The look of “natural” hair may currently be a popular trend, but ironically, the steps to achieving a free-flowing hairstyle are often anything but natural. Some people may simply leave hair in its natural state to get fresh and healthy locks but many apply multiple hair products for the same appearance. Women use thousands of hair products ranging from shampoos and conditioners to gels and mousses to style their tresses. The various products help style hair into a sleek ponytail or voluminous curls, but product overload leaves hair damaged.
All human hair is made up of natural oils that produce sheen and texture. The natural oils already give hair body and protection, but when individuals use several hair products simultaneously and in great amounts, hair appears greasy and flat. Applying many hair care ointments at once also causes product build-up which leaves tresses lying limp. According to Barbara Lhotan, an expert on curly hair, “If your hair starts to feel coated, crunchy or looks limp and flat, you may be the victim of build-up.” Because hair is so delicate, product build-up obstructs natural textures which leads to lifeless hair.
While styling hair, people often overuse heating appliances such as curling irons, blow dryers and straighteners. Using hot tools everyday and at their maximum temperature literally burns hair follicles which produces frizziness. Rinsing hair with hot water also causes dullness. When hot water hits the hair, hair cuticles open and become loose which leads to frizz. Cool water on the other hand shuts cuticles, keeping hair strands tamed and shiny.
Another mistake people make when caring for their hair is using too much shampoo. Although shampooing cleanses tresses, washing hair everyday or multiple times a day strips it of consistency and natural oils such as sebum. In an npr.org article, Michelle Hanjani, M.D., Assistant Professor of Clinical Dermatology at Columbia University, said, “If you wash your hair every day, you’re removing the sebum. Then the oil glands compensate by producing more oil.”