The focus on hair care issues such as hygral fatigue responds to a surge in consumers’ search for knowledge in how hair issues evolve and what can be done to minimize them. But what exactly is hygral fatigue and how can it be prevented? Here’s a short guide to understanding it.
What is hygral fatigue and what are the symptoms
Hygral fatigue relates to the continuous swelling and unswelling of hair follicles caused by excessive moisture reaching the inner cortex of hair.
As a result of hygral fatigue, a number of issues arise: hair follicles are damaged and their cortex exposed, hair shafts degenerate, cuticle cells raise and experience harm, and the fatty layer protecting hair is lost.
While these issues might not be detected without the aid of hair care professionals, someone suffering from hygral fatigue will experience a number of symptoms, which include:
- Hair frizziness
- Excessive tangling
- Brittleness and hair breakage
- Changes in hair texture, which may turn gummy
- Paradoxically, excessive hair dryness might also appear, as damaged cuticles mean hair follicles are unable to hold moisture.
Genetics and bad hair care habits: the causes of hygral fatigue
As explained above, hygral fatigue takes place when excessive water enters hair follicles. Thus, while healthy hair is naturally hydrophobic, there are a number of issues that may cause excessive moisture to be retained:
- Genetics and predisposition. Some people naturally present a high hair porosity or spaced cuticle cells, all of which allow an excess volume of water to pass through.
- Bad hair care habits and damaged hair. An excess of moisturizing products (such as conditioners or masks) may be the cause behind some hygral fatigue issues.
Additional bad hair care habits such as harsh grooming and other damaging treatments, which cause damaged hair, may also evolve into hygral fatigue, as damaged protective cuticle cells may break and allow excess water in.
Excessive use of shampoo can also lie behind hygral fatigue, as the wrong products may clean out protective oils in charge of balancing hair moisture levels.
Fighting hygral fatigue the natural way
Considering the causes explained above, fighting hygral fatigue will need to start with determining what exactly is causing this issue and how can this process be corrected.
However, whether hygral fatigue is rooted in genetics or bad hair care habits, the key to preventing hygral fatigue means acting on at least the following two fronts:
- Eliminating damaging products, treatments (such as hair straightening, aggressive hair brushing, dyeing and bleaching, among others) or habits (such as excessive hair washing)
- Using the right shampoos and conditioners which not only prevent hair damage from happening but also enhance hair’s natural capacities to avoid hygral fatigue
Successful product developments to fight hygral fatigue will need to provide shampoos with a lower pH, strengthening the hair’s natural hydrophobic tendencies and its ability to evacuate moisture.
At the same time, and following the hair care market’s growing demand for natural solutions, coconut oil has been proved to be useful in two important processes to prevent hygral fatigue.
On the one hand, research points towards this ingredient’s potential to help reduce protein loss in hair.
On the other hand, a different study claims using coconut oil as a pre-wash treatment can help minimize hair damage caused by hygral fatigue, as it’s more easily absorbed by hair follicles than other types of hair care treatments. Considering hygral fatigue takes place on the innermost layers of hair, coconut oil’s ability to reach them turns this ingredient into the right choice from which to build an effective treatment.
As a consequence, products based on coconut oil not only provide a great alternative to protect and repair hair, but also generate safe and healthy moisture levels while guaranteeing protein levels are retained.
At the same time, the use of coconut oils taps into current hair care trends such as the increasing focus on a holistic understanding of issues such as scalp problems and a preference for natural ingredients that link both physical and emotional well being, such as natural oils.