Conditioning the Hair Part II

How conditioners can help alleviate combing and weather-related damage

In Part One of "Conditioning the Hair", four basic causes of hair damage were mentioned. In Part Two of this series, we discuss two of those causes - combing and the weather- and what you can do as a stylist to prevent/eliminate these types of damage from occuring. 


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Combing Damage

Human hair is elastic but not perfectly so. Its elasticity allows it to sustain a certain-degree of pulling force exerted by combing (or brushing). Many times, the pulling or combing force applied during regular and normal styling, stretches the hair beyond its limits causing breakage. 

Combing force can be minimized by: using deep penetrating conditioners to detangle the hair and mend broken areas along the hairshaft, which can snag on one another during combing; applying auxiliary products, such as leave-in conditioners if further detangling is needed to comb wet hair prior to blow drying or setting; always using a wide-tooth comb, particularly while hair is wet and most vulnerable; gently combing through the hair section by section starting at the nape and proceeding upwards towards the crown; and applying a dab of oil moisturizer or hairdress on dry hair, prior to styling. You'll be able to gauge breakage by examining the hair left in the comb.


Weather-Related Damage 

The heat and ultraviolet rays from the sun have devastating effects on the hair. The heat generated by the sun dries out hair fibers and ultraviolet (UV) rays alter some of the cystine bonds, changing them to cysteic acid bonds. This results in a weakening of the hair fiber and a small degree of color bleaching. To combat sun-related damages, advise your clients to stay out of the sun as much as possible or cover the hair with a silk scalf when outside. Other remedies include using an oil moisturizer or creme hairdress to help alleviate and replenish the loss of moisture from the hair or UV-absorbing or suncreening products formulated especially for hair, containing ingredients as para-amino benzoic acid. Some oil moisturizers or cream hairdressings contain UV absorbers. Ask your manufacturer if the brand you use contains sunscreening agents.