Hair Handling: Protect your strands (2)

30 Oct

Understanding Dryness and Moisture

Type 4 hair, due to its coily nature will have the tendency to be dry. The sebum (natural oil secreted by the scalp) is not able to flow to the end of the coily hair. The dryness of the Type 4 Hair will cause it to be naturally quite brittle. Moisture gives to the hair the ability to be supple and elastic. With low or no moisture content hair is prone to breakage.

Water helps to make hair more flexible allowing it to be manipulated with reduced risk of breaking.

Water is a fundamental component of human hair. Water has a profound effect on the properties of the hair fibre. When damp or wet it becomes more stretchy, softer. Moisture is crucial to limit the damage to hair during grooming, styling. The water content of a strand of hair impact how much it can bend. More water making the fibre softer and easier to bend. This way hair growth can be retained as less damage to the strand means that the hair can continue to be present for more years.

Considerate handling when washing, combing, styling natural hair as well as protective styling (e.g braids and twists) is crucial to length retention. Dry hair will snap easily even with gentle force, this is why moisture is important even in a protective style.

It is important to realise that you cannot permanently get rid of dry hair !

Added moisture is temporary. As our hair is naturally dry, it will switch from its moisturised state to its default dry state. For that reason hair care regimen should include regular moisture addition. Adding water to hair and preserving it in the strands with oils and moisturisers is crucial to hair suppleness and in the long run length retention.

How often you should moisturise your hair? Your best indicator will be your hair’s feedback. You should be able to assess weather your hair is getting more brittle and need more moisture or if it is too moisturised and has become limp !  A good balance is key and very unique to each individual.

Side note: Hair dried using a dryer (hand held, hood, heated roller or curling tongs) has lower moisture levels than hair allowed to dry naturally.

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