Porosity, Hygral Fatigue and Coconut Oil.

Since we opened up the Salon, one recurring problem I've noticed with a number of naturalistas is a high level of porosity - as easily as their hair sucks up moisture, it gives it back into the atmosphere, leaving them with dry strands. While a lot of times it could be genetic, it is further aggravated by external factors such as heat styling, chemical processes and even too much exposure to sunlight!

*Porosity is the hairs ability to absorb and hold moisture. The flexible, outer layer of the hair called the cuticle determines how easily water enters or leaves the hair. The easier it is for the hair to absorb and lose moisture, the higher the porosity of that head of hair and the more difficult it is for the hair to absorb moisture but better retain the absorbed moisture; the lower the porosity.*

When I was still relaxed, I'd wash my hair and leave it to air dry - all I'd need to do is walk around for about 10 or so minutes and my hair would be dry. I used to think it was such a blessing till I discovered that my damaged strands couldn't hold moisture for long!

High porosity levels then leads to another problem called Hygral Fatigue which is damage to the strands caused by the natural swelling and contracting of the hair while it is being washed. The constant swelling and retraction in the hair shaft will cause the strands to weaken, lose elasticity and then break off.

Think of a brand new rubber band and how tight it is in the beginning - with continued use it gets slacker and slacker until it loses all elasticity; one day you try to stretch it and it just snaps and breaks. Get the picture now?

One of the best ways to combat this is by utilizing coconut oil ( as far as I'm concerned coconut oil is the best oil for hair bar none! I shall be dedicating a blog post to it soon) as a pre shampoo treatment a.k.a a 'pre poo'. Why Coconut oil you may ask, well let me tell you why! :)

Coconut Oil is what is known as a polar oil and as a result, is attracted to the the keratin protein within the hair's fiber. Furthermore, its molecules are so small that they are able to penetrate the hair fiber. Because of its ability to penetrate the fiber, it strengthens the shaft from the inside, reinforces the structure and prevents the constant swelling and retraction of the hair.

Using it as a pre - shampoo treatment will ensure that the tiny molecules of the oil bind to the protein bonds within the shaft thus keeping swelling and contraction to a minimum. Result? Less stress and trauma to the hair!

So if there's one absolutely necessary tweak you must make to your hair regime, I'd strongly recommend it to be pre pooing with coconut oil. Your hair will thank you for it!.

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