Natural Hair Chit Chat: Shrinkage Is Real

If there is one thing about natural hair that is really annoying but at the same time quite fascinating, is shrinkage. You could very easily do a ‘wash and go’ but because of shrinkage, chances are that you will get the “you cut your again?” kind of looks and questions. Yet on the flip side, shrinkage indicates that your hair is healthy, properly hydrated and moisturized. It also indicates that your curl structure and elasticity is still intact, and this gives you full hair and helps resist breakage. Clearly the pros outweigh the cons. Power to shrinkage.

That’s what I deal with every day, that bittersweet acceptance of shrinkage, in the hope that one day my hair will be long enough to withstand it. Where I can rock it and it doesn’t look like I’ve had my 2nd big chop. Shrinkage aside, the last time I posted anything hair related, I was ranting about products that had said no to my scalp. I had then decided to go the minimalist way and just use products that don’t have too much going on or have too many combinations of essential oils.

Growing up, I had some crazy eczema, which by the Grace of God I outgrew in my late teen years. One day I woke up and it’s like I’d been dipped in milk and had miraculously emerged with no seasonal outbreaks, no rushes, no itchiness and no scars – just a few spots, which I believe are to remind me where I’ve come from. Whoa! It felt like I’d been given new skin guys! Anyway, by virtue of that, I kind sorta have dry skin and that sometimes translates to my having a dry scalp. My scalp dries up so fast even when I have literally doused it in oil. Then it flakes and if I don’t do anything in good time, we’re now talking dandruff. It’s a mess, but a manageable mess.

I am a self-confessed product junkie and hoarder and what proves difficult is that elimination of products to remain with the bare minimum. To decide which ones to let go and which ones to go for, given all the options that are currently there in the market. To be honest, they’re a tad too many. After trying out a couple of products, for this season, I have settled on;

Hair Products, Kawi Snippets

  • A shampoo bar by Bu.Ke, formerly Shea by Asal. I love it because it lathers so easily and doesn’t dry out my hair. It also lasts so long. I have used one bar for the last 2/3 months.
  • A conditioner by Shea Moisture. I recently got this one, I was using TRESemmé before. I usually use it as a regular conditioner or for deep conditioning. I like its contents, perhaps it was the Jamaican Castor Oil that did for me.
  • A leave-in conditioner by Cantu. I use it to hydrate my hair while styling it or rather when plaiting it, because that’s been my MO of late. I decided that during the week, I will be having on an easy-to-do protective style then let it out to breathe on the weekends.
  • Coconut oil by Kentaste. It’s my preferred oil. I apply it generously on my scalp and some on my hair to give it that shine. When I remember, I apply some castor oil on my edges.

The process is more like – wash, rinse, deep condition, rinse, pat dry with a tee, oil the scalp and hair, spray on some leave-in conditioner and style.

Applied the Shea Moisture Conditioner right after the wash.
Just another angle of the conditioned hair.
My protective style for the week – a simple 2 cornrows. I’ve now mastered a couple of them.
In case you were wondering how it really looks – frontal view. Neat enough to go for meetings with, ain’t it? 🙂

That’s it. Interestingly, I have come to realize that adage, “one man’s meat is another man’s poison” also applies to products. The products that work so well on my friends’ mane don’t necessarily work so well on mine. So it’s pretty much trial and error until you find something that works for you.

Stay Inspired,
Kawi