Shrinkage. It’s like a “frenemy” for those of us that know it well. The love/hate relationship is ever present, but perhaps instead of battling it, we should learn to embrace shrinkage as a gift. I know, I know, you’re probably thinking: “What in the world is this crazy girl talking about? Love shrinkage?” It seems like an impossible task. However, if you stop and think about it, shrinkage is the very thing that gives natural hair its best trait: versatility.
All around the web, I see interviews on blogs and in magazines where people are asked to share their favorite thing about their natural hair. More often than not, the same answer is given over and over again. They say, “ I love my hair’s versatility.”
Shrinkage is where natural hair’s versatility is rooted, and it’s an important fact to remember when getting frustrated about your hair.
Due to the fact that natural hair has such intense shrinkage, we, naturals, get to pick and choose our hair’s length at will. What other hair type in the world gets to do that? Shrinkage is an amazing gift that we were given if we can simply learn to recognize it. Your hair may shrink up to your ears if you let it dry “as is” after a wash, but you don’t have to let it if you don’t want to. Your hair will be one length from a braidout, another from a twistout, and still another length should you choose to straighten it for a time. Look around at your friends and family that do not have natural hair. Can they go from chin to shoulder length hair all in one week without a cut or some other dramatic change? NO. They cannot.
Realize the gift you’ve been given, and start embracing it today. Shrinkage is a blessing, not a curse. It’s something to be grateful for. The sooner you start accepting that and taking advantage of that fact, the happier you’ll be with your hair.
[by Shanti Terry]