How I Avoid Shrinkage with My Curly Hair Routine

I hate shrinkage.  That seems to be the one thing that I don’t like about my natural hair journey.  My hair loves to shrink up into a tiny afro so I’m always looking for ways to get more hang time.  I used to think that  the hair products I used for my  curly hair routine would give me more length.  Lately though, I’m finding that it has a lot more to do with technique.  

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My Curly Hair Routine with Less Shrinkage

Whenever I wear my hair curly I usually only use three products.  I always reach for a leave-in conditioner, a moisturizer and a styler.  The only other thing I use is water which I keep in a spray bottle so that I can spritz each section when needed.  Currently my wash and go combo is Aussie Moist conditioner, a Shea Moisture product for, well, moisture and Eco Styler Gel with Argan Oil.  Now, I didn’t specify which Shea Moisture product because I have been getting great results from multiple items in their line.  The Curl n’ Style Milk is a keeper while the Raw Shea Butter Extra Moisture Transitioning Milk and Restorative Conditoner also work for my hair.  Lastly, to combat frizz and give curl definition, I use the hair gel.  Eco Styler gel and I go way back so be sure to check out some of my other posts on this product.

As for my technique, the first thing is, I don’t towel dry my hair.  I have noticed that not only do I have to use more product when I do this, I also get more shrinkage.  So I squeeze as much water out of my hair as possible

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and then reach for my leave-in conditioner.  The application is key because any part of my hair that doesn’t get any product is going to go poof.  For this reason, I always part my hair in sections whenever I apply my hair products.  The next product goes right on top of the conditioner to add softness under the gel.  Then I spritz my hair with water which is another key step when avoiding shrinkage.  The wetter my hair is, the more it will hang.  See what I did there?  Now comes the final step where I apply the hair gel.  Another reason why I’ve stuck with Eco gel so long is because of how it weighs my hair down.  Without it, I won’t see as much length and usually some frizziness.  Lastly, I spritz my curls with water again to help loosen up the gel and enhance curl definition.

Air Drying vs. Blowdrying

Have you ever read the book, Curly Girl:  The Handbook, by Lorraine Massey?  Well, the author suggests that every curly girl (or boy) should stay away from the dreadful “blowfryer”.  I realize that blowdrying hair is a sensitive subject in the natural hair realm, but I’ve noticed a lot less shrinkage when I do this.  I’m not suggesting that it’s for everybody so air drying also works but may take much longer.  I usually do my hair at night so I’m not too keen on going to bed with wet hair which is where the blowdryer comes in.  If I let my hair airdry for about an hour, I really just need to do the roots.  This last step stops shrinkage in it’s tracks!  

There you have it!  That’s my new curly hair routine which gives me curl definition and a lot less shrinkage.  It only took me years to get it down.  Hopefully this post will help someone get closer to the curly hair style they’ve always wanted.

A Brief Natural Hair Journey Story

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My TWA after the Big Chop in Spring 2009


I was on Instagram going through my timeline the other day when I realized how many naturalistas I have met since joining in late 2013.  It occurred to me that I haven’t really talked about the beginnings of my natural hair journey which is now going on eight years.  I honestly can’t get over the fact that I have been natural since the spring of 2009.  Prior to that, I had relaxed hair and didn’t even know there was such a thing as, “going natural.”  So I thought that I would share a brief “natural history” with all of my new readers and followers.

Continue reading “A Brief Natural Hair Journey Story”

How to Care for Natural Hair During the Winter Months haircare natural hair
My hair is softer and more manageable thanks to using Olive Oil

I have a love/hate relationship with the long winters that are common here in Colorado.  On the one hand, you have fun times in the snow and beautiful scenery.  On the other, unpleasant bouts of dry skin and hair.  I realize that other states get plenty of snow like we do here in Colorado.  Thing is, we also have a dry climate which can seem even drier during the wintertime.  This seasonal change can lead to skin that soaks up lotion like a sponge.  It can also be a burden to my already thirsty natural hair.

Continue reading “How to Care for Natural Hair During the Winter Months”

How Heat Damage Led to My Mini Big Chop Heat Damage Mini Big Chop
My hair after my mini big chop in February 2016

Stubborn.  I guess that’s the word for it because I have no other way to describe it.  I keep trying to straighten my hair until it is laid to the gods and it keeps coming back with heat damage.  Yes, I have now, to date, given myself heat damage more times than I can remember.  There isn’t a stylist to blame or even a lack of knowledge on my part.  I knew better and still wound up damaging my hair while straightening it.

Continue reading “How Heat Damage Led to My Mini Big Chop”

Getting Back to it After a Long Blog Hiatus, Blog Hiatus, Natural Hair Blog, BloggerThere were plenty of times during my blog hiatus that I thought about updating everyone on my hair journey.  Thing is, the end of 2015 and all of 2016 proved to be very challenging for me personally.  It turns out that I was experiencing chronic pain from a large tumor like growth in my lower abdomen.  The pain increased and eventually led to an abdominal surgery in October of 2016.  After the surgery it was later concluded that the growth was the result of endometriosis. Continue reading “Getting Back to it After a Long Blog Hiatus”