4c hair shrinkage

Who knew that I would one day be writing this post. If you know what my hair looked like before my big chop then you would know that it was so damaged that I rarely had to deal with natural hair shrinkage. 

But now, two years into my natural hair journey, my 4c curls revert to TWA every wash day. And I love it. In their natural state, they are only XX long. It’s only when I stretch them that they reveal their actual length of XX. 

Does shrinkage mean healthy hair? 

As I just mentioned, when my hair was damaged I didn’t experience much shrinkage. That was due to my prior use of chemical products and heat damage. It was a sign of unhealthy hair. Now, however, I have lots of shrinkage, because I rarely manipulate or straighten my kinky hair anymore. 

Therefore, it’s true that shrinkage means healthy hair! Whenever your hair strands bounce back to their natural hair texture, it means they are healthy. 

The easiest way to test if your 4c coils are thriving is to apply water to them. Wet hair naturally reverts back. On the other hand, if your hair is frizzy it means you might be suffering from split ends

how to prevent shrinkage after washing natural hair

Why does my 4c hair shrink so much? 

All 4c hair types experience shrinkage because of the tight curls and the density of the hair. The reason why your 4c hair shrinks so much is simply that 4c coils are very small, like ringlets. 

The good thing is, that 4c shrinkage has benefits. Whenever your hair shrinks it retains moisture much better than straight hair. In addition, your coils hair retains its natural curl pattern much better. Lastly, thanks to 4c hair shrinkage your natural hair appears more voluminous and makes it easy to shape your hair to your liking. 

How do I stop my 4c hair from shrinking? 

It’s important to understand that you can’t avoid hair shrinkage unless you chemically relax your hair. And that is something I do not suggest on this blog. So whether you like it or not, wet or damp hair will always shrink.

However, you can stop your 4c hair from extreme hair shrinkage after wash day by stretching it immediately. There are a few different ways to elongate your coily hair without chemically manipulating your defined curl pattern. 

  1. African threading is my favorite method to stretch my hair. It’s easy to do and low manipulation. I usually do it before going to bed, so that my hair is ready to be styled in the morning.
  2. Twist-outs/braid-outs are a very popular method to stretch kinky hair and give you great results. You simply twist or braid your natural hair and leave it to dry for a few hours. And it also doubles as a great protective style.
  3. Roller sets are a good method if your hair is shoulder length. Because of the different size rolls you get beautifully formed curls. It’s simple and the style lasts a couple of days. 
how to stop shrinkage on natural hair 4c

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