By Jc of The Natural Haven
This post comes courtesy of a reader comment which asked how do you describe moisturized hair? I found this to be a difficult question to answer because there are quite a few things that I associate with the term ‘moisturized hair’. Instead of trying a one word descriptor, I thought perhaps what would be more helpful is a list of the properties of moisturized hair.
1. Moisturized hair is not wet
There is a big difference between wet, damp or misted hair and moisturized hair. To the touch, moisturized hair does not have a wet feeling. The moisture which differentiates it from dry hair is locked within the strand and not on the surface of the hair. Humidity or humectants (such as aloe vera, honey and glycerin) which act to increase the outer moisture of the hair do not change the fact that the hair is 100% dry to the touch.
2. Moisturized hair is a sound
The instantly recognizable feature associated with dry hair which is not moisturized is crackling. Dry unmoisturized hair tends to have a rasping sound when the strands are rubbed against each other. The drier hair gets, the more perceptible the sound becomes. Moisturized hair on the other hand is almost noiseless. The strands of hair can generally glide past each other and even where they tangle or knot, they do not make the same crunchy crackling of dry hair.
3. Moisturized hair is a feeling and a look
Moisturized hair is soft to the touch unlike dry hair where the texture of the hair is amplified making it feel rough. For those with natural shine/sheen or if a product with oil is used, moisturized hair will accentuate the shine.
4. Moisturized hair is flexible and strong
A very desirable property of moisturized hair is that it is more flexible and less susceptible to breakage. Hair has a tendency to be able to stretch out and where tangles form, the hair does not tend to immediately snap. Where curls are present they will have a natural spring and where shrinkage is present, hair will be approximately 60–70% of its full length. The hair is not wet (i.e complete shrinkage) and is not dry (where hair can stretch to even 80–90% of its full length but has a tendency to snap when pulled or stretched).
5. Moisturized hair has all the above properties at the same time
As an example, if you only add oil to your hair and no water, hair may feel soft to the touch and shine but may not be flexible and may still have a crackle to it when it is dry.
The principle way to identify moisturized hair is that it has to have all the properties described:
1. Not wet to the touch
2. No crackling or crunching
3. Soft to the touch with shine (noting that shine is relative)
4. Flexibility and strength
Ladies, what are the telltale signs that your hair is moisturized or dry?
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