You know when you’re so tired your hair hurts? Yup, it’s 5.25pm on the tail-end of a looong work day, and you’d do anything to be magically transported back to your couch for an evening of masking, Uber Eats and Netflix – then your boss asks you if you’ll pretty please just jump in on a last-minute meeting. Or, maybe, it’s none of these, you’re already happily cocooned on the couch with your guy, tell-tale brown paper bag at your feet – but your hair still feels (and looks) like she needs a nap.
Ok, so stay with us, because it turns out your hair does have feelings – and if she seems a little worn out, best to sit up and pay attention. Perhaps she seems weak, is breaking easily, or has developed low elasticity (stretching less than normal when wet is a tell-tale sign). Well, there’s even an official name for hair cuticles that are all tired out: hygral fatigue.
The Culprit: Excessive Moisture
Surprisingly common, hygral fatigue isn’t actually caused by spending too long at your desk. This condition occurs when your strands become damaged due to constant, excessive swelling of the hair cuticle caused by moisture entering (and later exiting). Basically, when moisture enters, your hair expands, then when it exits, your hair contracts again. Doing this too often can seriously tire out your cuticles – making your hair goals a whole lot further out of reach. It can be caused by wetting your hair very frequently, over-conditioning, or a lack of protein.
You Should Care, Because…
So, why is hygral fatigue a bad thing? Well, essentially if your hair is in a state of hygral fatigue, she’s not going to be looking her best. In fact, this condition typically leads to hair that’s weak or breaks off, split ends and excessive shedding. Think everything BUT those long, lush locks you’ve been pinning to all your hair boards.
Hygral Fatigue, Be Gone
Here’s what to do about it:
- Reduce the number of times you wet your hair. Are you the girl who rinses her hair every time you shower? Try keeping your locks dry by throwing them in a topknot or donning a shower cap (we knew Nanna was onto something there!) and wet them only when you’re actually washing your hair (refresher: this should be every two days, or less frequently – depending on your hair type).
- Don’t go OTT with the conditioner. Now, we love silky, smooth locks as much as the next girl – but did you know that over-conditioning is actually a thing, and it could in fact lead to hygral fatigue? If you’re noticing symptoms, ensure you’re not applying conditioner too frequently for your hair type (every day may be a little much) – and that when you do, you rinse it out thoroughly afterwards.
- Choose products that strengthen your hair. Another major key to avoiding hygral fatigue is ensuring your strands are sturdy and strong. So, next time you add hair products to cart, check the label to ensure they’re packed with goodies that will strengthen your hair cuticle in the long-term, so it can expand and contract as much as required – without losing steam. Look out for macadamia oil and castor oil, both of which have strengthening properties (and, ahem, can be found in our Growth Miracle Mask and Hair Growth Conditioner respectively).
Psst! You can shop our full range of hair-saving products here.