One of the most commonly asked questions we receive when it comes to natural hair care is how to keep hair moisturized. It makes sense, because naturally textured hair tends to be dry — keeping our hair moisturized is crucial for healthy hair. We also know that there are tons of products that claim to add moisture to our hair, and YouTube always has some new method claiming to optimize moisture. Some ladies even keep a spray bottle on hand so they can spritz their hair throughout the day. This may sound like a good idea, but it leads us to the question: can you over-moisturize your hair?
The answer is yes. Are you surprised? You can over-moisturize your hair and cause more harm than good. Over-moisturizing your hair is called hygral fatigue. Hygral fatigue happens when our hair swells when wet, then shrinks as it dries, and that back and forth swelling and shrinking causes breakage. Besides constantly spraying your hair with water, deep conditioning your hair past the time that is recommended by the manufacturer of the products you use – or even on an overnight basis – can cause over-moisturization. Avoiding protein altogether in your hair care routine can result in hygral fatigue as well. It would be best to use the right amount of natural hair moisturizer to keep your hair shiny and healthy.
How do you know if you are suffering from hygral fatigue? Here are two signs to look for:
Reduced elasticity — Elasticity is the result of a balance of moisture and protein in the hair. If your hair does not return to its natural state after pulling when it’s wet, then your hair likely has low elasticity. Removing protein entirely from your hair care routine can result in hygral fatigue.
Limp, gummy, or mushy hair — If your hair feels limp, gummy, or mushy when wet, then that is a strong indication that your hair is over-moisturized.
If you think you may be experiencing hygral fatigue, it’s always best to immediately seek help from a hair care professional. It's true that too much protein can make the hair brittle, also resulting in breakage, so a protein treatment may not be the best option. A professional will be able to determine if you’re experiencing hygral fatigue, and then recommend the appropriate treatment for your hair.
In order to prevent hygral fatigue, there are some easy things you can do. For one, avoid keeping your hair wet or saturated with moisturizing products for an extended period of time. Also, make sure products dry thoroughly, especially if you like wash-n-go styles.
You can also apply oils like coconut oil, olive oil, and avocado oil – which are known to penetrate the hair shaft – before shampooing to help reduce the amount of swelling your hair cuticle experiences. Our Mongongo Oil Pre-Shampoo Treatment is a great option to apply before shampooing your hair. We’ve combined the perfect ingredients to ensure additional moisture is added before shampooing, pre-conditioning the hair cuticles to make them ready for manipulation.
Always remember that the key to healthy hair is balance. Be careful of over-moisturizing, because it can do more harm than good. Balancing moisture and protein in your hair is very important to improving hair elasticity, which helps prevent breakage.
Have you experienced hygral fatigue?
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