Monday, 11 February 2013

Is Shrinkage Emotionally Discouraging?

CurlKit asked a really interesting question on Twitter today.

'Is Shrinkage Emotionally Discouraging?'.

I have natural hair that can shrink up to 90%. While some people may find this unnerving because it doesn't show their true length, I have learned to embrace the shrinkage.

Shrinkage is a major trait of our hair (the type 4's/kinky type)... it's a trait that isn't seen in other hair types (particularly the straighter and wavy hair types). Our level of shrinkage is also not seen in any other race; it's quite rare to see it elsewhere. These reasons alone make our hair type and the shrinkage that accompanies it, incredibly unique.

A lot of naturals would say they have a love/hate relationship with their shrinkage. I don't believe that about my own hair.

I believe that shrinkage is just part of it. Without the shrinkage, my hair wouldn't have the diversity it has now. Without the shrinkage, my hair wouldn't grow upwards, towards the sun, forming a head turning afro. Without the shrinkage, I couldn't indicate my hair's needs as easily (shrinkage can be used as an indicator of moisture and health). Without the shrinkage, I couldn't fool people into thinking I have voluminous hair when I really don't.

As a newly natural, the shrinkage may be discouraging. You may feel discouraged because you witness many naturals with long and/or big hair. But they went on a journey to get there and you too can go on that journey to get there if that is what you want.

Don't forget that there are techniques you can implement to reduce the shrinkage and increase the length of your hair. These techniques include twist outs, braid outs, roller-sets and more.

Embrace the shrinkage and work with it, not against it!