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10 Pictures of Natural Hair Shrinkage that Will Blow Your Mind

• Mar 26, 2014

Shrink City. Shrink, Shrink City. Hiding up to 90% of the actual hair length in some cases, shrinkage proves itself to be the ultimate magician when it comes to natural hair. Even though shrinkage is a common occurrence amongst naturals, our jaws dropped when we saw these photos.

LadyKandDice has since cut her hair, but this shrinkage picture she posted back in October had people’s jaws dropping.

Natural hair blogger AHairStory said that her shrinkage has made her “a fan of blowdrying”.

This is reader, Nicole R.‘s daughter’s hair! Click here to see the video!

natural hair shrinkage3
And you thought your shrinkage was intense…

natural hair shrinkage1

Stylist Reniece of Reniece.com goes from a tight fro to mid- back length.

c63d9f2a7f00c6cd2c53ca89781234e3
 

Ashley of Barbie Bones

Natural hair sensation Ebony Clark, had people dyyying with this picture

Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 11.09.03 AM
A fistful of length

Just a TWA right? Not!

natural hair shrinkage4
Last but not least, we just had to include our writer, Chinwe’s infamous shrinkage photo.

loo1
These photos just go to show, “Shrinkage does not discriminate!” No matter how long your hair gets, one wash can have you rocking a TWA. Remember, shrinkage is not a bad thing! It’s a unique aspect of our versatile hair 🙂 Peace, Love and Detangling!

How much hair length does your shrinkage hide? Feel free to share your own shrinkage pictures!

Editors Note: If any of you know the above un-credited naturals, please link us in the comments!

About Rinny

Texan by birth, Los Angeleno by situation. Lover of Tame Impala and Shoegaze music. Comedian by trade. Macaroni and Cheese connoisseur by appetite.

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130 Comments on "10 Pictures of Natural Hair Shrinkage that Will Blow Your Mind"

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Jumoké
Guest

[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Screenshot_2014-03–26-13–21-54.png[/img]

Yep it’s real out here lol

lablooplah
Guest

what? wow!! that’s amazing!

Jumoké
Guest

Yep. And I don’t even have long hair yet lol

KP
Guest

Whoa!!! These ladies have some long hair.

I still prefer the curly look, though.

Basma
Guest

I actually posted a shrinkage pic earlier this morning.

[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/shrinkage.PNG[/img]

Dominique Murphy
Guest

I just straightened my hair for the first time and I couldn’t believe the length. It makes me smile to see how diverse our hair is though. We can stretch it or not but the choice is ours.

Rachael
Guest

I will never complain about my shrinkage again. O_o

Anon87
Guest

I’d love to see my “true” length but I’m scared of the intense heat that’s needed to achieve it. Plus it won’t last long.

I hate shrinkage to be honest. What’s the point of all this length retention malarkey if the hair looks stagnant (putting aside health benefits)? Lol. Honestly I think I’ll have to grow my hair considerably long to see the length I want. Although judging by these pics, that might not make a difference :-/ Lol

FlynFab
Guest

Me too Anon87! Every time I think about doing it I worry about the damage I would most likely get from the heat it would take to straighten. To me in the end it’s not worth it.

WaistLengthGoals
Guest

Do a silk wrap. It lasts longer and from what I hear it takes less heat.

Miss Gina Ray
Guest

Us 4b and cs have the most shrinkage, you can see it when looking at these pics. Pic 3 appears to have 50% shrinkage whereas many tighter textures are looking at 75%

ShayM
Guest

Girl its not just 4b’s and c’s my hair is predominantly 4a and my grazing brastrap length hair shrink up to a 2–3 inch twa if i let it. shoot natural hair period aint no joke lol

Mary
Guest

That’s the beauty of our hair…love it!!!!

Honeybrown1976
Guest

Thank you for this post. My hair is mid-back when straightened. When it’s curly, it’s barely shoulder-length; but, it’s big. That’s where the awesomeness comes from the width and height, rather than the length.

VeeVee Brown
Guest

Awesome. I not too concerned with length. I just want big -strong and healthy- voluminous hair.

