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If Hair is Dead, Can it be Moisturized?

Avatar • Mar 20, 2013

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The Beauty Brains tackles an interesting question! Check it out:

Stacy says…I believe silicones just coat your hair to give the appearance of smooth, moisturized hair. Hair is dead so you can’t really do too much to actually moisturize it within each strand.

The Beauty Brains respond:
Actually, Stacy, just because hair is dead doesn’t mean you can’t moisturize it. No, we’re not talking about some kind of risen-from-the ‑dead-zombie hair, we’re just talking about the true meaning of moisturization.

Three reasons dead hair can be moisturized

1. Even dead hair contains water
Hair contains about 8 to 12%water on a weight basis. Dry hair has less, damp hair (obviously) has more. And in our previous jobs at cosmetic companies we actually tested hair care products and proved that you can increase the amount of water that hair contains. Without revealing any industry secrets we can tell you that the test involves weighing the hair, treating it with a moisturizing product, drying it to remove moisture and then weighing it again. A test like this shows that you can lock more water into the hair.

2. “Moisturize” doesn’t necessarily mean more water
While the term “moisture” does specifically refer to water, the term “moisturize” has a broader meaning. In essence it means “fighting the effects of dryness.” The effects of dryness that hair experiences include roughness, dullness and loss of manageability. If you counteract these effects you are moisturizing hair. And that brings us to our third point…

3. Silicones and oils that coat your hair ARE moisturizing. 
In fact, these materials moisturize by points one and two: they can lock in moisturie (water) and they can make dry hair more smooth, soft, and shiny (i.e. they fight the effects of dryness). So even though they contain no water and even though they’re only coating the hair, these ingredients can moisturize.

The bottom line

We frequently hear that conditioners just “coat” hair and don’t really moisturize. But by understanding the true nature of moisturization as it relates to hair you can see that these products REALLY do provide a moisturization benefit.

Ladies, what is your moisturizing regimen?

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Jo Somebody
Jo Somebody
7 years ago

So basically, since we can’t start weighing our hair at home, go by how your hair feels, looks and acts to determine moisturizer effectiveness. Erm, carry on people, nothing to see here!

Summergirl
Summergirl
7 years ago

I’m sorry; I don’t understand the point of moisturizing your hair. Why does it matter if it’s dry? That’s how God created it.

Kade
Kade
7 years ago
Reply to  Summergirl

That’s like saying “why brush your teeth, god made it stinky so it should be that way”. In my eyes god made earth to help us live an easier life, everything on earth, as creations, we can use to help enable our lives to be comfortable and to survive. So yes we shall use the oil, herbs, and water of this earth to benefit our hair. Just how we use wood and other materials to build shelter as we obviously don’t come out the womb with one but to survive we need shelter. Same goes for our hair it needs moisture… Read more »

Nooni
Nooni
7 years ago
Reply to  Summergirl

@ Summergirl: Kade is right — the human body is not a self sustaining organism and is made to be attended to using various products and processes. Based on your logic, I assume that you don’t bathe, wash your hair, wear clothes or shoes because you dind’t come out of the womb doing any of these things.

For goodness sake, people wash their hair! Is that unnatural. Afro hair is supposed to be moisturised in the same way that greasy caucasian hair is supposed to be washed regularly. There is such a thing as ‘to natural.’

Summergirl
Summergirl
7 years ago
Reply to  Nooni

I guess I worded my question wrong. What I meant was: what is having moisturized hair going to accomplish? Why is having dry hair a problem?

Nisha
Nisha
7 years ago
Reply to  Summergirl

Dry strands can become brittle and break much more easily than moisturized strands. I don’t know all the science behind it, but if my hair is dry for too long then it breaks off; whereas, my hair grows faster and is more manageable when I keep it moisturized.

Summergirl
Summergirl
7 years ago
Reply to  Nisha

Ok.

Josephine Odion
Josephine Odion
7 years ago

Thank you BGLH, this article is insightful. That’s all I’ll say.

notedifying
notedifying
7 years ago

This article is a no brainer and I couldn’t be edified by it. It’s asking a question that doesn’t make any sense or have any string arguments to prove it’s premises. Why breathe? I mean c’mon.….. lol

Hair is not self sustaining and I thank God we can style it as we choose as well as maintain it.

notedifying
notedifying
7 years ago
Reply to  notedifying

*strong

kimm sayles
7 years ago

so Dead Hair can be Moisturise um go figure

jo
jo
7 years ago

This “hair is dead” thing has to stop.I understand it is no longer dividing once its emerges from the scalp bhr that doesn’t change its value.
The hair industry don’t seem to mind lol.….….

Felicia
Felicia
7 years ago

The top layers of our skin are dead as well and if we don’t moisturize it it becomes dry and cracked. Hair, skin, and nails are all the same. If our hair gets too dry, since we’re imperfect ( if you want to get religious) then our hair becomes more vulnerable to breakage and to the elements. Ladies don’t be so hard on Summergirl. Hope that helps.

Crystal
Crystal
7 years ago

the only dumb question is the one not asked” if one person has a question, that means someone else thought it but were afraid to ask it. Sisters, stop assuming we all know the same thing. If we did this website would not be necessary.

khala
khala
7 years ago

but silicone can only be removed from the hair with sulfates, which are very drying. so it like you dry your hair out with shampoos when you wash it, then put some chemical coating on it to moisturize it. all that cant be good for the scalp; there has to be a simpler alternative

Caramel
Caramel
6 years ago

You can also look at it another way.
Wood is natural. And we use wood for chopping boards and furniture etc.The wood is dead,but you still have to polish it and keep it nice and moisturised!

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