffy afro into a little black sponge. Well, I’d always seen it as a bad thing as well; not anymore.

raining on girl in black

I’ve mentioned before that I used to have natural hair but it was always (and when I say always I mean ALWAYS) stretched out by blow drying and hot combing. I had the constant incessant need to show off how long my hair was and worse still I thought straight was the way to go. Was I embarrassed of my curls? Maybe. Did I want my hair to permanently look and feel like it grew stick straight from the roots? A possibility. I would always hide from rain and humidity in any way I knew how; in every equation I just did not see shrunken hair being a good thing at all. I’d always seen shrinkage as a bad thing, not anymore.

Shrinkage, first and foremost is the most surefire way to tell that your hair is healthy. That bounce back when water is dumped on a strand just emphasizes how alive the hair shaft is. When one has damaged the hair follicles through irresponsible heat use and chemicals, when water is applied it looks more like a wet dog than anything. Some strands might still be holding on within an inch of their lives, and the rest and stiff and dying. All this is not a good look in any way, and I’d understand then why one would run from the rain.

Hair thrives off moisture; natural hair more so. While hiding from shrinkage you might be hiding from the thing your hair needs most, which is moisture. I fell for the lie that “oiling my scalp” would need just oil. What a wow. Oil is a sealant. It will seal in what it finds there and if oil finds a dry scalp, it just seals in the dryness. That’s why for natural hair, that’s mostly low in porosity, the LOC or LCO methods of moisturizing are most recommended.

I know you want to flex your length; anyone can understand that. But what I confirmed to be true is that no matter what you do with your hair, the length cannot hide. Even at its shrinkiest, hair can show that there’s more curls than volume occupied and no one can compete with that.

via Pinterest

However, it is completely understandable if you want to keep your hair stretched out as far as it can go. I for one know that making curls lie in the direction you envision them to is hard work. But I implore you, if you must stretch your hair out, do it in the way that respects your hair shaft and the moisture you have put in it. Here are a few dependable ways to stretch out your natural tresses while retaining the moisture and the integrity of the hair:

  • Banding
  • Bantu knots
  • Flat twists
  • Bun

All these can help you to keep your hair long, while maintaining the integrity of the hair follicle, a heatless option. And when you fall into a swimming pool by mistake, don’t even fret.

With love,

4c Mami.

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