Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Be nice to your hair tip #3: Don't wet your hair more often then necessary

The term that describes damage to hair done by water is Hygral Fatigue.  When hair gets wet it absorbs water and gets heavier.  This stretches the hair downward.  When it dries, it shrinks back to its original shape.  Doing this repeatedly is bad for the hair's cuticle (See The Structure of Hair).  Think of hair as being like a rubber band.  You can stretch a rubber band and it goes back to its original shape.  But, if you stretch it enough times, it doesn't return to its original shape.  This is Hygral Fatigue.

What do you do?  First off, don't wet your hair more often then necessary.  Another option is to oil your hair with coconut oil 20 minutes to overnight before wetting and washing it.  This oil penetrates the hair's cuticle.  With the oil in the cuticle, there is less room for water to soak in.  Some people will find coconut oil hard to remove from hair.  If you are sulfate shampoo (like most shampoos), odds are it will be easier to remove.  You may want to try adding coconut oil to a small section/curl of your hair the first time you use it.  I plan to do a post on coconut oil in the future.
For more info, see these links:
The Natural Haven:  Mineral Oil-Proof is (not) in the Hair 
The Natural Haven:  Coconut Oil-Knowledge from our Ancestors to our Scientists 
Remember, be nice to your hair and it will be nice to you.

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