Dorian
Guest

The great thing about these pictures, is that all of their hair looks very strong and healthy.

Elle
Guest

When people wrote about ‘shrinkage’, I thought they meant the difference between their natural curls being stretched without heat — wet or twist-out — versus no stretching or manipulation, their natural ‘fro.

I haven’t heat-straightened my hair for years and the difference between dry twists and its natural spring is already dramatic enough. Beautiful curls on all the featured women.

Khyla
Guest

Yeah that’s exactly why I don’t do wash & go’s or wash my hair without it being in twists but on this day I wasn’t feeling well.
[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/PhotoGrid_1395329323397.jpg[/img]

youngin girl
Guest

Wow and those 4th and 5th pictures though. I like it.

Milkdud
Guest

yes, shrinkage is the truth

Milkdud
Guest

[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Dudlyinstapics-1.jpg[/img]

Kegs
Guest

is there a problem with me if on’t get major elasticity for my shrinkage

Brittany.L
Guest

No the first pic and the 4th pic is crazyyy

Checkout http://www.curlskinksfashion.con for Fashion & Natural Hair perfect combo!!!

iluvedges
Guest

I don’t care what ya’ll say, shrinkage is my BFF! will care and love it, and have ALL to see

Sassy
Guest

Let me start embracing my shrinkage if that’s the transformation that could be hiding within, lol.

LBell
Guest
YASSSS! LOVE it!! 🙂 This is why I keep saying shrinkage makes our hair the most versatile of all. Rather than consider it a handicap, think of all the different looks and styling possibilities between shrunken and straight. For the record, my shrinkage is way up there as well…I haven’t straightened my hair in years but when I did (about once or twice a year just for the hell of it; I don’t believe in straightening “for special occasions”) the difference in length never failed to shock people. I loved the reactions, to be honest…now if only they’d just stopped… Read more »
iluvedges
Guest

yes, I hate that statement…you should keep your hair like that all the time

Aly
Guest

Let me tell you, my own shrinkage shocks ME sometimes. Like dang I didn’t realize my hair had grown that much! hahaha

Redseouls
Guest

I’m learning to embrace my shrinkage! I do enjoy looking at the amazing photos!

thelady
Guest

75% shrinkage, my twist outs are still about 50% shrinkage

Jane
Guest

Loving these shrinkage pictures!!

rlw
Guest

All I can say is WOW!!!!!!

Leah
Guest

Photo credit: The 3rd photo is Reniece of RenieceHairTv.

Tena
Guest

Well damn! That is a HUGE difference! I love it!!!

Nicole Rogers
Guest

The third picture is mine. I took this 3 years ago while straightening my daughters hair and decided to post on youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5gQVFPuB1bM&feature=share&list=UUm4FAZz-3aI4o44lPaI070A&index=1 It’s nice to see it’s still making rounds.

Sandra
Guest

My daughter’s hair is the same way. She is 7rs and I dread whenever she wants me to stretch her hair. It takes for ever. Got to love our little divas 🙂

Tabatha
Guest

I just started using African treading after seeing a few tutorials on Youtube. Love it because you can incorporate it into styles.

Tabatha
Guest

Lol, I meant threading not treading.

Nicole Rogers
Guest

Be sure to visit her (third picture) update. She’s still draping having her hair straightened constantly. http://www.naturalswhostraighten.com

Deb
Guest

A,azing…i still prefer curly/kinky hair though. I’ve always adored big hair over long hair. I’ve had long-ish straight hair and it’s overrated and boring imo.

Tabatha
Guest

You know I’ve always notice that people want the hair that they don’t have because its different and its a change, but you can always go back to your original. =)

CurlyQ53
Guest

*in my Craig and Day-Day voice* Daaaaayyyyyyyyuuummmm!

CurlyQ53
Guest

I was so busy tripping I forgot to say how beautiful it is! Wow, our hair is wondrous!

