Let’s Talk About Shrinkage


It’s a four letter word to most naturals, particularly of the coarse, type-4 variety.  This morning, I decided to wash my hair (seems like I haven’t done that in forever) and when I tilted my wet, detangled hair back it was grazing the top of my bottom!  So, I decided to do a semi- length check.  I say “semi” because I didn’t straighten out my hair.  I don’t think you can get a true sense of length unless the hair is straight, but I don’t really do straight that often, so…you get the point.

Anyway, back to shrinkage.  I always wash my hair in two braids.  Just easier for me.  And the braids ALWAYS sit above my shoulders.  For a minute, I just figured my hair was in an overall holding pattern.  But then, I did the check.  I took my arm, leaned my head back, contorted the hand to grab whatever hair I could and held on to it until my DH could snap a pick.  Lo’ and behold…I’m MBL (that’s mid-back length for all the non-forumers).

I always thought this would be my goal length, and then from here, I would make a decision as to what direction to go.  Whether to relax, texturize, stay natural, press, whatever.  But now that I’m here, I think I want to keep going.  Because I’m expecting #2, and I’m a little healthier going into this pregnancy (even if I am 15lbs heavier – oy vey!), I think this might be an opportunity to capitalize on healthy practices and optimize a little hair growth.

And so…I am setting a challenge.  I’ll call it WL 2010.  By December 31, 2010, I am hoping to be waist legnth.  Wish me luck!  I’ll document the progress, styles, challenges, and everything in between, of course and see where I get!

Wash Day Hair

But back to the topic at hand.  Here is a picture of my usual hair after the washing process.  As stated above, I use two braids.  I wash and condition each braid separately.  Let conditioner sit while I finish in the shower, then rinse and detangle each separately and then re-braid.

And here is a pic of my hair, with one side out, after being detangled and right

before braiding.  Never would have thought hair that sits in braids above the shoulders was this long.  Oh, God bless our lovely heads of kinky hair and all the properties bestowed upon it!

I gotta do something about my back fat.  Oh well, guess I have to wait until this baby is born.  Although, I did pick up The Perfect Pregnancy Workout and have been doing it and I have to say, my backfat looks better than it did a couple of months ago.  I think I’ll end up much more fit at the end of this pregnancy that last time.

Stay on track Kinkerbelle (see what a pregnant mind can do to you…make you go all around the world with your thoughts).  THIS POST IS ABOUT SHRINKAGE.  Any other ladies out there experiencing crazy shrinkage?  Care to share some pics?



  1. Thank you ladies for all your responses. I wondered if I could beat the Shrinkage problem. But it seem I cannot. You know it is okay, as the yound lady said, I will deal with it and get over it. One thing I do love is that I am doing my own hair and I don not have any chemical in my hear. Have a blessed day, Inez

  2. Girl you do not have back fat! Your hair is so beautiful. I can’t wait unitl my is this legnth. Congradulations on the new addition!

  3. Chile (southern belle to southern belle), you know I know all about shrinkage. I’ve made peace with it though, since it’s not going anywhere with out flat iron’in hot comb’in heat damag’in. My shoulder grazing super tight (and shall I say supa fly) coily spiralies are bra strap length to the back and booby length to the front stretched out in all it’s au naturale goodness. I’m a straightening and chemical free born again virgin since my last relaxer in early 2006 and my BC in early 2007. I’m tempted to pop my cherry on a date with a flat iron for a special occasion treat. Old pictures of my hair at it longest during it’s relaxer days hitting my collar bone and mid way to my bra stap and even longer & thicker in pre-relaxer elementary picture days have me curious. May showers and summer heat & humidity may have me waiting another couple seasons though…we shall see.

    On another Super Special note, congrats honeylove on the new addition to your beautiful family! Godmama sends love, xoxo!

    P.S. I’m loving your blog by the way, every special morsel of it is sweet goodness. You were naturally meant to share your Kinkerbelle journey and insight with the world. Kinkerbelle to the Rescue! Keep it coming.

  4. Congrats on the new baby!. Shrinkage is a mug. I just had this realization a couple weeks ago. I was getting frustrated because my hair wasn’t growing. My out styles were just barely grazing my shoulders. I straightened it to put it into kinky twists and I discovered I was BSL?!?! *Le Sigh* What’s a girl to do?

  5. Congrats Kink! Your hair looks great and baby #2, aww how sweet! Thanks to you and Serenity I am still hanging in there two years later! I appreciate all the responses you two provided me with:) I gotta post some new pics (necoleg)

  6. Hey Kink!
    Congratulations on baby number 2! Your hair is gorgeous as usual and thanks for sharing pics of your shrinkage. Just know that you are not alone! I too experience crazy shrinkage. My hair now is a little above shoulder length when I “stretch” it however when it is free it barely covers my ears!!
    I guess I just need to embrace it and get over it!!

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