Every naturally curly girl who’s worked hard to retain length knows that the shrinkage struggle is real! We can straighten our hair down to our backs but as soon as it’s time to wash, it shrivels up like we got a major hair cut. Flat ironing our curls all the time isn’t the answer to sporting our length, here are ways to get around this major shrinkage problem:
The Pineapple Method
The Pineapple method is one of the easiest ways to stretch out those curls, especially if you’re a wash and go type of girl. To make sure your curl definition stays intact, do all of your post-wash styling done first and give your hair a chance to dry. Then, when it’s time to hit the sack, gather all of your hair on the top of your head and make a loose ponytail. You can cover your hair up with a satin bonnet, like the CHS Satin Sleepwear, or sleep on a satin pillowcase. While you’re getting that beauty sleep, those curls are getting a gentle stretch from the roots. Since your ends are sitting pretty on top of your head, they keep their curl definition with minimal frizz. In the morning just take it down, fluff, and go!
Twists or Braids
When coily and kinky curls are left to dry on their own on wash day they can shrink up to 80% of its length. That’s why many curly girls opt to do twist or braid their hair after washing and conditioning. Doing so stretches curls while they dry so you can have fabulous curls Day 2 on Day 1.
The process is simple:
• After applying the leave in conditioner, such as the Silk Leave In Conditioner, divide your hair into sections. For more defined curls go for smaller sections. If you have fine hair and want to give it some volume, opt for bigger ones.
• Apply a styling cream such as EXTENZZ to each section and comb out any tangles left over from your washing session. Follow up with your favorite holding product (Curl Keeper’s a good one!).
• Twist or braid that section and repeat until all of your hair is done.
• Wait until your hair is completely dry before taking them down to minimize the frizz.
If you aren’t afraid of a little heat then this option is a good one for you. By diffusing (applying low heat to your roots) you not only speed up your drying time but can get some stretch action in there too. Make sure to prep your hair with a good leave in curly hair conditioner and a heat protectant, like the ReMane Straight. While you are blow drying, gently pull your hair up, making sure your roots stretch as they dry. If the heat has your curls feeling a little dry, a good dose of moisturizer can help with that. (And oh, don’t forget to check out the Hot Sock Diffuser.)
What about you? How do you battle shrinkage? Share with us your thoughts, comments and questions!
Written By: Margaret McGriff
Margaret McGriff is a style blogger turned freelance writer who loves to share her love of all things beauty and fashion. Her writing creds included being a Yahoo! Shine Beauty Guru and a writing for her own blog beauty and fashion blog Fierce.