Hair Tip: Shrinkage and Stretching

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Natural hair comes in an array of sizes, shapes, and lengths.Many natural women’s only gripe about being natural is shrinkage. I hope this information on stretching and shrinkage helps naturalistas out there who seek to elongate their hair for certain styles.


Chime Edwards is a native of West Point, MS and attended Rust College in Holly Springs, MS where she majored in Mass Communications. In her spare time, Chime enjoys posting videos about natural hair care on her YouTube channel for over 26,000 subscribers.

10 Comment

  1. this video is moronic! If natural hair wearers are so concerned about “hair shrinkage then they should go back to the creamy crack. Isn’t the whole idea of natural hair is to have our own NATURAL TEXTURE and not being concerned about how to stretch it??? (sheesh)! When will we ever arrive and come to grips with our natural selves!!!

  2. Being natural is all about embracing your natural texture but as women we like options. We like to try different styles and some styles require the hair to be stretched. It has nothing to do with not loving our natural texture but with styling options. Some women have 80% shrinkage meaning their hair can be waist length but it appears to only be ear length because of the shrinkage. I think it is okay if a woman chooses to stretch her hair occasionally for a different look. I have never straightened my hair but I have that option if I want to style my hair differently for a couple of days. This does not mean I love my kinky, natural hair any less. Some people are so critical of naturals. I think the only way some individuals will say a woman is truly natural is if she doesn’t use any products in her hair or style it in any way.

  3. I love natural hair. I had my hair braided and honestly, I just want to wear my natural hair in braids but my hair stylist said that it looked like dreads and I love that look. I told her well I love it. So, I let her add extensions but in a few more weeks I want these braids out and her to just braid my natural hair which is now about the length of these braids. I think it just makes people feel a little bit more comfortable for some reason not to see natural hair completely. Its so sad. A co-worker has her hair in twists and my hair stylist said maybe I should try that but I want something that is just mine and mine alone not anything fake. I like braids and I want my own hair in braids no extensions.

  4. These are good tips that might help some ladies with management of their hair. I want to address those who are critical of black ladies exercising their option to blow dry, straighten or otherwise adjust their “kinky” hair. One of the main reasons I do it periodically is because of dryness and breakage when grooming natural hair. Also again with the comparison with white women, if you have been around them you would know their hair is a matted mess if they do not wash, blow and spray their hair everyday. They don’t just walk out with “natural” tangled and matted hair!

  5. That is so true…However, I am at the point that I do not want any heart at all on my hair. But, it would help to blow dry it a bit to help with the dryness and breakage. But, I think that there are some leave-in conditioners and some moisturizers that would help with this. I just cannot go back to straightening my hair under any circumstances. I just want to be myself. My hair is not straight.

  6. I found this article so very informative..the video..and comments..I am mixed but was assumed white and raised by my grandma and she had no idea what to do with my hair. I lived in an all white area growing up and so no one had a clue what to do with my hair..thanks for the vid and the advice..

  7. I love my hair natural . I use leave – in-conditioner and oil but I still get breakage. Any help would be greatly appreciated

  8. Can white people stretch their hair or is it just african americans no offense im not bein racist im just asking

  9. Well, I went totally natural and it has been about a year and a half now. I just got totally tired. Its a lot of work and you really have to find a product that works best for your hair. I plan to leave my hair natural. I do not want to go back to straightening and/or blow drying my hair. Yes, shrinkage is there but that’s the beauty of natural hair. My hair is shoulder length. I take hair vitamins and also garlic helps with breakage and shedding. So, I use olive oil and when I wash my hair, I give my hair a hot oil treatment before I actually wash it. I mix it in with a conditioner and then apply it to my hair as a prewash first. I try to wash my hair every three to four weeks. This may not work for a lot of people but for my hair it works. I try not to overly work with my hair too much. A lot of time you just have to put a moisturizer on it daily when wearing a natural style and just wear it. Stress is the main reason hair sheds and breaks. I have found myself alleviating a lot of stress in my life and my hair is doing well now.

  10. Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular article!
    It’s the little changes that produce the biggest changes.
    Thanks a lot for sharing!

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