Adía
Guest

That was Craig and Smokey

Curly53
Guest

Thanks for the correction, oops! You know who I meant, LOL!

jeanie
Guest

these pictures are amazing! I must say I love shrinkage cos it makes me feel like a magician, lol. Hair is about 6 inches stretched but barely 2 inches shrunken

Waukee
Guest

I’ve always loved my shrinkage. …i think loving it keeps me from worrying about len.
[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/03211408272.jpg[/img]

Abena
Guest
My daughters shrinkage is like the first picture. Today its wet and cold outside so I blow dried her hair and pulled it slightly just to see what would happen. She is only 2 and a half so this is not something I have done before as I am really not ok with putting even a mild heat near her hair at this age, but her hair was wet and the weather is too cold here. So after just two minutes of blow drying while lightly pulling the hair out into an afro style her hair tripled in length! The… Read more »
Abena
Guest

And I embrace shrinkage as a style in and of itself.

Margaret
Guest

These ladies have lovely hair. Great inspiration!My hair does shrink about 80 % but thats the beauty and versitility of natural hair.

Tabatha
Guest

Wow that was great! My hair when its not stretched or anything goes to about the top of my ears, but when its stretched it just barely touches past the nape of my neck.

melanie washington
Guest

Is it not the greatest trick a natural woman has up her sleeve

Jamz
Guest

Here’s a pic of mine!
[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/image-27.jpg[/img]

transitioningchica
Guest

Beautiful Jamz!! How long have you been natural? Hair type??

Jamz
Guest

I’ve been natural since 2006. I’m predominantly 4c. And thx! 🙂

lottie b!
Guest

WOW! That’s all I can say.

Marcy
Guest

[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/IMG_4282.jpg[/img]

Vera
Guest

My hair has incredible shrinkage too. Did a wash & go this weekend. Loved the curls. Hated the shrinkage, and I have yet to embrace it. Learning about my hair is a process.

Ebony Beauty
Guest

Beautiful hair ladies. And wow that shrinkage is amazing.

saffron33
Guest

Wow that’s really hard to believe until u see these pics

Andiegurl
Guest

Gotta luv shrinkage. Lol. Wow at those pics!

Carla
Guest

Even with shrinkage, most of us that wear the fro absolutely love that look as much as we enjoy the flat ironed hair. It’s just nice having the option without having to fake either one — the fro or the flowy tresses. It’s just soooo beautiful either way we rock it.

Veronica
Guest
I got this from Wikipedia about our natural hair and thought it was very interesting. This takes the mystery, I think, out of why we really have shrinkage. ” … the relatively sparse density of Afro-hair, combined with its springy coils actually results in an airy, almost sponge-like structure that in turn, Jablonski argues,[40] more likely facilitates an increase in the circulation of cool air onto the scalp. Further, wet Afro-hair does not stick to the neck and scalp unless totally drenched and instead tends to retain its basic springy puffiness because it less easily responds to moisture and sweat… Read more »
Kendra
Guest

My hair looks just like photo number 4. It has the same shrinkage rate and appears to have the same texture and length of mine too. I really don’t mind my shrinkage at all. I just know I have to keep it stretched. I feel a high shrinkage rate contributes more to problems with detangling than simply having 4c kinky hair…that’s why I never wear wash n goes.But shrinkage is awesome for my twistouts because it makes my normal density hair look a lot thicker than it really is. Pros and cons to everything ya know?

Suzan, UK
Guest

The uniqueness of our hair.….…

lex
Guest

Shrinkage hides all of my length so at this point I’m working to embrace it.

cacey
Guest

i don’t hate my “shrinkage”. i just define “shrinkage” as curly hair, period. that’s what curly textured hair does, that’s what defines it, that’s its signature. to me it’s nothing remarkable. it simply just *is*. but with that said, i can appreciate these photos and i simply chalk it up to the beauty that is natural hair.

Sophie
Guest

I love these! My hair is pretty shrinky too… about 50–75% length reduction. I haven’t mastered moderate stretching though because my hair is so fine that when I tension blow dry it gets totally straight, but its so curly that when I band or twist the roots stay curly.

