Friday, July 11, 2014

Air Drying= Shedding + Breakage

Running my fingers through my hair should not leave me with a hand full of hair. Most of the strands have a little white bulb on the end so I know they are shed hairs, but a few are shorter pieces which mean breakage. This is a new problem for me, something I did not experience until I started air drying a few months ago.

I wanted to amp up my routine for the summer and decided to add in a second shampoo and DC session mid-week; because I was worried about heat styling twice a week I opted for what I thought would be the less damaging option. After shampooing and conditioning as usual I did one of three things:

  1. Allow hair to air dry then bun
  2. Allow hair to air dry 60% then install Curlformers*
  3. Allow hair to air dry 60% then install flex rods *
*For curly styles I sat beneath my hooded dryer for at least one hour.

I even noticed when removing my Curlfromers and flex rods that there were little broken hairs on the sink. The strangest thing about the excessive shedding and breakage is (1) air-drying is supposed to be better for the hair, and (2) even with trying different methods  of air drying my results are the same.

Results of Air Drying:

  • Hair appears dull and frizzy
  • Hair feels rough and must be moisturized between washes to return some softness
  • Hair sheds and breaks easily

On the other hand, when I blow dry and flat iron my hair the results are the complete opposite. 

Results of Blow Drying/Flat Ironing:

  • Hair is shiny and smooth
  • Hair remains moisturized until the next wash
  • Zero shedding/breakage unless I use force

I believe my hair fares better when blow dried and flat ironed simply because the heat acts as a sealant for my cuticles. Blow drying in a downward motion actually forces the cuticle to lie flat, while brushing with a boar bristle-ceramic brush promotes shine and prevents static and frizz. Flat ironing further enhances the look and feel of my hair by silken-ing the strands, making it easier for them to glide past one another rather than rub and tangle.

I have a wash day coming up this Saturday and I am seriously debating blow drying and flat ironing. Although I enjoy the ease of roller setting my hair and the surprise of the length of my hair when I  straighten again after 2-3 months, heat styling appears to be a healthier option for me.

Do you experience more breakage and shedding when air drying?

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