If you are used to wetting your hair regularly than your hair is at risk of having or developing hygral fatigue. I have talked about this hair condition in a previous post and you can read more about it on this post. For now, I will briefly say that constantly wetting your hair puts a strain on your hair as it expands when wet and contracts when it’s dry. This constant motion of the hair strands will weaken it, make it lose its elasticity and cause breakage. Just remember what happened to your favourite scrunchie when you were repeatedly using it! So if you are interested in preventing hygral fatigue I will give you a few tips.
If you read my blog posts you will find that pre-pooing is a persistent theme and rightly so as it helps to protect and strengthen your hair. The use of vegetable oils before washing/wetting your hair will protect it. You can use the extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) you have in your kitchen. However, if you want to prevent hygral fatigue coconut oil is what you’re looking for. This wonder oil is proven to help prevent hygral fatigue and because it has smaller molecules it will take less time penetrating the hair shaft. Other vegetable oils require several hours to do this. Read more to know if you should Pre-Poo your hair.
2| Low pH Products
Our hair has a ph level between 4.5 and 5.5 which is slightly acidic. Anything between 7.1 – 14 is alkaline, and anything between 0-6.9 is acidic. Water, for instance, is neutral and has a ph level of 7. In order to maintain the hair’s pH balance, you need to avoid products that are alkaline. If this happens the cuticle layers of the hair open excessively which will increase water absorption and hair expansion.
Products with a low ph, or acidic products, will help close layers of the hair and, therefore, will reduce water intake. There are a few things you can do to balance ph levels. You can use ph strips to test your products or you can simply use an aloe vera juice (6-6.8 ph) and water solution (1:2) to rinse your hair. Read more about Natural Hair and PH.
3| “Squeeze” Excess Water
Use your microfiber towel to remove excess water from your hair. By doing this you will be reducing weight from your hair because of water intake, therefore, decreasing the stretching and expanding motions.
4| Seal Your Hair
Sealing your hair with a vegetable oil will allow your hair to retain moisture when it’s dry. Once, again you can use any oil you wish, but coconut oil is a vegetable oil that can penetrate the hair shaft and is proven to be effective as a pre-poo and as a post-wash oil by avoiding protein loss. This is basically the thing that provides strength and elasticity to your hair. Really, this one is a no-brainer!!! Read more about using Penetrating or Sealing Oils.
5| Air Dry
Making use of drying tools to quickly dry your hair may sound like a good idea, but it can actually cause more damage. When your hair is wet and drastically dries it contracts too quickly and loses much of its moisture, which can cause breakage. To avoid this, the best option is to air dry. However, if you want to accelerate this process always use your drying tools on a low setting and slowly dry your hair.