Mionna
Guest

This pictures are definitely a testament to what shrinkage can do! Shrinkage is definitely a killer. Honestly it keeps me from rocking wash and go’s. My hair shrinks a good amount, but once it gets a certain length (even with shrinkage) I don’t think I’ll mind. Most of the styles I wear are stretched styles…I just need that hang time!

Delia
Guest

Honestly, shrinkage is my favorite part. I love how tight my hair gets and how long it secretly is. It’s like an alter-self or a superpower 🙂

RHONYC
Guest

exactly! reminiscent of my comment below! lol 🙂
*throws on cape & takes to the sky*
*swoosh*

Delia
Guest

Side note: my gravatar is old. I big chopped last month on the 19th. I’m just trying to find a cute enough pic to replace it 🙂

Sofija Lejn
Guest

[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/image-35.jpg[/img]

#shrinkage

Joi
Guest

I couldn’t believe it myself! My before and after!

Joi
Guest

Woops! It didn’t post, let’s try again.
[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/beforeafter-1.jpg[/img]

RHONYC
Guest

we got the patent on ‘take your hair down’ sexy.
what’s that expression? “leave something for the imagination”.
awesomeness! 😀

Nakia
Guest

I just don’t get why this is called “shrinkage.” It implies that it’s not the completely natural state of the hair, which it is. I been natural for 13 years though, so maybe I’m just too “old school natural” for all the new natural hair lingo.

Preye
Guest

Exactly. The natural state of the hair is “shrunken” if I may use that term. Your hair at that length is your actual length. Applying heat to achieve a “permed” look implies dis-contentment with your hair in its natural state. And the obsession with achieving certain length(s) of hair is plain unhealthy IMHO. Natural, relaxed or stretched, just do you.

Roxanne
Guest
Hmm. I have a different opinion on that. Yes, the natural state of out hair is shrunken, but I don’t think that your hair at your shrunken length is your “actual length”. If you take a 20-inch piece of rope and coil it up, it’s still 20 inches long, even if the coiled rope looks 5 inches long. That’s just how we measure things — or at least that’s how I measure things. I consider stretched length to be my true length, which is different from my shrunken length, which I call my “eye length”. Also, I love seeing my… Read more »
Elle
Guest

Agreed!
I must be old school too, and by the way, the word ‘shrinkage’ is what dudes use to describe withering man-parts in frigid water. The online community may want to come up with a new word, I never hear anyone IRL use it.…for curly-kinked hair.

Dabney
Guest

I have never had this issue. What you see is what you get. Enjoy it! It’s nice.
[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/image.jpg[/img]

mimi
Guest

Wow I’m totally amazed. I want my hair like that too

LOLA~SKYY
Guest

I’m only ten weeks post BC after four months of transitioning, and I have major shrinkage as well.
I don’t mind it though. As stated in this article, it exihibits the versatility of My hair! AND it’s like me…leaving something to the imagination of others????

LOLA~SKYY
Guest

I’m only ten weeks post BC after four months of transitioning, and I have major shrinkage as well.
I don’t mind it though. As stated in this article, it exihibits the versatility of My hair! AND it’s like me…leaving something to the imagination of others????

Nadine
Guest

I have already learned to embrace my shrinkage.
What more I love it!!!. No use hating on it, most black people
have it. But after seeing these ladies Awesome,Gorgeous hair.
I’ll never complain about Shrinkage ever again. Shrinkage is
Beautiful!

TMC toronto meetup march 29th
Guest

those pics are jaw dropping. Shrinkage does give the illusion of stunted hair growth. but simply stretching the hair will show that your hair is growing.
themanecaptain.blogspot.ca

Jaella
Guest

the Fourth and fifth pic are CRAZY.…. i aspire ti have legnth like that one day.

Sammie
Guest

I challenge anyone to help me grow my hair, I’ve been trying for over a year now and still no length, my hair has only grow out and not down and I’ve only seen it grow to my neck and stop since I’ve got older, I’ve seen it get too my sbl once or twice in my life, is that it for me? I would like to see it grow longer and tried, supplements, shampoos, oils, and nothing, can anyone help???

