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What is hygral fatigue and how does it affect curly hair ?

What is hygral fatigue ?

Hygral Fatigue is Over-Conditioned Hair. Hygral fatigue happens when your hair cuticle is contantly excessively swelling as it abosrbes water and then contracting as the hair cuticle dries. The hair follicle stretches more than normal as water enters and leaves quickly, meaning the follicle is unable to hold moisture due to the damage.

 

The affects on your curls

Continual swelling and contracting results in a weaker hair strands leading to:

  • Frizz
  • Dullness
  • Brittleness
  • Gummy texture
  • Tangling
  • Breakage
  • Dryness

 

How does Hygral fatigue happen

A hair strand has three layers:-

  • Cuticle- Which is the outer layer of your hair, this is made up of dead cells which overlap. This layer helps to lock in moisture and protects the other layers
  • Cortex- This is the thickest layer of hair that gives your follicles strength, texture and colour
  • Medulla- This is the softest layer and the innermost layer of the follicle. It isn't present in all hairs.

For Hygral Fatigue to occurs when water enters the hair follicle past the protective cuticle and into the cortex. This is more likely to happen with those who have cuticle cells which are spaced widely apart, those with high porosity hair.

 

Whos more likely to experience Hygral fatigue

  • Your more at risk of hygral fatigue when you have high porosity hair
  • When you have damaged hair as the protective cuticle cell maybe lifted or broken- this can happen with excessive chemical treatments, high-heat, harsh grooming and other environmental factors.
  • Loss of protective oils- Our hairs natural oil forms a protective layer over our hair which supports us to repel water, when your hair is shampooed this oil can be removed. Once removed your hair repelling properites reduce therefore moisturse overload.
  • PH imbalance- for a healthy hair shft you will want a PH between 3.67 and 5.5. High alkaline or acidic product can reduce your PH therefore breaking down your cuticle.

 

Cause of Hygral fatigue

Remember everyones hair is different and responds differently but these are the most common parts of your routine that can be harmful and that you will want to reconsider:

  • Deep conditioning more than the recommended time.
  • Refreshing your curls daily when they haven't dried properly from your wash n go.
  • Over-using moistusing products only without including protein.
  • Deep conditioning overnight constantly.

 

Preventing hygral fatigue

  • If you notice hygral fatigue ultimately you won't be able to undo the damage caused. Although you can prevent further damage and wait for your healthy hair to grow out.
  • Use both moisturising and protein based products.
  • Avoid over stripping your hair when shampooing.
  • Wear a swimming cap due to harsh chorine
  • Brush gently and from ends to root to minimise damage when brushing through knots.
  • Use low PH shampoo's
  • Reduce the use of heat and chemicals.

 

Golden rule

Too much of anything is not good. Its all about balance.
 
It is important to switch up your products every now and then such as moisturse and protein, deep condition for shorter periods and complete your wash n go in the morning where possible to allow for proper drying time and reduce in overnight conditioning.