Shrinkage! It’s a popular term used in the black natural hair community, especially for those curlies like myself.
Now, I can’t say that I always embraced shrinkage, me and her have a love-hate relationship, but what I will say is I am learning to embrace it and enjoy the versatility of my hair.
Why is it that as black women, we find it difficult to innately accept and love our shrunken locs? (& I speak generally, for my more sensitive audience.)
Where does this stem from?
- Beauty standards set forth by Euro-Centric ideology have cultivated in our black community making the vision of beauty look like long and silky hair. Years of these poisonous images created a root for self-hate and reaffirmation in the black community.
- Skin wars = hair wars… furthering our appreciation for loose spirals and deeming this as a beauty standard for the black community while negating that dark complexions cannot achieve this “look.”
- Taking it back I can recall the utter frustration with not knowing how to manage my hair texture with so much euro-centric influence around. It is only in the past few years that I notice more black women claiming their strands and making the statement, “my hair is healthy, can be whatever I want, and it is beautiful.”
There are probably more ideas that can go into the consideration of our inevitable fight to end shrinkage (By no means am I against stretching!). But what about embracing it?
Here’s why I’m so shrunk in love:
- My hair is showing me it’s healthy. I just love when my hair can bounce back from it’s stretched state. Don’t you ever get nervous that it doesn’t once you’ve flat-ironed it?
- I can style on ’em anytime and really show the versatility of my hair. Sleek and straight one day, blow out the next, and smexy curls the third. I just HAVE to change it up!
- I don’t know about you but sometimes I just like to stunt on those that have no idea about my hair. I have heard very often that people assume my hair to be so short, until I stretch a strand, then it’s a wrap.
So you tell me, do you like all that shrinkage – or nah?