Dananana
Guest
I’m going to be that person, Sammie, and I’m sorry: what’s your protective styling regimen like? Do you use combs/brushes? What’s your texture? Kinky, mostly 4B here, with fine strands. I only ask because I used to hate protective styling and/or finger detangling, so I refused to do it or develop a regimen. As a result, my hair never really passed shoulder length, and when it did, it was so full of splits and knots that the stylist I saw at the time ended up hacking it off up to my ears two or three times in a row. Two… Read more »
marci
Guest

That was an awesome response, I too wondered why my hair was not growing as fast as it used to, I was too busy trying to cut off the frizz not knowing thats a part of natural hair! Silly me, I am now trying to grow the 5 inches I cut back! Lol

Brown Girl
Guest

hi im extra late but you mention something about soapmakers in regards to essential oils? i’ve been looking where can i find this? essential oils are expensive

BettyBoop
Guest
The best and fastest way to grow hair is to manipulate it as little as possible. Protected hair styles like braids or twists “protect” the hair from heat, styling appliances, and excessive dryness. I wore extension braids for two years. When the braids would get loose as the hair was growing out, I would just re-braid. I shampooed my braids just like I would my hair. Once I took the braids completely out, my hair was strong, long and healthy. Healthy hair should grow at a rate of 1/2 inch per month. I would definitely go with braids if I… Read more »
Toni
Guest

I agree with the other commenters. I was in the same place and things changed when I started protective styling and deep conditioning once a week. Also, I’d avoid checking your length for about six months. Good luck!

alohaaaaa
Guest

Try changing your diet. Drinking more water and consuming more protein and other minerals hair needs to grow. Alomg with taking good care of your hair you’ll start to see a difference~

Diana
Guest
Hi Sammie, My natural hair is cut even, and reaches a little past the bra line in the back. Straightened, it’s a little longer. I have what some call 4b hair. I was looking for something else and came upon this wonderful site! Natural Black hair is my passion. I’ve cut and regrown my hair several–lost count at about 5–times. The regrowing occurs because of something I’ve done myself. I’m trying not to go that route again, but the “something” I was looking for is a DIY Keratin treatment. Mentally I can see where that will end up, but I… Read more »
Kay
Guest

Very very very good advices !!!! Love from France

baidu.com
Guest

I love what you guys are up too. This sort of
clever work and reporting! Keep up the excellent works
guys I’ve added you guys to my own blogroll.

trackback

[…] Naturally curly hair can shrink by up to 90%! Check out these amazing before and after photos. […]

angie
Guest

ohhHHH!!!! this is fun
[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/130522–145751.jpg[/img]
[file]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/131113–143745.bmp[/file]
[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/131023–140821.jpg[/img]

Most importantly.…this is natural.

ashley
Guest

ahhaha this is so funny! I was looking up different sites about the CG method and i stumbled on this article and I find out I’m featured here! hahaha!!! this is too great. Yeah, my hair is 70%-75% shrinkage.
This photo used was actually after I washed my hair 2/3 days prior and left it to its max shrinkage. I wet my hands and smoothed my hair out and thought it’d be funny to see how much shrinkage was present.

You can submit your shrinkage photos to my side blog: http://www.smh-shrinkage.tumblr.com 🙂

Cearra
Guest

Yeah Im about 2.5 post yrs relaxer and I usually keep my hair stretched. Stretched it a little past my collarbone and wet it’s to my ear lol

Cidriana
Guest

I fear this is what I will be up against, considering my hair still looks like a TWA even though I’ve gained seven to nine inches all around!

Aliyah
Guest

I’m a 4a . I have like two inches of shrinkage my hair is too my neck almost to my shoulders but it shrinks up and looks like a twa . Even though it’s only been three months technically I’m in the awkward mid length stage now .

Aliyah
Guest

I’m hoping in two or three months I can get it to mid awkward stage even with shrinkage without having to stretch it to see that it’s in that stage .

Smith
Guest

Many lengths, many styles! Natural hair is amazing and beautiful!

