Moisture, moisture, moisture!
Dry hair translates into hair that is more susceptible to breakage. Hair that has a sufficient level of moisture is more pliable and more able to withstand mechanical manipulation (combing, styling, etc.). Thus, moisture is a key factor to retaining length.
How do you know whether you hair is dry?
If your hair feels supple, then it has a good moisture content. Think flexible, elastic, and pliant. Rough, brittle, crispy, hard hair could be an indication of dryness and/or another issue (e.g., structural damage, etc.).
Is your dryness linked to a problem with moisture retention?
A healthy strand of hair will retain moisture really well for a good period of time. I have heard a stylist mention 48 hours as the magic number; whether this is true or not, I am not sure. Given my personal experience with my hair in damaged vs. healthy states, the number seems feasible. In my opinion, if you find yourself experiencing dryness within one day of a fresh wash & condition, you may want to:
1) evaluate your products and/or regimen,
2) review your diet,
3) assess whether you have hard water,
4) determine if the dryness is medically related,
5) investigate high porosity as a potential issue.
A lot of articles and sites address the importance of porosity as it relates to moisture retention, protein/moisture balance, and more. View the links below for just a handful of these sources. In the mean time, keep in mind that if you want to retain the hair you grow, you must maintain a proper moisture level.
POROSITY (all you need to know)
SEALING (OILS & MOISTURE RETENTION)
This is a repost. Originally posted July 6, 2009.