I receive literally hundreds of emails a week. Pertaining to various hair care problems. Most of these emails come for frustrated frizzy haired ladies and gents, from all over the world. It seems like such as mystery” why is my hair so frizzy?”, “What can be done to calm my poofy hair?”, Why is my hair so dry?”
Well, in this article I hope to cover some of the main reasons as to why many of us suffer with the affliction better known as THE FRIZZIES! But most of all it has to do with a moisture deficiency!
Oil and Water
90% of us suffer with dry brittle or frizzy hair because our hair is deficient of (moisture) WATER! There is a certain preconceived notion that has been passed on from generation to generation. That is the idea that our hair is dry, because we are lacking in natural oils. We are told that if we nurture our hair by brushing vigorously 100 times a day, with an all-natural bristle brush, or if we pamper our hair with hot oil treatments or smother out hair with cholesterol. If we do all of these things, then we are sure to be blessed with beautiful, shiny and healthy locks. This might be the case, if you have young virgin (hair that is not chemically treated) hair. But this is certainly not the case, once you have impaled your tresses, with harsh chemicals such as bleaches and alkaline permanents. Or if you have naturally curly hair,
Naturally Curly Hair
Those of us with curly hair, YES! I too have curly hair; have these curls, because of a curvature of the hair follicles. A normal hair follicle under a microscope would be seen as perfectly straight. However we have a definite bend in ours. This causes us to have natural curls. When the hair curves it compels the cuticle (the outer layer of the hair) to lift.
Under a microscope, A cuticle is similar in appearance to shingles on a roof. When the hair is in good conditioner and has good porosity the tiles or cuticle layers are tight together and perfect in shape. When hair is in bad conditioner or has poor porosity, the cuticle layers are lifted and sometimes damaged and broken.
When the cuticle layers are in good health, the hair has a smooth appearance, and because the layers of the cuticle are so tightly knit together, the light is able to reflect off the cuticle. This is what makes hair shine!
When the cuticle layers are not tight together, the hair will feel coarse and brittle. The hair will then absorb the light and not reflect. This will give a surface appearance of dull and lifeless hair.
To sum up this scenario. Because curly haired cuticle layer is permanently lifted, it feels, coarse, and brittle and has no brilliance. Hence the dull, lifeless look. It also means that our hair has poor porosity.
Is the ability for hair to be able to absorb and retain moisture. The best way for me to explain this is to would be for you to imagine a sponge. First of all imagine a brand new sponge. It will have tiny holes in it, and when you immerse it in water, it will soak up a large quantity, and be able to hold that liquid for a long period of time. This is because it has good porosity. Now imagine an old sponge. Its holes have become damaged and distorted. It might even be torn in some areas. When you immerse this sponge in the same amount of liquid, it will absorb far less and will certainly not be able to retain the moisture so readily.
It is the same with hair. Hair that has poor porosity will not be able to absorb or retain moisture as well as hair that has good porosity. making hair permanently dry.
Hot Oil Treatments
Traditions have taught many of us that lavishly applying oil to our hair will give us the soft, shiny hair that we all desire. However more often than not, the opposite takes place. Most oils if they are not essential oils do not have the ability to penetrate into the hair shaft. Nor do heavy cholesterols. What they will do, is to lay on top of the cuticle, and coat the cuticle. This may give the hair some Brilliance. However, it will also coat the hair. And causes product build up.
Product Build Up
Once the hair is coated, your problems will commence. First of all, the moisture that our hair so desperately needs will not be able to permeate through the wall of product build. The moisture is then not able to find it’s way underneath the cuticle layer. The hair cannot then be conditioned. Also the oils will not diffuse. If you use any kind of hot styling tools such as blow dryers or hot irons, what will happen to your hair, is exactly what happens when you put an egg into a hot pan. It will fry.
If you live in a sunny climate, the oil will do the same thing. The sun will heat the oil and fry your hair. You must have heard the term, my hair feels fried.
For hair to be in tiptop conditioner is has to have a moisture (water) content of at least 8%, and the right balance of protein and natural oil. Most of us produce enough natural oil (sebum), to keep our hair healthy, but lack the moisture.
What to Do
You need to give your hair lots of TLC, with product that are designed to restore your hair’s moisture level to its optimum 8%. Look for shampoos that contain natural humectants (magnet like properties to attract moisture), that will work together will your natural oils, to restore your hair’s moisture level to its optimum 8%. Treatment conditioners that contain wheat, rice or corn proteins will repair damaged cuticles, improve porosity, elasticity and general health and appearance of your hair.
Those of us with naturally curly, wavy or frizzy hair, or those of us who chemically treat our hair. Will need to give our hair extra nurturing by supplying our hair with the necessary nutrition and moisture that it needs. Chemical treatments (I.e. perms, hair dyes or bleaches.), will deplete the hair of moisture. bringing the hair moisture level own to as low as 2%. When this occurs you will start to notice split ends. If these are not repaired forthwith and the moisture level not restored to 8%, Your split ends will turn to breakage. This obviously needs to be avoided at all costs. Those of us who live in hot, sunny or arid climates; need to make sure that our hair care product contain sunscreens to protect our hair from the damaging affects of the UV rays. If not the same thing will happen as to those of use that use chemicals on our hair.
Summary… Our hair needs MOISTURE, MOISTURE, and MOISTURE! Who needs to add moisture more than most? People with naturally curly hair, chemically treated hair or people who live in hot sunny climates.
by Diana Dudas G.C.H.S.R.H. is an expert with more than 28 years experience in the beauty industry. She has answered over 2000 questions for allexperts.com and has had her work published in many well-respected beauty magazines both online and off.
© Copyright 2002 Diana Dudas
Great article. I can attest how difficult it is for my curly hair to retain moisture. I found a solution that works! I have super curly hair (Type 4c). I use Juicy Leave In Conditioner and it helps my hair stay soft and hydrated for days at a time. I only use it 2 times a week. Hope this helps others that are tired of dry brittle hair.