Divine
Guest

Wow,natural hair rocks!I’m currently transitioning but can’t wait to return natural!Would love some tips though,(like a regimen)(currently 1month plus post relaxer).Thank you!

Sai Redrick
Guest

Long road ahead, but natural is a blessing. Keep on moisturizing ladies!Thanks for the great info.

Brittney
Guest

.….I want to straighten my hair now.
I never had it bone straight
I have really afro 4c hair. like coily
my back reaches almost if not past my shoulders…
I wonder how long it is!

Kia
Guest

Man! Me too! I think a blow out is in order

mixxedbeautyyy
Guest

Our hair is magiccccc

nelly
Guest

🙂

Aliyah Morrison
Guest
I’m about a year natural and I’m in the awkward stage length and hate it . When stretch edits a full shoulder length when I’m it’s natural state it’s to the bottom of my neck almost to the shoulders and every section if my hair is different lengths . The middle of my hair is the shortest. Everyone is telling me next year it will shrink up to my shoulders and be long past my shoulders when stretched even though my hair has grown a lot in a year hmmm I’ll believe it when I see it I have about… Read more »
Aliyah Morrison
Guest

I don’t see about half of my hair either uugh I think 4 inches if shrinkage is about 50 to 75 percent of shrinkage I get more shrinkage then my grandma . She goes from shoulder length to back length though .

Nia Unscripted
Guest

This is totally me, except my hair isn’t nearly as long as these ladies, but shrinkage is amazing. lol

KeepitOneHunnid:)
Guest

wowowowowowow!!!!!! I cant wait for my first dominican blowout! i hate shrinkage so much!

Moolissa
Guest
I used to straighten my hair (without heat protection!!) about every other day when I was going through my emo scene girl phase in high school. Once I grew out of that phase I only straightened it about once every month at most, basically whenever I felt bored with my natural hair. I didn’t cut it at all for about a year and a half, and since I was no longer constantly straightening it, it got curlier and shorter each day. Up until I did cut it, people kept asking if I got a haircut, and were absolutely floored whenever… Read more »
edecoeur
Guest

Can someone please give me the explanation of “TWA?” There are a lot of acronyms and slang I’m just not familiar with! Like “fleek.” I have NO idea what that means…

stuff
Guest

Teenie Weenie Afro or something

edecoeur
Guest

Thanks very much, I appreciate it.

Laineyvette
Guest

My hair when straightened is to the middle of my back, but with shrinkage, it is to the nape of my neck. I have a love/hate relationship with shrinkage. Most days I think it’s the debil, but some days I can deal with it. My hair just will do its own thing. It doesn’t care what I want it to do.

Leah
Guest

That’s why I don’t do wash and Go’s anymore.

BeautifulBlackGirl
Guest

I have a teeny bit of shrinkage but it’s not so intense my natural plain hair is shoulder length and my stretched, relaxed hair is armpit length.

BeautifulBlackGirl
Guest

African hair is longer than most Caucasians it just shrunk. ?

trackback
[…] So check thisbout; I am a girl with natural curly hair. I love my curls, fro, puff ball, and any other natural style I decide to do. However, it is only ONE thing that Ibtruely hate about having natural curly hair….the SHRINKAGE! No more elingated curls and it seems so much shorter than what it really is, and I love big hair. Shrinkage isn’t so bad though. http://www.curlynikki.com/2014/11/embrace-shrinkage-its-good-for-you.html?m=1 That link shows why we should praise our shrinkage rather than scold it. It’s really a good sign for a couple of things. Such as showing a sign that your healthy which… Read more »
trackback

[…] 1 hair has essentially no shrinkage, whereas type 4 hair has the most, because of the coils (check this out! @ […]

TheCurlyCrown
Guest

I love seeing this.Its like looking at a magic trick.makes me feel like mine and all other black girls hair is magical too 🙂

trackback

[…] source […]

trackback

[…] or a weave in my hair when it is straightened. The length of curly hair is quite deceiving because shrinkage makes it appear to be much shorter than it actually is. And with this straight hair, the slightest […]

Jennifer
Guest

Wow!!! The shrinkage is indeed REAL!!! Beautiful!

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