Your hair is beautiful young sista! I'm lost please help! ll natural did big chop in oct., 2010 for the third time in 4 years. I find myself going back to that creamy stuff because I don't have a clue on natural hair care! seriously .. I have a cabinet of sooooo many different shampoos and conditioners it's a waste of money. I have very tightly curly hair that shrinks up to my head. It's a med coarse hair mixture of my fathers soft silky very curly, wet the brush hair n my mom's very coarse kinky hair that was very full. After I use something I say this is not it. Over n over .. I have been told not to use shampoo! Please help .. over 50 and can't afford to keep walking around like a shrunkin headed lil boy too much longer. I really want locs .. just not the ugly phase! about them. Help!
Take a deep breath, exhale! It will be okay. I have tried so many conditioners and shampoos and hair products-it is ridiculous! You all hear me say I use like 3-4 products religiously but you all don't know about the piles of other products I have tried in the past that are collecting dust under my cabinet (Well now you do I guess)! :O
One thing that you have to accept is that if you have a tight, kinky texture, your hair is going to shrink. That is natural and it is actually a good thing! Here is why: if your hair shrinks up after you wet it or moisturize it with a water based product, that means that your hair has good elasticity.
Hair that has poor elasticity is more susceptible to breakage because it cannot bounce back once force has been applied to it. Also without shrinkage, you wouldn't have coils or curls. Think about it: the main difference between tight kinky hair, loose curly hair, and straight hair is the degree of bends and turns in the hair.
Straight hair has none, and curly hair is the happy median between the other two. Kinky hair of course has the most bends and turns along the hair strand, and as a result, has the most shrinkage. The bends and turns along the hair strand makes this hair type more susceptible to damage as well.
But like I said earlier, the fact that your kinky hair snaps back and shrinks up after being manipulated is a good sign that your hair has excellent elasticity, a good thing.
I know it is frustrating when you have 4 inches of hair but it shrinks up to only show 2 inches! Trust me, I still shake my head every time I put in a fresh set of twists that rest on my shoulders the day I put them in and the next day they are at my ears! But you just have to learn how to either deal with it or work around it.
If you are in the TWA stage but you have enough length for twists or braids, you can try braiding or twisting your hair up at night, and then releasing the twists and braids in the morning for a twist out. This way, you are able to reduce some of that shrinkage and you can help to stretch out those ends to prevent knots and single strands from occurring.
Twist Out done on about 2-3 inches of hair
You can find more pictures here There is really no way to permanently get rid of shrinkage other than to use heat on your hair or to get a texturizer, but of course, this will change the texture of your hair and it may lead to breakage and hair damage. Now to answer your question about shampoo: Why did someone suggest that you stop using shampoo? Shampoo is great for removing product build up from your hair but it is not absolutely necessary if the products that you use are water soluble. Water soluble products can be removed without the use of shampoo, or with sulfate free shampoos. If you were told to not use shampoo to stop your hair from shrinking, I am not so sure of that. In my experience, as soon as water hit my hair it will shrink up no matter what! I just counteract it by washing my hair in braids and twists which allows my hair to remained stretched out after it has dried.
Now about the locs: if you are not ready for all of the stages of the locing process, then you probably want to hold off on getting them. It can take months or a year or more for locs to reach full maturity. There are so many different things that you have to consider before you commit to the locing process that I would suggest that you take a look at some of these resources before you take the plunge: