A few nights ago, my friends and I were getting ready to go out and we all have naturally curly hair. They we’re blow drying their hair and I thought, ‘why not do a blow out myself?’ After all, it had been well over a year since I applied any sort of heat to my hair and it would be fun to see how big my fro could really be. Within the hour, my hair had shrunken back to its normal state when I do a heat-less twist out.
I was frustrated because I wanted to show off more length and I was loving the way my hair looked. A few days later, I tried doing a blow out again. I figured, last time, I really didn’t thoroughly blow dry my hair and this time I would do it right. I started on dry hair, detangled with a comb, used the tension method to stretch my hair, then I put my hair in braids for about an hour. Still within the hour, I had a TWA. To make things even worse, my ends started to become brittle and break off just days later.
My hair is so fragile that a blow dryer even at its lowest setting can cause issues. Combs can break my hair with a few run- throughs. After a little bit of thought, I realized that there’s not much I can do to fight all of my shrinkage without damaging my hair. I can stretch it out and it will probably hold it’s shape for a while, but still my hair only shows off 40-50% of it’s length. So how do you really combat shrinkage?
My answer is that you don’t. Instead, you embrace it. Do whatever you need to do to manage your hair. For some of us, twist outs or braid outs are helpful to manage our hair in a stretched out state. That being said, it’s ok if you can’t show off every inch of hair you grew. Instead focus on other things like how healthy it looks, how much volume you have, or how beautiful your curl pattern is. All of those things are also a great testament to how much effort you put into caring for your hair. It’s much less of a headache.