The one thing that is hammered into every natural-haired woman’s head is that the hair needs moisture, moisture and more moisture. While this may be true, there is a point where moisturizing your hair too much can actually cause damage to the cuticle.
This point is called Hygral Fatigue and is a direct result of over-moisturizing the hair. With the ever-popular Maximum Hydration Method on the rise, it is important that we know exactly what we may be subjecting our hair to if we aren’t balancing moisturization with protein treatments. Here’s what you need to know about hygral fatigue.
What Is Hygral Fatigue?
Hygral fatigue is what happens when the cuticle swells and contracts excessively, which is caused by the constant reapplication of water to the hair after it has dried. Since the cuticle is not designed to open and close this frequently, it causes the strand to weaken and eventually break. Some practices that may cause over-hydration are the maximum hydration method (MHM), overnight conditioning, re-wetting the hair each day, not using products that contain protein, etc.
Signs of Hygral Fatigue
If your hair is void of elasticity, does not clump together, return to its natural state after stretching, or feels squishy and limp then it’s probably over-moisturized. Also, if you notice that you are shedding excessively and have unnecessary breakage, then that could also mean that the hair contains too much moisture and is in need of protein.
How to Treat Hygral Fatigue
In order to repair the hair from over-hydration, it is important to do a protein treatment in order to repair and strengthen the structure of the cuticle. While hydration will always be an important part of your regimen, creating that balance between protein and moisture is what will ensure that the hair remains strong and healthy.
On the other hand, incorporating too much protein to your regimen will send you into protein overload which is also damaging to the hair. Since everyone’s hair responds differently to certain products, you will need to test a few methods out before you find your perfect balance. Some women opt to find products that contain protein instead of doing a full-fledged protein treatment, and that works for them.
Others may find that adding a little bit of Aphogee 2-step treatment to their current conditioner helps, or even just buying a deep conditioner that contains protein. Whatever your solution may be, just remember that balance is the key.
Now, don’t let the term “hygral fatigue” scare you away from moisturizing your hair daily. If you’re taking the preventative steps to ensure that the hair doesn’t become weak from too much moisture then you have nothing to worry about.
Keep in mind that while intensive protein treatments may not work for everyone, it doesn’t negate the fact that some other topical method of protein application may be needed in order to ensure that your strands remain strong.