Shrinkage has got to be one of the most hated and discussed problem many Naturals face besides length retention. Shrinkage, “the difference between what your hair looks like when it’s wet and gently stretched to its maximum length and what it looks like when it’s dry.” Naturallycurly.com The struggle is REAL and for many Naturals this is a major reason they choose to wear stretched styles or stay away from wash and gos.
Applying heat, stretched styles, banding….they all fight shrinkage but I”m not a real fan of any of them and for good reason. I’ve stopped using heat for a few years now since I’m afraid of heat damage and no longer see the need for it. Stretched styles (twistouts, braidouts, etc.) do not seem to agree with my hair and creates serious frizz for me and banding…the traditional way is time consuming and if in a hurry not a good alternative.
I personally love the wash and go and although I allow my hair to shrink on most days, I’ve found that I do tire of how short my hair looks once dry. When wet (but unstretched) my hair is past shoulder length, but once dry it’s above my ears. Am I being vain for being bothered? Kinda, but sometimes you just want to show the length you ACTUALLY have obtained without damaging your hair.
I stumbled upon a banding technique that isn’t as detailed or unattractive as many use that will allow me to go out and not feel foolish. Nothing wrong with regular banding, but as seen below you REALLY don’t want the world to see you like this.
Ponytail banding allows your hair to be stretched without using tons of hair bands. Ponytail banding or ponytail pinning is done by placing your hair in one or two ponytails. Clips are then placed on the sides to keep the hairs in place while also being stretched.
Simple, quick and definitely easier to leave the house while allowing the hair to band. Here are the results.
Now compare those two pics to hair that was NOT banded and allowed to air dry naturally.
Now the difference may be slight but for me and for many (I would assume) the difference is enough to satisfy the urge to show some length. You can take the ponytail and clips out with your hair completely dry or still damp. Either way just fluff and make shake your head a little to allow your coils to jump back into place.
Ponytail banding is NOT going to give maximum stretching like regular banding but it’s easier, quicker and allows one to jump in the car on the way to work or wherever while it dries and stretches. I don’t need my hair stretched to the max so if you are in the same boat this is a technique you may wanna try.
If one does not have enough hair to put in a ponytail just yet then pinning it down will also aid in minimal stretching. Once you get that ponytail (however small) you will see how well it helps.
Always finding ways to stretch our hair without hurting it Naturals,