Quench the Thirst of Frizzy Hair
By Diana Dudas
It seems like such an enigma. Of the hundred or so emails I receive daily, the same question pops
up endlessly. "Why is my hair so, FRIZZY and dry, coarse or brittle?" I intend to try and solve this
mystery. And my first clue has to do with moisture deficiency!
Oil and Water...
90% of us suffer with dry brittle or frizzy hair because our hair is deficient of (moisture) WATER!
There is a certain preconceived notion that has been passed on from generation to generation. That
is the idea that our hair is dry, because we are lacking in natural oils. We are told that if we nurture
our hair by brushing vigorously 100 times a day, or if we nurture our hair with hot oil treatments and
cholesterols. If we do all of these things, then we are sure to be blessed with beautiful, shiny and
healthy locks. This might be the case, if you have young virgin (hair that is not chemically treated)
hair. But this is certainly not the case, once you have impaled your tresses, with harsh chemicals
such as bleaches and alkaline permanents. Or if you have naturally curly hair,
Naturally Curly Hair...
Those of you who have curly hair, have these curls, because of a curvature of the hair follicles.
A normal hair follicle under a microscope would be seen as perfectly straight. However yours would
have a definite bend in it. This causes the hair to curl. Where the hair curves it compels the cuticle
(the outer layer of the hair) to lift.
Under a microscope, A cuticle is similar in appearance to shingles on a roof. When the hair is in
good condition, and is straight and has good porosity the tiles or cuticle layers are tight together
and in perfect in shape, giving the hair a smooth appearance. This makes light reflect off the hair
enhancing shine! When hair is in bad conditioner, is curly or has poor porosity, the cuticle layers
are lifted and sometimes damaged and broken. This makes the hair feel coarse and brittle. It also
causes the hair to absorb light, giving the appearance of dull lifeless hair.
To sum up this scenario. Because curly haired cuticle layer is permanently lifted, it feels, coarse,
and brittle and has no brilliance. Hence the dull, lifeless look. It also means that our hair has poor
Is the ability for hair to be able to absorb and retain moisture. The best way for me to explain this is
to would be for you to imagine a sponge. First of all imagine a brand new sponge. It will have tiny
holes in it, and when you immerse it in water, it will soak up a large quantity, and be able to hold
that liquid for a long period of time. This is because it has good porosity. Now imagine an old
sponge. Its holes have become damaged and distorted. It might even be torn in some areas. When
you immerse this sponge in the same amount of liquid, it will absorb far less and will certainly not
be able to retain the moisture so readily.
It is the same with hair. Hair that has poor porosity will not be able to absorb or retain moisture as
well as hair that has good porosity. making hair permanently dry.
Hot oil treatments...
Traditions have taught many of us that lavishly applying oil to our hair will give us the soft, shiny hair
that we all desire. However more often than not, the opposite takes place. Most oils if they are not
essential oils do not have the ability to penetrate into the hair shaft. Nor do heavy cholesterols.
What they will do, is to lay on top of the cuticle, and coat the cuticle. This may give the hair some
Brilliance. However, it will also coat the hair. And causes product build up.
Product build up...
Once the hair is coated, your problems will commence. First of all, the moisture that our hair so
desperately needs will not be able to permeate through the wall of product build. The moisture is
then not able to find it's way underneath the cuticle layer. The hair cannot then be conditioned.
Also the oils will not diffuse, but sit on top of the cuticle layer. If you use any kind of hot styling
tools such as blow dryers or hot irons, what will happen to your hair, is exactly what happens when
you put an egg into a hot pan. It will fry!
If you live in a sunny climate, the oil will do the same thing. The sun will heat the oil and fry your
hair. You must have heard the term, my hair feels fried.
For hair to be in tiptop conditioner is has to have a moisture (water) content of at least 8%, and the
right balance of protein and natural oil. Most of us produce enough natural oil (sebum), to keep our
hair healthy, but lack the moisture.
After having a chemical service your moisture level will drop as
low as 2%, causing, drying of the hair, followed by split ends. The same will happen with constant
use of blow-dryers and hot styling tools, such as curling or flat irons. If the moisture level is not
restored to it's optimum 8% by the use of good moisturizing products, your hair will ultimately
become brittle and possibly break.
What to do...
You need to give your hair lots of TLC, with shampoos that are designed to restore your hair's
moisture level to its optimum 8%. Along with intense conditioners that will help to repair damaged
cuticles, improve porosity, elasticity and general health and appearance of your hair.
Avoid product build by using products that contain natural ingredients. Also avoid hot oil treatments, heavy
cholesterol type conditioners, petroleum-based and silicone-based products. Also hairsprays,
mousses and gels that have a high alcohol or butane content.
Those of you with naturally curly, wavy or frizzy hair, those of you who use hot styling tools or who
chemically treat your hair, will need to give your hair extra nurturing by supplying it with the
necessary nutrition and moisture that it needs.
Sun worshippers need to make sure that your hair
care products have sunscreen properties to protect your hair from the damaging affects of the UV
Our hair needs MOISTURE, MOISTURE, and MOISTURE! Who needs to add moisture more than
most? People with naturally curly hair, chemically treated, hot styling tool users or people who live
in hot sunny and arid climates.
Home] [Beauty Home][Haircare
Copyright (c) 2002
is an expert with over 28 years experience in the beauty industry. She has answered
over 2000 questions for allexperts.com and has had her work published in many well-respected
beauty magazines both online and off. You can contact her with your hair care questions at