All curly-haired beauties out there will agree that how good they feel on any given day is directly dependent on how well their rebellious mane behaves. Anyone who has curly hair knows that your mood is proportional to how your hair looks. Curls are temperamental beings and need a lot of care. We are sure you already indulge in frequent treatments to take care of your hair. Have you stopped to consider that it is important to know about the elasticity of your curly hair, so that you can cater even more specifically to your hair needs? Lucky for you, we are here to tell you about hair elasticity today, take a look…
What is Hair Elasticity
Stretch and flexibility might be words you usually relate to yoga, but have you considered them in relation to your hair? To explain simply, hair elasticity is the hair’s ability to stretch and return to its original shape. Hair strands are made up of protein and moisture, and the balance between the two determines their elasticity. Here is how you can figure out the elasticity of your hair and know which category it falls in:
- Take a loose strand and wash it with soap.
- Take a ruler and hold the strand between your thumb and forefinger. Keep a distance of 4 cm between the two fingers.
- Pull the hair strand and see how well it curls up.
If your hair is brittle, doesn’t curl up to even half its original curl size and snaps as soon as you stretch it, then it lacks moisture and has low elasticity. This means it needs a lot of nourishment and care. If your hair stretches partially and curls up to 50% of its original curl size, it falls under the category of medium elasticity. However, if your hair stretches to 5 cm and bounces back into a tighter curl than before, then it is super strong and has high elasticity. This type of hair is also very shiny.
This test is an indication of hair elasticity, but remember that every strand is different and elasticity can change too. That is why we recommend you do this test regularly and observe your hair. When you figure out the elasticity of your hair, it tells you a lot about the health of your locks. This in turn, can help you decide the kind of daily care you require for maintaining the health of your hair.
Why Does My Hair Have Low Elasticity
If the test has shown you that your hair is not very elastic, don’t panic! Usually, curls have low elasticity because they are drier than other hair types. They require more care than straight hair. However, other reasons that could result in low hair elasticity are:
- Friction from brushing hair
- Colouring your hair
- Excessive use of styling tools
- Damage caused by harmful UV rays
All of these can sap the moisture in your already dry curls and diminish the protein levels in your locks. This lack of moisture makes your hair weak and not very elastic.
How to Improve Hair Elasticity
No matter what the existing elasticity of your hair may be, there are ways you can fix and restore your hair’s bounce. We have curated some tips for you, have a look.
1. Deep condition your hair
When your hair has low elasticity, it is an indication that it is lacking in moisture. Thus, to fix this problem, you need to hydrate your hair well. After every hair wash, apply a conditioner to your locks. Give your hair the moisture boost it needs, and see how its elasticity improves.
2. Improve your diet
We are what we eat! Therefore, if you want your skin and hair to be healthy, you need to give your body the nutrition it requires. Eating the right foods will not only improve hair elasticity, but can also strengthen your tresses. Include foods high in protein, such as eggs and meat in your diet to nourish your hair. Foods containing omega-3 fatty acids can also nurture your hair, so include salmon and nuts in your diet as well.
3. Avoid excessive use of styling tools
Be it a dryer or a straightener, these styling tools are all heat-intensive. The heat released from these tools saps the natural moisture from your hair, making it dry and susceptible to damage. To avoid this, limit the usage of styling tools. We know it may be difficult, but maintaining your mane’s health is far more important than making it look good. If your hair is healthy, it will automatically look good.
4. Use a wide-toothed comb
The friction caused by brushing hair may make it brittle. What we are saying is instead of using a fine-tooth comb or a brush; use a wide-toothed comb for your hair. Combing your hair with a wide-toothed comb may evenly disperse the oil on your head, providing it with the nourishment it needs. It is also gentler on the hair, so consider saying goodbye to your fine-tooth comb and hairbrush now!
5. Add olive oil to your hair care routine
Extra virgin olive oil is not only good for your food, but also for your hair. The fatty acids contained in olive oil penetrate into the hair cortex up to 25%, improving the strength and elasticity of your hair. Apart from oiling your hair with it before you shampoo, you can also use it by mixing it in your deep conditioner. After regular use, you will notice improved hair elasticity.
6. Protein treatment
Protein treatments are a great option for fixing your hair elasticity, providing tresses with ample hydration and strengthening your hair from the shaft. Go for a protein treatment about once or twice a month for significant results. Based on the elasticity of your hair, there are different types of protein treatments.
For hair with high elasticity
If your hair is highly elastic, then it doesn’t need treatment as much as it needs maintenance. Your hair elasticity can be maintained with protein packs or hair masks. Filled with several hydrating ingredients, these products are light on the hair and work on retaining the hair’s moisture.
For hair with medium elasticity
For those with medium hair elasticity, deep conditioning treatments are recommended. These products have moisturising properties, which are designed to penetrate deep into the hair cuticles to hydrate them and fix the cortex of the strands.
For hair with low elasticity
When hair elasticity is low, it’s a sign that your hair needs special care. If you have hair with low elasticity, it will require reconstructors to fix it. Reconstructors are deep-conditioning hair products that are specially formulated to reverse protein damage. Use this product two to three times a month for optimal results.
While loss of hair elasticity can affect your hair in multiple ways, understand that restoring moisture is the key to fixing it.