Shrinkage Hacks

Photography by Sam Mulwa (@mulwa_)

Betting has gone viral. There are people that consider betting a side hustle. Someone will owe you cash then when you ask them what their plan on paying back is, they respond with sports pesa. No shame whatsoever.

Sportspesa has become very enterprising that recently a betting magazine was introduced. It’s called Shinda Bet. Apparently it’s meant to boost your chances of winning. I would not know for obvious reasons. However, if there was the slightest chance of putting up mankind as collateral incase I lost a bet, I’d gladly put up human beings, sanasana Africans. Are you familiar with those that are never on time? Consequently I’d lose, on purpose.

I’m seated at a Lounge in Westlands one fine Wednesday evening waiting for my friends who by the way are notoriously late. (See why I need sportspesa to up their leverage game to humans?).

The kind you agree to meet at 5pm but still end up showing up at 9pm.The same chaps that swear they are 5 minutes late yet they show up 100 minutes later then come up with some flimsy excuse. Traffic has become old, so how about I hit a cow on Mombasa road? There’s always a herd of cattle on North Airport road. How about that?

People will never be on time because they hate waiting and since they are anticipating the other party will be late, they show up late just in case.

This chill spot has on offer happy hour cocktails going for half the price. As I’m looking at the cocktail menu, I recall a chat I was having about happy hours with my pal Kyle. He does not believe the cocktails on offer are genuine. I believe his exact words were “These people are in business to maximize returns. There’s a catch with these happy hour cocktails. You keep dashing for those offers na ni ma blue moon na ma meakins mnakunywa tu.”

Kyle, how are you going to crash a sister’s dreams like that?

Anyway it’s not parked at all being a weekday. After the waiter takes my order (I took a pass on the cocktails, thank you very much Kyle), I turn to my phone and start catching up with people’s lives via Instagram stories (side note: Justrioba is my IG  user name). I also realize that was a shameless promotion of my social media account but please let me be.

Where were we? Right! Instagram. I’m about to ‘Hae Pls” one of my followers then this tall, slender chic in braids with a bright smile says hi to me. Next to her is an attractive white dude with an equally bright smile. I’m hoping and praying that I do not have to pretend I know them because they does not look the slightest bit familiar.

She introduced herself and went straight to “Is this your hair?”

I chuckled and responded in the affirmative while thinking “If I had a dollar.”

In a split second her hands were in my hair, she literally dug into my hair. Now, curiosity gets to the best of us, and this is not the first time someone has done it. My reaction usually depends on who’s touched my hair. If it’s a close friend , say Esther for example. Esther is notorious for touching my hair. I usually say something like “ Essie, Where do you get the guts to dig your fingers in my hair? While you are at it why don’t you go ahead and spank me too?” We laugh and laugh then she ends up touching my hair again.

In this case however, it’s a stranger so  I just sat there like an obedient furry animal in a zoo getting its back rubbed all the while giving her male companion the “please make it stop look”

This is how the conversation went, she’s still touching my hair:

“How comes its so soft? It does not look soft”

“I moisturize daily and deep condition weekly”

“Goodness! Slow down on the natural hair lingo.”

“Both terms are similar to giving a thirsty person water. Our hair type is naturally dry so we have to hydrate it regularly. ”

“So what is our type?”

“Type 4, but it ranges from A to C.”

I can swear I see the white guy roll his eyes with the I did not come here for this look.

“Wow!! It’s actually longer than it seems. Don’t you hate shrinkage?”

“I used to but not anymore.”

She finished by saying that Shrinkage is a buzzkill.

As she was leaving, I said smiling “Since you messed with my afro, at least offer to pay zoo fare. I’m sure I look like Frodo from lord of the rings.”

The white dude laughed. She didn’t. I should probably stick to making such remarks to my friends.

The fact that she asked about shrinkage was what got me. Shrinkage is when your hair looks shorter than it actually is especially when wet. So deceptive! Some naturals, me included can experience up to 90% shrinkages so one ends up looking like they shaved.

I think shrinkage is one of the most annoying things about natural hair, after detangling.  It’s rather frustrating when you want to show off your length but shrinkage will not let you prosper. It goes without saying, shrinkage can be annoying.

