What is “Hair Elasticity”? Key to Protein-Moisture Balance!

Hair care is a lot about knowing few nuances of your hair properties…that’s why I like to discuss and explain few of the basics of our hair properties which affect of hair and the hair care regimen that we follow. After Curly Hair Typ(Pattern), Density & Width and porosity,  now I am gonna be writing about another important property: Elasticity.

 

Elasticity is probably one of the most important properties of hair that we need to keep in mind while doing protein treatments or deep conditioning treatments.

What is Hair Elasticity?
The general definition of elasticity is applicable to hair too. The ability of our hair strands to stretch and to get back to original shape is called hair’s elasticity.

Why is Elasticity important?

  • Hair Elasticity determines hair’s health and strength.
  • It helps us know whether our hair needs moisture or protein.
  • Gives an idea on how much manipulation our hair can withstand, i.e. hairstyles, combing, brushing etc.

How to determine protein-moisture balance?
How much our hair stretches and at what point it breaks forms the key to finding protien-moisture balance of our hair!

Our hair, in general, can extend upto 20-30%. When wet, hair can stretch upto 50% of its original state and reverse back.

 

To determine, take wet or dry strand of your hair. Probably some fallen hair of yours. Make sure it’s your own hair and not Millicent’s cat’s (Remember how Hermoine’s polyjuice potion goes all wrong in The Chamber of Secrets?! We surely won’t want anything similar happening to our hair, would we?! 😀 ).

Now, hold a strand of your hair between both your hands. Apply mild pressure and stretch it. If it stretches, pull it for a little length and leave to see if it resumes normal length.

  • If your hair stretches to a normal length (20-30%) and then resumes normal length, you are all sorted! No need for ‘special’ treatment. Keep following the the protien-moisture treatment frequency you are currently following and maintain hair’s elasticity.

 

  • If your hair stretches a little beyond normal length and breaks, you need a protein treatment.

 

  • If hair snaps or breaks immediately on pulling, you have excess protein and need a lot of moisture in hair. Do frequent deep conditioning treatments.

 

  • If your hair keeps stretching, stretching & stretching and doesn’t break and doesn’t resume original shape, do a protein treatment.

 

  • If hair feels too mushy while washing, you have overmoisturised hair. I feel it’s not that easy to overmoisturize curly hair, so don’t be much worried about this…still if you deep condition way too much,  keep a look out for this. Hair feels brittle and bushy while dry. Has a mushy feel on washing and feels way too soft. If so, do a protein treatment to fix it. One protein pack should be enough to bring back the balance.

 

If you have any other case of elasticity or if you are still very unsure, then do a deep conditioning treatment and stay on the moisture side. It is easy to correct moisture-excess in hair. Your hair usually doesn’t need much protein. But moisture is a must that should be provided constantly.

 

For protein treatment, here are 2 DIY treatments:

 

For DIY deep conditionin Treatments, there are way many options. Few are linked below:

 

Here is a review of  store bought hair mask:

Here is another Mask I am currently testing:

 

Also, as mentioned above, hair tends to stretch more when it is wet. And cn easily lose form if too much pressure is applied on wet hair. That’s why usually it is said to not comb wet hair. However, since we curlies mostly comb and detangle hair in shower as mentioned in this post: “How to detangle hair?“, We cannot emphasis enough on how important it is to use conditioner to detangle so that hair has good slip and doesn’t need much pressure to detangle.

 

Hope this post did throw a little light on the “when to deep condition” and “when to do protein trearment” confusion…

 

If you have further doubts, feel free to comment down below or add a query at the forum. 🙂