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HomeFASHION & BEAUTYShrinkage: A Journey to Self-Love & Celebrating Black Hair

Shrinkage: A Journey to Self-Love & Celebrating Black Hair

Have you ever looked in the mirror, only to be met with a head full of tight curls that seemed to shrink more than stretch? If you’re nodding along, then you’re not alone.

My journey with my 4b-textured curls has been a rollercoaster of emotions, products, and expectations. But it’s also been a journey of self-love and celebrating the beauty of Black hair.

Let’s dive into why shrinkage is more than just a hair term—it’s a step towards embracing our natural selves.

Understanding the Scrutiny Behind Shrinkage

For years, I battled with my hair’s natural tendency to shrink. I slathered on every elongating product I could find, hoping to defy my hair’s natural state. But why? The beauty standards imposed on us have long favored Eurocentric ideals—long, straight hair being the epitome of beauty.

This has led many, including myself, to view our beautiful, coily hair as less than desirable. The history of Black hair is complex, with laws and societal norms policing how we wear our hair. It’s no wonder that shrinkage has been viewed negatively.

Shifting Our Hair Vocabulary

One of the first steps I took towards embracing my natural hair was changing the way I talked about it. Phrases like “My shrinkage is so bad” were common in my vocabulary. But I realized that this language wasn’t just about hair—it was about how I viewed myself.

The beauty industry hasn’t helped, with products marketed to “combat shrinkage.” Thankfully, brands like Adwoa Beauty are changing the narrative, focusing on celebrating our hair as it is.

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Learning to Love My Shrinkage

In 2021, I took the plunge and big chopped my hair. It was a moment of anxiety that quickly turned into liberation. My tighter curls were more prominent, and my shrinkage was on full display.

And I loved it. This journey wasn’t just about accepting my hair; it was about seeing my beauty outside of societal expectations. It’s a sentiment many Black women share, finding beauty in our natural hair, regardless of its length or texture.

The Bottom Line

Using products to define our curls or minimize shrinkage isn’t wrong. Our hair’s versatility is something to be celebrated. But it’s crucial that we don’t feel pressured to alter our hair’s natural state to feel beautiful.

Our hair grows beautifully, and that’s something to be embraced. “Curly hair curls,” as Julian Addo of Adwoa Beauty puts it. It’s about enjoying and caring for our hair, finding beauty in its natural state.

In conclusion, my journey with shrinkage has been one of learning, unlearning, and loving. It’s about more than just hair—it’s a reflection of our journey towards self-love and rejecting harmful beauty standards. Our hair is beautiful, and so are we, shrinkage and all.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is shrinkage?

Shrinkage refers to the natural tendency of curly and coily hair to reduce in length when it dries.

Why is shrinkage often viewed negatively?

Due to Eurocentric beauty standards, tighter curls and shrinkage have been deemed less desirable.

How can I start to love my shrinkage?

Changing the way you talk about your hair and embracing its natural state can help you start to see its beauty.

Are there products that can reduce shrinkage?

Yes, there are products aimed at elongating curls, but it’s important to use them without feeling pressured to change your hair’s natural state.

Can changing my vocabulary really help me love my hair?

Yes, the language we use can significantly impact how we view ourselves and our hair.

Is it okay to manipulate my hair to change its appearance?

Absolutely, exploring your hair’s versatility is a form of self-expression. Just remember to love your hair in all its forms.

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Brenda Rodrigues Carvalho
Brenda Rodrigues Carvalhohttps://crochechic.miraamelia.com.br/
I love to write content related to interior design and decoration, among other subjects, and I love to manage Social Networks / Graduated from the FAEL Faculty of Curitiba in Design / Lives in Curitiba / responsible for guidelines and content production and review.

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