Your Guide to maintaining moisture for permanently luscious locks.
Myth 1: Oils hydrate
One of the biggest misconceptions about plant oils is that they hydrate the hair. Hydration means adding water. By their very nature, plant oils are anhydrous – they don’t contain any water. So they can’t add water to hair.
This misconception also means, a common hair mistake regularly occurs: oil is applied to the hair without consideration for the hairs moisture content. If this is too low, the oil won’t be able to get to work and the money you spend on the oil isn’t adding any value to your hair. Moisture content has to be at a level where it can make the most of the oil.
So how do you make sure moisture content is high enough and how do we boost the level? By taking advantage of the hair’s propensity for absorption and using ingredients called humectants. Humectants attract water from the environment to them and then they hang on to that water. This gives plant oils the opportunity to trap that moisture in the cortical fibre where it can raise the natural moisture content. That’s why you’ll find humectants in abundance in Noughty products.
Myth 2: Drinking water helps hydrate hair
The natural moisture content of hair is between 8 and 12 % but anything you do to your hair can reduce this level and unfortunately, hair doesn’t have access to the water you drink in the way your skin does, to raise it up again. It only has the water that’s in the cortical fibre before you subject it to weathering, physical trauma or chemical processing.
So if your hair has been subjected and is dry because the moisture content has been reduced to say 6%, then you apply an oil and leave it on for hours or even days, be warned. When you wash it off the moisture level of your hair will still be 6%. Proof that plant oils make an effective barrier, but an epic fail if you’re after strong, flexible tresses. There might be better shine, and the hair might be more supple, and less brittle, which could fool you into thinking you’d improved its condition. The reality is that the moisture content remains well below optimum and sadly as we say, no amount of drinking water will help.
But don’t stop drinking all that water. Just to be clear, your skin is very different. If it’s dry and you put oil on it, the moisture content of the skin increases because the oil enhances the skin’s natural barrier function, trapping water released from the rest of your body in the top layers of the epidermis, where we can see our dry skin. This is why drinking 2 litres of water a day is so important to having great skin.
Myth 3: Oils repair split ends
No ingredient or product can repair split ends. Some ‘glue’ ends back together, but the only way to get rid of them is to cut them out. However, improving the hair’s flexibility and strength will help to prevent splits, breaks and the brittle hair that can lead to them. Increasing the moisture content of hair is important for increasing its elasticity and strength and that’s another reason why you’ll see us using humectant ingredients in our formulations over and over again – glycerine is the easiest one to spot. It’s usually pretty high up the list of ingredients in the formulations, so you can be assured there’s lashings of it.
That just leaves us to say we hope you are convinced about the benefits of getting a little Noughty to improve moisture levels in your hair, and why that’s so important for naturally luscious locks. We want you to join our Noughty club, and bust those Moisture Myths, by using products packed with humectants like To The Rescue and Wave Hello to lay down the hydration, as well as Noughty conditioners, treatments and styling products which are rich in plant oils to ensure that moisture stays put.