To lay a foundation for the section below, I want to start with the science behind your hair’s structure. This can be a big step in understanding the cause of your hair challenge. Your strands are mostly made up of a keratin protein, which consists of the COHNS elements (Carbon, Oxygen, Hydrogen, Nitrogen and Sulfur). These elements create the following bonds in your hair:
Disulfide bonds can cause permanent change in the hair structure, allowing us to perform services like perms and color. They are also responsible for the hair’s strength. Hydrogen bonds cause temporary change and adjust the hair’s shape, for example, during washing and drying. We can use this knowledge to our advantage when styling – weather induced frizz can be reset simply by rinsing with water and styling in a new way. Check out this guide titled “Hair Frizz Science: Water and Hydrogen Bonds” to learn more. The big takeaway I want you to have before jumping into the section below is this: the further we push the limits of our hair the more challenges we may face.
DESCRIPTION: The hair will look dull and puffy.
CAUSES: over-shampooing, over-styling, coloring too often, damage
OVERVIEW: When the outer layer of the hair shaft (i.e. cuticle) is swollen or lifted, the hair can visually appear dry and have trouble holding moisture. Simply put, the hair is dry after the hair shaft is repeatedly damaged. This is why most of the information on dry hair and damaged hair is so similar. The key difference between the two is damaged hair leads to dry hair (and eventually breakage), while damaged hair is not caused by dry hair, but by chemicals (for example, color, perms, relaxers). When a strand’s cuticle is healthy it will not be dry.
THE FIX: Use moisturizing products. My favorite moisturizing ingredients are silicones, such as dimethicone and panthenol (vitamin b5). Consider using oils that act as emollients, moisturizers, occlusive agents and humectants that seal in moisture and provide an increased slip between adjacent strands. These are helpful with frizz, dryness, and damage, plus increase shine and reduce tangles. Look for a product that is lightweight and non-greasy to avoid weighing the hair down and/or over-stretching a curl’s pattern. See Products for more details.