Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Hygral fatigue.

Most people wash their hair, so water is more or less necessary. However every little thing that happens to your hair damages it, including water.

There is a reason why I only use coconut oil as a pre-wash treatment for my hair. I would not use any other oil. And I will share with you why I do this. I do want to tell you that coconut oil is NOT the easiest to use nor the easiest to remove from hair, but it is the only way that I know which is scientifically proven to prevent protein loss, mechanical damage and hygral fatigue caused by washing hair.

What is hygral fatigue?
"I have previously blogged about hygral fatigue which starts off when hair strands expand when wet and then contract when dry. Repeating this process several times can create damage to the hair cuticle first because it can be chipped off and then later damage to the main strand leading to split ends/breakage etc. It is not really about too much water but really just water, full stop." (Does your hair have hygral fatigue?)

Why coconut oil?
"This study has firmly established the superiority of the protective effect of coconut oil on hair damage in grooming processes when it is used as a pre-wash conditioner as compared to mineral oil and other vegetable oils such as sunflower oil. It not only has a protective effect on undamaged hair but also on chemically treated hair, UV-treated hair, and hair treated with boiling water (i.e., hair in water at 100øC for 2 hr). The ability of coconut oil to penetrate into hair cuticle and cortex seems to be responsible for this effect. Coated on the fiber surface, it can prevent or reduce the amount of water penetrating into the fiber and reduce the swelling. This, in turn, reduces the lifting of the surface cuticle and prevents it from being chipped away during wet combing. A reduction in the WRI is additional evidence of its efficacy in decreasing water absorption. The data presented in this work clearly show the superiority of coconut oil as a hair damage protectant, in the grooming of untreated or damaged hair." (Effect of mineral oil, sunflower oil, and coconut oil on prevention of hair damage)

How to use coconut oil before washing your hair:
I rub a bit of coconut oil between my palms to melt it, apply it to my hair, leave it on for at least one hour, then I wash my hair.
I use Organic Extra Virgin coconut oil (Nutiva brand). As far as I know extra virgin coconut oil is the best to use because it has been cold pressed so it retains its properties.
Here is a video of how to apply oil to hair and scalp: [Hair care] Oil treatment for scalp and hair before hair washing. I link this video even though Habioku does not use coconut oil because I like how she applies oil to hair and that's how I do it also. The only exception, of course, is that coconut oil is solid, therefore it must be melted before use. I suggested rubbing a small amount of solid coconut oil between your palms. It is a safe, fast and easy way to melt it so it can be applied to hair.

In conclusion wetting your hair damages it and coconut oil will protect it. 

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