Not regular heat, but the kind that seems to singe the very hairs off your arms leaving your bare skin to the mercy of the sun. Your throat, or perhaps the air is so dry that every inhale is like a mouthful of grainy sand. But in your hands is a tepid glass bottle full of golden olive oil—I take that back, crystal clear vegetable glycerin.
Oh you think I’m crazy? You’re the one using oils, butters and God knows what else as your primary means of moisture, when all your hair needs is water!
Yup, simple H20. You’ve probably already heard that as much as 75% of you is water and you’ve likely been told that the average human can last only 3-4 days without it. I’m almost certain that you knew your hair needed water to thrive but still aren’t really sold on the whole “water works” bit. Allow me to assist.
First, each individual strand of hair is made up of three parts; the cuticle, which covers the strand, the cortex, the core of the hair and the medulla. While all three layers play an important role in hair health, the cortex in particular is responsible for the strand’s strength. It is unsurprising that it also soaks up those precious water molecules that give the cortex and therefore your hair its elasticity and stretch--which equals less breakage, meaning bigger, stronger hair.
But don't toss that Shea butter yet! You’ll need those oils, butters or whatever else works for you to keep that moisture inside and not let it slip out into uselessness. But tell me, what’s the point of sealing in what’s not there, hmm?
All this water talk is making me thirsty…bye!
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