The Shrinkage Story: A Letter for New Naturals to their Reluctant Mister Rights

 So you haven’t seen your girlfriend in a while. Maybe she went away to school, maybe you tried to find yourself in India, but it’s your first date in a long time and she looks stunning. You breathe a sigh of relief, glad that she seems to be past the awkward phase after she first cut off all her hair. Not that she’d ever looked bad - she’d always had that effortless kind of beauty that was far from the average - you just preferred long(er) hair, and it’d be nice to have something to pull again. Tonight her hair is big, gorgeous, and wavy, like “Spanish curls,” and you beam with pride as other guys stare when she walks past.

The next morning, she gets up, washes her hair, and suddenly looks the way she did at her big chop. But why - how - what happened?  Before you let out a disappointed sigh or snarky comment, here’s a note about your girlfriend’s kinky, probably-type-4 hair from a marginally sympathetic natural woman.

There’s this thing called shrinkage.  Literally (not really), it means you’ll never see the true length of her hair unless she straightens it - which may be infrequently or never.  Practically, it means you’re gonna see her hair in a lot of different styles and lengths, some which you like, some which you don’t.  There are braids, fros, twists, coils, wash-n-gos, blow-outs, twist-outs, bantu knot-outs, and every type of -out that CurlyNikki can think of.  Most naturals deal with shrinkage, but she’s of the particular sort that has it the best.  (Oops, was I supposed to say worst?)  The good news is that yes, your girl’s hair is long.  The “bad” news is, once she’s gotten over the initial self-consciousness that often comes along with a big change, she won’t feel the need to prove that - to you or anyone else.  So, with all my love, get over yourself if you ever again want to be onto her ;).  No, but really.

Going natural is hard but incredibly rewarding.  Once she stops trying to impress you, to vie for your love and pretend she doesn’t notice that side-eye, she will focus on making herself, and only herself, comfortable.  And if that means an hour every night for a fresh twist-out everyday, so be it.  But if it doesn’t, you will deal with it.  Or alternatively, you won’t, and you can keep it moving.  An entirely new group of potential partners will start noticing her - and no, I’m not referring to the  ”switching sexualities” myth (c’mon, do better).  Ask her if you want to know.

But hey, if you’re the good kind of guy that genuinely loves her even when your preferences misalign, you will learn to love the beauty and versatility of it all in the same way you love the little complexities that make her the person she is.  And in two years, when she randomly decides to switch it up for your grand ol’ 24th by straightening it out, you’ll be happy to see that her hair is longer, healthier, and more genuine than the weave on the heads of all your friends’ girls.  Believe that.
Please reread accordingly for Mouthy Mothers, Pointed Partners, Fickle Friends, and Confused Co-workers :-*.

1 comment:

  1. "And if that means an hour every night for a fresh twist-out everyday, so be it. But if it doesn’t, you will deal with it. Or alternatively, you won’t, and you can keep it moving"

    Thank you! My guy, just commot for road if you cannot hang. lol.
    Funny post.



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