Almost every naturalista understands the struggles of shrinkage. Especially if you have type 4 hair, you’re likely all too familiar with the term. However, shrinkage doesn’t have to be infuriating. Shrinkage is the most unique factor of black hair and it should not only be accepted, it should be celebrated. Aside from the fact that your hair naturally forms a crown(!!), here are a few reasons why you should accept your shrinkage.
Long and Straight Hair Isn’t Always Better
Society says long, straight hair is the most desirable hair type. But guess what? Society is wrong. We’ve been conditioned to prefer longer-looking hair and looser curls and to reject tight kinks and springy coils. Although wearing your hair out in public at its shortest is much easier said than done, the more you publicly embrace your natural hair just as it is, the easier it will be to truly love and accept yourself.
Shrinkage Means Your Hair Is Healthy
I used to lament the fact that my hair shrunk to almost 75% of its length when wet, or the fact that it wasn’t as soft, long or thick as the beautiful natural hair gurus on Youtube. Although once I began to research natural hair, I discovered that shrinkage is actually a sign of well-nourished hair. The next time your hair shrinks after a shower or a swim, celebrate the health of your hair! The fact that it still shrinks after being stretched means your strands are strong and healthy.
Embrace the Uniqueness of Your Natural Hair
Although I don’t like to use the word “unique” when describing natural hair (because it places natural hair in the Other category), it is true no other race of people has hair like ours. Black people are not a minority in this world, which means tons of other people share the gorgeous kinky hair texture. Even so, living in the western world can make it hard to appreciate your locs, curls, and coils, because there is too little representation of natural hair in the media. However, remember the amazing fact that there is variation among even the most similar hair textures. Your siblings probably don’t have the exact same amount of shrinkage as you, nor does their hair look or feel the same. You are the only person in the world with your hair, so wear it with pride
Shrinkage Makes Your Hair Versatile
Shrinkage is the reason you can wear your hair straight one day and wear it in a fro the next. You can do a bun, wash-and-go, bantu knots, wear a head wrap or rock a cute teeny weeny afro.
Your Hair Is A Rebellion Against The Status Quo
Natural hair shouldn’t be a political act. But, unfortunately we live in a world that wants us to be something other than what we are. It makes a statement to the world that despite its history of oppression, racism and injustice, you will still continue to love yourself and your hair.
Here’s an amazing video about natural hair insecurities from natural hair blogger, Whitney Madueke:
Grace – “While some have described her as overly opinionated, Grace much prefers the terms headstrong and passionate. She is a voracious reader, a dog-lover and a self-professed pop culture junkie. Her other hobbies include watching sappy romantic comedies, consuming too many strawberry-filled doughnuts and people-watching. Grace currently attends university, where she is working towards a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Pre-Law.”