Keeping natural hair moisturized is crucial for healthy hair. But it can be a challenge since naturally textured hair tends to be dry. It can be tempting to become obsessed with moisture.
But can you over-moisturize natural hair?
The answer is yes. Over-moisturizing your hair is called hydral fatigue. Hygral fatigue happens when our hair swells when wet, then shrinks as it dries, and that back and forth swelling and shrinking causes breakage. Besides constantly spraying your hair with water, deep conditioning your hair past the recommended timeframe or even overnight on a regular basis can cause over-moisturization. Avoiding protein all together in your hair care routine can result in hygral fatigue as well, because protein is a part of your hair’s elasticity.
How do you know if you are suffering from hygral fatigue? Here are some signs to look for:
- Decrease in elasticity. Elasticity is the result of a balance of moisture and protein in the hair. If your hair does not return to its natural state after pulling when it’s wet, your hair likely has low elasticity. Removing protein completely from your hair care routine can result in hygral fatigue.
- Limp, gummy or mushy hair. If you hair feels limp, gummy or mushy when wet, that is a strong indication that it is over-moisturized.
If you think you are experiencing hygral fatigue, it’s always best to see a hair care professional. A professional will be able to determine if you’re experiencing hydral fatigue, and then recommend the appropriate treatment for your hair. Too much protein can make the hair brittle, also resulting in breakage. So a protein treatment may not be the best option.
In order to prevent hygral fatigue, there are some easy things you can do such as:
- Avoid keeping your hair wet or saturated with moisturizing products for an extended period of time.
- Also, make sure products dry thoroughly, especially if you like wash-n-go styles.
- Applying oils like coconut oil, olive oil, and avocado oil which are known to penetrate the hair shaft before shampooing can reduce the amount of swelling your hair cuticle experiences.
Remember, healthy hair is all about the right balance. In order to prevent breakage, a healthy balance of moisture and protein is the key.
Jonna is a style, beauty and lifestyle blogger, freelance writer, event coordinator, and wife. She writes Naturally Glam to share her passion for natural hair, health, style, beauty and events. From healthy eating to product reviews, hair style tutorials to makeup looks, budget-friendly fashion to event recaps – Jonna covers that and then some.