Growing up, I was always reluctant to get my hair wet. After all the time and effort my Mom spent hot combing my hair straight, there was no way I was going to undo it with a dip in the pool or a walk in the rain. On humid days I would cringe as I watched my curls popping back into shape right before my eyes. Don't get me wrong, I've never really minded having kinky hair, but it was always disappointing to see how quickly Mom's hard work could be reversed by water.
As I got older, however, I stopped caring as much. My natural hair didn't stay straight for very long anyway, so what was the big fuss if it got wet? Slowly I began to venture back out into the rain and swim whenever I darn well felt like it. Lo and behold, my hair began to flourish!
It's sad to think that the one thing curly hair needs most is the same thing we're taught to avoid: moisture. Back when I refrained from wetting my hair, I robbed it of the precious moisture that would have kept it even stronger and healthier. Now that I'm constantly spritzing it and sealing in the moisture with deeply penetrating oils, it's growing strong and I'm retaining length.
This is the very reason why I don't wear a shower cap anymore. When my hair is in a protective style, shrinkage is minimized because each strand is already braided or twisted up. In other words even if my hair gets soaking wet, the style won't necessarily be destroyed. So when I jump into the shower all I do is gather my braids/twists up in a bun and let the steam do its magic. Since the warm steam hydrates my natural hair, it saves me time from having to spritz. When I get out of the shower I can go straight to applying the oil to lock in that moisture. It's a win-win that has truly eliminated my need for a shower cap.