When hair is wet, it absorbs water and swells. As it dries it releases water and shrivels. This shrinking and swelling can lead to hair damage called hygral fatigue.
How can you prevent hygral fatigue?
Before you shampoo your hair plasticize it by
1. Applying a detangling conditioner or
2. Applying a polar oil (e.g. coconut oil, jojoba oil, avocado oil) or
3. Applying a bit of your regular conditioner with a spritz of water.
Whichever pre-shampoo treatment you use will penetrate your hair fibre so that when your hair is wet it does not swell as much.
Note that not every hair oil will work as a pre-shampoo treatment. Oils that are high in polyunsaturated fatty acids (e.g. castor oil) cannot penetrate the hair fibre; such oils are better for sealing in hair moisture.
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What Are Polar Oils? How Do They Protect Natural Hair from Hygral Fatigue?
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By Heather Katsonga-Woodward