Does your hair look shorter after washing and letting it airdry? Does your curly hair style differ drastically in length than your straight hair style?

If you answered yes to the above questions, then your hair has some degree of shrinkage and is considered healthy! That’s right, you read that correct; shrinkage is actually good and means your hair is somewhat of a healthy nature depending on how much shrinkage.

 The definition of shrinkage is when the hair appears shorter when it is dry vs longer when it is wet or stretched.

Shrinkage refers to the overall elasticity of the hair. If you have a lot of shrinkage, it’s a sign that your hair's overall state is healthy. It shows that your hair has not had a lot of damage from chemicals or heat because of its ability to bounce back; however split ends could still be a present and need taking care of for growth retention.

There are many ways to deal with shrinkage depending on your desired look. Some people like their shrinkage and don’t mind the shorter curly look. If you are going for the bigger, longer, stretched look, below are a few tips to help minimize shrinkage with and without heat.


3 Tips To Minimize Shrinkage:

  1. For natural styles with no heat, it is best to stretch hair while tightly twisting or braiding hair using creams, custards or lotions to hold and condition while air drying. These are typically called twist or braid outs because often times they are taken out after drying for a controlled curly/wavy look. Some do leave them up for protective styles requiring little to no daily maintenance.

  2. Blow dry the roots of your hair only. The Idea behind this concept is because heat causes the hair to expand. Stopping the shrinkage at the roots can minimize overall shrinkage while still allowing the most vulnerable part of the hair, the ends, to airdry.

  3. If you are going for a silk press or totally straight look, it is best to extend hair using maximum tension while blow drying in order to get the hair as straight as possible while minimizing need for excessive flat ironing. 

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