In the last post of these series, I focused on moisturizing fine natural hair with light products as opposed to sealing moisture with heavy creams, which can weigh fine hair down.
Let's talk about styling the hair wet or dry?
Please note that I am not including heat styling in this post as I have never attempted that.
Should you style your hair wet or dry?
I have observed that when I style my hair wet, it tends to break very easily. Hair is so fragile when it is wet. Tightly coiled hair can lose about 30% of its tensile strength when wet. Hair can potentially break when it is undergoing this hygral fatigue. According to the Hair chemist on Naturallycurly.com, the description of hygral fatigue is as follows:
"When it (hair) is saturated with water and swells and then subsequently dries via natural or thermal means, it undergoes what is known as differential drying and differential deformation (because each separate type of molecule within the overall structure dries and deforms at differing rates). This leads to moisture-induced stress on the hair, which can lead to delamination (cuticle layer stripping off), breakage, fiber fatigue, and rupture (split ends). This whole phenomenon is referred to as hygral fatigue."
Due to this stress that hair goes through when it is wet, should additional stress(styling and combing) be placed on hair in its wet state? Of course not!! Some people prefer to style their hair when it is wet, however, I do not recommend it!!!
On the other hand, I have also styled my hair when it was dry and the result was consistently damaging!!The truth is natural hair needs moisture to make it pliable . A little bit of moisture has made a huge difference in my styling routine. My hair is usually about 75% dry when I am styling it. I experience little or no breakage when my hair is being styled while it is slightly damp.
Honestly, I hated the shrinkage from damp styling but if I want to retain length, it's the best way to go. It has now come down to accepting the fact that my hair shrinks and loving it.
The next post of these series: Stretching on fine natural hair