Healthy Hair – Do you have Hygral Fatigue?
If you tend to have dry hair, this may come as a surprise, but it is absolutely possible to over hydrate your hair. What is even more surprising is that over hydration can make your hair feel dryer over time. In the pursuit of perfectly balanced, healthy hair, we went to celebrity stylist Cash Lawless for a bit of advice. This is part 2 of a series. To catch up on protein (and whether your hair has too much or too little protein) head here.
Diagnosing hair: When do you have enough moisture?
Hair strands are made up of a resilient protein called keratin plus water, lipids, minerals and pigments. Keeping it all in balance – especially as we manipulate the bonds in hair to create the style, texture and color we want – is essential to keeping hair healthy. Boiled down, here is how moisture and protein work harmoniously in healthy hair:
Perfect level of moisture:
Hair can stretch without over stretching or breaking.
Perfect level of protein:
Hair has enough strength to bounce back from being stretched.
Diagnosing Damaged Hair: Hygral Fatigue aka Too Much Moisture
When it comes to water, it can flow easily into and out of the hair shaft if hair is porous. Porosity develops either naturally (coarser hair has a thicker cuticle layer which is more prone to opening up and leaving porous gaps, for instance), or through our styling and coloring efforts. In extreme situations, water rushes into and out of the hair shaft through a porous, frayed cuticle layer causing a condition called hygral fatigue.
Hygral fatigue basically means you are wearing out your hair with too much water. (We are exhausted just thinking about it).
Here is what Cash says you may find if your hair has too little or too much moisture:
“The telltale sign of dry hair is that the hair strands seem smaller than they used to be. They tangle easily, look and feel dry, but still have some good memory. Essentially, the stringy look. If your hair won’t hold a curl, feels heavy, weighed down, flat and limp, you likely have too much moisture.”
Another sign of hygral fatigue is that your hair feels mushy. And Cash offers a big word of caution about this:
“The most unfortunate part of too much moisture is that water molecules in the hair will boil when heat is applied, blasting holes in the cuticle as the gas escapes. This is incredibly damaging to the hair.”
We are going to repeat that in case you were still thinking moisture balance wasn’t important. Your hair can boil itself. Yikes.
What do I do if I have hygral fatigue or my hair is over conditioned (too much moisture in my hair).
When there is too much moisture in the hair, the solution is adding strength, and protein is the foundation of strong hair. A protein mask may be an option if you have really pushed the boundaries of hygral fatigue. However, as with most things, prevention is key. Instead of waiting until your hair has too much moisture, overcompensating with a protein mask, and risking over proteinizing the hair, use the right shampoo, conditioner, and styling products to keep moisture and protein in balance from the start.
What are the best products to prevent hygral fatigue?
The amino acids present in SEVEN haircare shampoos and conditioners are designed to support healthy hair structure. Originating from sources like quinoa and rice, the proteins in SEVEN haircare products are hydrolyzed to optimize absorption. They not only help strengthen hair fibers, but in many cases help hair retain the proper amount of moisture, bringing harmonious, healthy balance.
SEVEN shampoos and conditioners with hydrolyzed proteins include:
- Kente® BOND hair mask
- Kente® BOND system
- Rinzu® COLOR shampoo
- Rinzu® COLOR conditioner
- Satara® LEAVE-IN conditioner spray
- Rinzu® HELIO violet conditioner
- Satara® VOLUME shampoo
- Satara® VOLUME conditioner
Integrating amino acids into your styling routine can also help keep moisture in balance and prevent hygral fatigue. Look to these foundation and styling products to keep building strength as you style.
- Cubica® WAVE curl cream
- Cubica® NUVO gel
- Rinzu® HEAT DEFENSE spray
- Kente® BOND reparative spray
- Satara® BOOST spray
- Satara® LEAVE-IN conditioner spray
- Cubica® SWEPT texture spray
What is the best DIY protein hair mask?
Unfortunately…there really isn’t one. Especially when it comes to protein mask. Here is why: Protein structures are quite large. When protein from, say, eggs is layered on top of hair, protein simply can’t penetrate the hair shaft. BOND hair mask uses hydrolyzed quinoa protein. The hydrolysis process means teeny amino acids can slip straight into the hair cuticle helping build strength while the hair retains its moisture.