Founder of Q-Redew · www.qredew.com
Water and hair have a complicated relationship, and curlies are forever trying to figure it out.
Water is at the core of healthy hair. A healthy strand of hair can maintain an appropriate amount of water, presenting a smooth, bouncy curl pattern — neither flat nor frizzy — as the environment around the hair changes. But who has hair like that? Unfortunately, not most of us!
water and curly hair
Different hair types respond to water differently based on their porosity. Smooth, low porosity hair with a flat, sealed cuticle is the least affected by relative humidity or dew point. The cuticle maintains an appropriate amount of water in the cortex not allowing moisture to flow in or out and resulting in healthy, shiny hair.
On the other end of the spectrum is high porosity hair. Whether naturally porous by genetics or damage from chemicals, heat, or manipulation, high porosity hair has difficulty maintaining proper moisture.
The cuticle is open allowing water to freely move in and out of the hair, creating dry, brittle hair when the air is dry and puffy, frizzy hair when the air is humid. Unable to self -regulate its moisture needs, high porosity hair needs your help! This may include adding water and sealant when the air is dryer, or water repelling products when the air is humid.
Many of us fall somewhere in the middle between low and high porosity, making our response to moisture a little less predictable.
Water as a Refresher
Water as steam can be a great refresher and styler. You can get the benefits of steam by jumping in the shower with a shower cap, or applying steam from the handheld Q-Redew. The steam softens the hair allowing it to bend and change shape. This is a great way to refresh and reshape curls flattened by a good night’s sleep or a ponytail.
Steam also works particularly well as a styler for curlies who have strands that are less porous since their hair won’t absorb too much moisture.
If your hair is more porous, you can use steam to refresh and reshape it. The trick, however, is to add the moisture slowly. Be careful not to overdo it in your styling routine and avoid areas of the hair that tend to frizz. You don’t want your hair to absorb too much moisture. When used properly, steam can be a great tool for those who flaunt “the bigger, the better” soft, full head of moisturized hair — a look we love!
Water as a Treatment
The “moisture” in every moisturizing product is water! The additional ingredients are added to these products as a means to deliver the water, or add scent, color and texture to products. But what they are really trying to deliver is water!
Avoid additional ingredients by delivering water to your hair via steam. Follow up your steam treatment with a sealant to lock in the restored moisture.
Another easy way to treat yourself to more moisture is by placing a humidifier in your bedroom which will add moisture back into the air and your hair while you sleep.
When to Avoid Water
Avoid stripping hair of its natural oils with too much rewetting and shampooing. The natural oils that your scalp produces are necessary to keep moisture levels in the hair balanced and healthy particularly if your hair is porous.
Don’t strip away nature’s protective barrier with water and detergent. Cleansing your hair with water every other day at most will keep your hair clean and moisturized.
Be careful about rewetting and walking out into cold winter air with wet hair. Frozen hair is prone to breakage!
Water and the Weather
Water in the environment is always fluctuating. This is the challenge. If the dew point stayed consistent day-to-day and throughout the year, we would have the chance to figure out what our hair needs and then simply repeat, repeat, repeat. No daily hair challenges! How easy life would be!
The reality is that each season is different, so we need to adjust instead. Cold, dry seasons may require the introduction of more water delivered with the use of emollients and moisturizers to avoid brittle hair. Warm, humid months may require more gel stylers to define your curls and limit the frizz.
The goal is to get it right most of the time, make good predictions and react to the need’s of your hair’s moisture levels.