No matter how long you’ve been natural, I’m sure we’ve all heard one or two (million) times the importance of moisture. Moisture is what keeps our curls from drying out and breaking off. Moisture reduces frizz and keeps hair shiny. Moisture is the bread and butter of being natural, but is it possible to over-moisturize? Is that even a word in our vocabulary?
It turns out over-moisturizing is a real. It's called Hygral Fatigue. Hygral Fatigue occurs when the follicles of your hair are being overworked. Follicles expand when your hair is wet and contract as your hair dries. When you wet your hair before it is completely dry (from the last time it was wet), the already closing follicle will open back up again. This causes strain to your follicles, which reduces your hair elasticity, strength, and overall health. Learn more about it in this guide to moisture and hygral fatigue.
How to prevent over-moisturized hair and hygral fatigue:
It's one of the great ironies of haircare that breakage is caused by both too much moisture, and not enough moisture. So how do you master the balancing act of moisturizing your hair enough to prevent breakage, and not too much (also to prevent breakage?) Here are some tips on how to avoid Hygral Fatigue:
- Don’t re-wet your hair before it's completely dry: This is especially difficult when doing wash and gos. Try applying all your products in one go, or back to back rapidly. Then allow your hair to dry fully.
- Don’t leave deep conditioners in longer than recommended time: Normally deep conditioners should be left in for 20-40 minutes. When you leave them in for longer, your hair shaft expands so much that it can break off due to the tension. There is such a thing as too much of a good thing!
- Make sure your hair is getting protein. This will prevent your hair from over stretching and protect your strands if you happen to over-moisturize. You want an equal mix of moisture and protein when deep conditioning. Learn more about why protein is important for natural hair.
What do I do if I have Hygral Fatigue?
The perfect counter balance to too much moisture is protein! As previously mentioned, protein will strengthen your hair and allow it to be able to resist excessive swelling.
To add protein to your hair, use a protein treatment or a protein-rich deep conditioner. NaturAll's Wheat Protein and Argan Oil Deep Conditioner is packed with protein and will help to repair your fatigued strands!
When you apply the deep conditioner, be careful to follow instructions and don't leave the product in too long! Leaving the product in too long does not increase the protein your hair will absorb, but it can worsen your hygral fatigue with even more moisture.
Have you ever experience Hygral Fatigue? Let us know in the comments!