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Natural Hair Shrinkage

Updated on July 14, 2014
My Blog
My Blog | Source

It's A Hair Thing!

Welcome to Crowning Glory Coils and Kinks. This is where we can discuss all things hair! Learning to cope, style, and define our locks has become a journey for some of us.

We open the door to getting a better understanding of hair products, textures, and styling! Learning how to style, cut, coil, and take care of your natural hair is a journey!

Afterall, your hair is as unique as you are!

Loving the journey!

Washed, two-strand twisted hair
Washed, two-strand twisted hair | Source

Natural Hair Shrinkage

All naturals experience some amount of hair shrinkage. Curlier and wavier naturals will tend to experience much more shrinkage due to their curl pattern. I have 3c/4 textured hair. The front and top have a looser curl pattern, as you can see by my photographs.

My usual regiment for my wash n' go was to wash (or co-wash), condition, leave-in, and then apply the gel or styling agent of choice. The shrinkage was huge!

Twist It Up!

I stumbled upon this method when using a protective style.  I had done my usual regiment but was going to wear a wig to work the following day because of the winter weather, so I did a not-so-neat two-strand twist.

On the week-end, I took out the twist and remembered that fellow YouTuber "CoilsKinksandCurls" did a damp-hair application of the Donna Marie "Miracurl Curling Gelly."

I applied the Miracurl Curling Gelly to my dry hair and realized that I kept much more length then when applying the Miracurl Curling Gelly to my freshly washed and sopping wet hair!

Application of Miracurl Curling Gelly and Eco Styler Olive Oil Gel

Miracurl Curling Gelly and Eco Styler Olive Oil Gel has been applied.
Miracurl Curling Gelly and Eco Styler Olive Oil Gel has been applied. | Source

Miracurl Gelly

18 fl. ounces for $23.99
18 fl. ounces for $23.99 | Source

Styling Products Applied

For those of you who haven't read my review on "Miracurl Curling Gelly," I have a love/hate relationship with the product. I like the defining ability of the product but it leaves the hair dull. I had problems with getting second-day hair with just the Miracurl Curling Gelly and spritzing hair with just water.  I then tried to get in the shower and run water over my hair and the smallest amount of water that it "washed" out the product.

I love the fact that the Gelly is a "natural" product. I noticed, when using the product on its own, after washing and conditioning my hair it seemed softer and super defined after washing out the Miracurl Curling Gelly!

On the other hand, I love the smooth texture of the Eco Styler Olive Oil Gel and the beautiful shine of this product. So, I've combined them on this application of styling product and was quite pleased with the result.

I also need to advise you that when using the Miracurl Curling Gelly, I use a LOT of this product, otherwise hair tends to frizz and puff at the root. This product is great when you apply the product perfectly. You also get better results with this product when you use a "smooth and twirl" method of your tresses which is time-consuming on longer natural tresses. I found with shorter hair I was able to just "run" the product through my hair.

The Eco Styler Gel tends to fill in the "gaps" of application for a more "worry-free" result of the Miracurl Curling Gelly.

When applying natural hair-defining products, I found that you MUST apply sufficient amount of product, which is usually a LOT! For this reason, a lot of "naturals" have chosen to use the commercial items such the "natural" products are very pricey!

Hair has been styled and is style wet.
Hair has been styled and is style wet. | Source

Air Drying

I usually air dry my hair and to get my curls/waves to define or clump nicely, I do the "dog-shake." You swing your head side to side and front to back in order to gently separate the air. This also helps to get rid of excess water and speed up drying time.

You can also take this time to move strands and position them in a style to your perference.  It is EXTREMELY important that you DO NOT touch hair while it is drying.  This can cause your hair to frizz when dried.  If this does happen, I often cannot resist touching my hair while it's drying, you can rewet that strand or section and allow it to redry.

However, you can use a dryer on a "cool" heating (if your a "no-heat" natural) or on warm to dry hair while not applying too much heat to your tresses.


Your best friend of "natural" hair is "moisture.  Sometimes I will mist my hair throughout the day to get that extra moisture.

Some naturals strategically place spray bottles at home, work, and handbag/tote for this purpose.


Warm up Your Product


When using hair lotions and butters, make sure to "warm" product in your hand and gently message the lotion or butter into scalp and hair (as appropriate). This will ensure a better coating of strands. The product will then be "melted" onto tresses. This will also help with frizzing later on in the day.

Just think of it like placing a regular body lotion on the skin. To get the best results, you will need to smooth or rub lotion into the skin. This will help you to also use less of the product than necessary.

Hair Shrinkage Photos

Here are some astounding samples of hair shrinkage!



Shrinkage is REAL!

This picture is from a natural hair website.
This picture is from a natural hair website. | Source

Final Results

It will take my hair anywhere from 3 to 4 hours to dry due to the amount of product applied. I have found that if I allow the hair to get damp and spritz the hair with water, the hair because even more define.

You can also add a layer of moisturizer or jojoba, coconut, or olive oil on hair to ensure a softer but firm hold under the gel(s) or defining curling product that you use.

Since the gels can be drying, I perfer to mist the hair before going to bed and place a plastic cap over hair. This will add more moisture and keep tresses pliable. I also found that I can often just reshape, pull curls, and allow hair to dry for second-day hair. This will also enable you to restyle your hair in the morning if you choose to.

This style and set will breeze you through the day looking like you've just had your hair done. I was very pleased with my results and continue to look forward to styling as hair becomes longer.

Please write your comments below or share your experience about your hair journey!

Thanks for stopping by Crowning Glory Curls!

Naturally Free to Be Me!


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This is a Pinterest Page with loads of shrinkage pictures!
This is a Pinterest Page with loads of shrinkage pictures! | Source


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