Personally, I tried to fight it by stretching my hair using heat at the risk of heat damage until I realized it’s not worth it. I had a hate relationship with shrinkage until I figured ways to accessorize my hair in spite of the shrinkage. This is highlighted in the pictures below.  Don’t you love how flexible natural hair can be?

1. An Unruly Afro

2. Accesorize with cute hair clip maybe?

3. Or Trendy Sunglasses?

4. Flower Crowns anyone?

5.Or this?

6. Occasionally, throw in  a hat and clear glasses

The above are just but a few shrinkage hacks!

So my dear naturals, embrace shrinkage because for starters, it indicates your hair is healthy. YES! If your hair is not shrinking then my friend you got a problem.  Healthy hair means your hair will grow to whatever length as long as you let it be. If you want to show off your length so badly then try African threading. I’ll talk about African Threading in a separate post.

Till next time,


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Comments (27)

  1. Min Jowi May 5, 2017 at 6:41 am

    Queening!!!!! ❤❤❤

    • Miss Rioba May 5, 2017 at 8:03 am

      Thank you 🙂

  2. MySlyy May 5, 2017 at 6:53 am

    Story of my life…my hair stays same length from January to December.

    • Miss Rioba May 5, 2017 at 8:04 am

      Shrinkage for you. Thanks for passing by Sly!

  3. Doreen May 5, 2017 at 7:11 am

    Very informative thanks 🙂

    • Miss Rioba May 5, 2017 at 8:04 am

      You’re welcome Doreen. Thanks for passing by!

  4. Es May 5, 2017 at 7:27 am

    Hi Frodo, nice read…..can I touch your hair? 🙂

    • Miss Rioba May 5, 2017 at 8:04 am

      Haha.. That’s my new name now? And no you can’t.

  5. Judith May 5, 2017 at 8:49 am

    Love the post. I sooooo want your hair. Great post mami

    • Miss Rioba May 5, 2017 at 1:13 pm

      Thank you Judy. You have amazing hair btw.

  6. Bentah May 5, 2017 at 9:14 am

    Looking good Winnie

    • Miss Rioba May 5, 2017 at 1:13 pm

      Thanks Bentah!

  7. Nyaboke May 5, 2017 at 9:28 am

    I love love love. Good work Dolly.

    • Miss Rioba May 5, 2017 at 1:13 pm

      Thank you 🙂

  8. Pamela.nyamoita May 5, 2017 at 10:04 am

    Aki haujanipata I will keep touching it nikisema “for real imeshrink” na that chick shoulda paid for the drink.(runs to hide…..

    • Miss Rioba May 5, 2017 at 1:09 pm

      ? right? Thanks for passing by

  9. Mokeira May 5, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    on point…as always!! this people who ruffle and stroke other peeps hair though!!!!

    • Miss Rioba May 5, 2017 at 4:47 pm

      ?….your poor locs! Thank you Miss.

  10. Miss Latika May 5, 2017 at 3:12 pm

    Hahah. You have cracked me up with the petting in a zoo comparison. I also hate it when people touch my hair. Like where have your hands been? Don’t touch me please! Lovely piece dada! You are so beautiful! ❤ And I agree with you about embracing shrinkage. It is a style in itself.

    • Miss Rioba May 5, 2017 at 4:45 pm

      I agree. Lol.
      Thank you .!you are far too kind. I can’t wait to feature you on my next post.

  11. Selfine May 5, 2017 at 4:35 pm

    I follow you on IG, just found out you have a blog and subscribed looking forward to more blogs.

    • Miss Rioba May 5, 2017 at 4:44 pm

      Hi Selfine!!. It’s never too late. Welcome!

  12. Pamela Chemelil May 6, 2017 at 8:52 am

    Hello Frodo…kumbe you let strangers touch your hair and when I do….you threaten to beat me…..I will play with that hair and spank you too….WAIT FOR IT?

    • Miss Rioba May 6, 2017 at 10:10 am

      ? ? ?. What? I need new friends

  13. Robin May 8, 2017 at 9:58 pm

    The opening remarks! Hahahahaha. I like. Side hustle…

  14. Mad man May 23, 2017 at 7:56 pm

    I like your words

  15. YogieOnTheMove May 26, 2017 at 10:07 am

    Hae pls frodo 😛 Haha. i can`t stand people touching my afro. Its so annoying!like guuuuuuurll nope. Love all the diffrent ways you showed of dealing with shrinkage 🙂

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