10 Pictures of Natural Hair Shrinkage that Will Blow Your Mind

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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!

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And you thought your shrinkage was intense…

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


Ashley of Barbie Bones

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

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A fistful of length

Just a TWA right? Not!

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

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!

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Texan by birth, Los Angeleno by situation. Blue-haired blogger and lover of Tame Impala and Shoegaze music. Comedian by trade. Macaroni and Cheese connoisseur by appetite.


    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????

  • http://none Nadine

    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

  • http://themanecaptain.blogspot.ca/ TMC toronto meetup march 29th

    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.

  • Jaella

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

  • Sammie

    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

      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 years ago after a huge setback that left me with 3-5 inches of hair, I set a goal for healthy hair care and length. I started wearing two strand twists 80-90% of the time, sleeping with a scarf,exclusively finger detangling,trimming out my own knots, washing and DCing about every other week (every 3 for long-term styles), and the only products I regularly used was an ever rotating mixture of natural oils and essential oils (cheaper bought from soapmakers in bulk) and an aloe spritz (3:2:1 or 2:2:1 water, aloe gel, glycerin + a few drops of tea tree or lavender). Shampoos and conditioners are wholly dictated by my funds, or lack thereof. I only have $5 in my cosmetics budget? ACV rinse and Trader Joe’s it is.
      I’m still doing all of that. Since I don’t use heat on my hair regularly, I have no idea how long it is overall, but I do know that the hair on my lowest layers is APL when pulled straight, and the hair at my crown is shoulder length. When my hair is in an old twist-out, most of it hangs around my shoulders and neck.
      I don’t know you or your hair, so I can’t say that what I did will work for you. But the biggest thing that helped me? Consistency, and leaving my mane alone. No matter what your hair is like, finding what works for your schedule and sticking to your guns for a period of at least six months will no doubt show some benefit. Best of luck (and sorry for the novel)!

      • http://blackgirllonghair.com marci

        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

        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

      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 wanted to grow my hair longer again. Hope that helps!

    • Toni

      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

      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

      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 think I might still give it a go.

      The best thing you can do is commit to getting to know your hair. “Protective” styles are fine, but are useless unless you have a goal in mind because once the “protection” stops, you have no idea how to care for your own hair. That’s why you have to have a goal in mind before you consider doing one.

      Start with your doctor’s office. Tell him/her what you want to do, and during your yearly medical examine, ask if your doctor sees anything that might prevent your hair from growing.

      Nothing there medically? If you want to go with a protective style like braiding, learn how to do it for yourself and stay away from those nice-looking–but horrible for your hair–micro braids.

      Set aside time to wash and rebraid your hair weekly. If you’re using extensions, learn how to wash your hair with them in, and rebraid using the same extensions. Wash, air dry, rebraid by finger combing your hair (and the extension hair) ONLY–don’t use a comb, apply leave-in conditioner after or during the rebraid. Massage your scalp every chance you get. This process will help you get to know your hair, which is what you will need to do if you want to learn how to grow it out. I used this process to initially grow my hair. Now I cut it and grow it without having to braid it. But once you go braid, you don’t go back because you will simply LOVE your hair and the braided look. I love how my natural hair can look 2 inches long, and shock everyone when I pull it out to its true length.

      Find a good shampoo and conditioner that make your hair feel like a million bucks. On my natural hair, I like Keracare (I buy it at JCPenney) and At One With Nature (biocarelabs.com).

      If you decide to protective braid, use extensions–kanekalon, and not real hair. The first time you braid your hair might take 8 hours. Sounds like a long time, but ask yourself this question: Do I really want long hair, and am I willing to take the steps necessary to obtain it? If not, keep doing what you’re doing, and you’ll keep getting the same results.

      Finally, when you do comb your hair, if it can be considered 4b like mine, comb it only when it’s wet–after shampooing and conditioning–and only use a wide-toothed comb. (You can comb more often if you press it, but still use a wide-toothed comb, and use it with care.) I use a plastic Goody afro pick. The best tip I can give you is to shampoo and condition at least weekly, and when you do comb your hair start at the ends and work your way up to the roots. If when combing it seems like you have a lot of resistance, then you probably have uneven ends. Get a good pair of shears, and don’t be afraid to take off at least 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch. Hair can grow anywhere from 1 inch to 12 inches a year. The norm is about 6 inches.

      If you treat your hair right, it will grow (unless there is an underlying medical condition), so treat it right, and treat yourself right, too, by TAKING time out for YOURSELF and your hair.

      I know I said “finally” up above, but this really is it: Nothing you put on your hair will grow it. It’s all in how you treat your hair. I say that because I know people who ear right and never miss a meal, but treat their hair horribly and then wonder why it doesn’t grow. Never yank or pull it, keep it clean, and if your hair is like mine, use the right comb and comb it the right way. And finally (for real this time) NEVER put grease on your scalp. On your hair, OK, but NEVER on your scalp.

      Like everyone else who has responded to you, I hope this helps, too. Now go grow your hair like you mean it. :-)

  • http://www.baidu.com baidu.com

    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.

  • Pingback: The Style Loop | Hair Romance()

  • angie

    ohhHHH!!!! this is fun

    Most importantly….this is natural.

  • http://barbiebones.tumblr.com ashley

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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

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

  • Divine

    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

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

  • Brittney

    …..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!

  • mixxedbeautyyy

    Our hair is magiccccc

    • nelly


  • Aliyah Morrison

    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 4 inches of shrinkage in the back and the front .

  • Aliyah Morrison

    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 .