Why does Moisture matters to Hair Extensions?
Author Diane Shawe extracted from ‘How Hair Extensions are Sourced, Treated and Graded’
Simply put, moisture is the single most important factor in determining the way your client’s hair looks! When moisture drops below 10-10.2% (depending on the type of hair and the level of environmental humidity), hair will look like brittle straw as opposed to supple green grass.
The critical moisture level is the difference between a freshly baked bread and one left on the counter for a few days. In the example of
the straw or the stale slice of bread, if we apply
the slightest pressure, they will break. The same
pressure on the fresh slice of bread or the green
grass shows us how malleable these materials could be. Likewise, any pressure put on dry human hair, as opposed to well-moisturised hair, will result in breakage.
Moisture = Strength
Here are some details I found to illustrate my point. An average strength properties reading for Indian non-cuticle hair with a diameter of 0.055mm would be 0.22 gn/m². An average result for the same type of hair from the same bundles, but completely soaked with tap water would be 0.66 gn/m². A normal value for such hair would be around 0.32 gn/m². (gn/m² stands for Giganewtons per square meter, which is a measure of pressure.
For human hair, these figures explain the fibre͛s strength – the amount of pressure it can
withstand before breaking.)
The important lesson here is that moisture – any type of moisture – will increase the strength
of the hair by up to 300%! Every test conducted has shown that plain water is as effective as any conditioner or leave-in moisturiser.
For example, try wearing your jeans after washing them, while they are still soaking wet and feel the roughness of the fabric. This has to do with the swelling and increased strength of the fabric when wet. Until the water evaporates, the denim will be significantly stronger.
The same goes for hair. All the stories written by marketing departments about conditioners that add strength and elasticity to hair are about as good as the stories your parents used to tell you to calm you before going to sleep – It’s all placebo effect.
Conditioner will add strength, but only temporarily, just as water will. Now we are getting to one of the major trade-offs between conditioner and water.
Water will evaporate much faster, but will not leave deposits that will weigh down your client’s hair. Conditioner will evaporate much more slowly and contribute to the strength of the hair for a longer time, but will leave deposits that may weigh down the hair.
In hot desert climates it is extremely important to maintain the moisture of the hair, especially if the client spends any time in the sun. It is just as important to maintain the moisture in centrally heated or air conditioned environments as they subject the hair to continued dehydration. It is also worth noting that just a few minutes of ultra-violet exposure on treated hair is enough to make a significant impact. In these conditions, a very light leave- in conditioner is highly recommended.
If the client is not inclined to buy more products, give or sell him a very small mist bottle (2 oz. will be sufficient) filled with water and have him mist his hair a few times a day.
A lot of consumers have expressed concern about inconsistency, However, as an educational service… and perhaps a warning… I͛d like to offer a brief primer on the advantages and disadvantages of each type of hair and explain the cost differences and the reasons for them. I’ll also answer the question, as long as it feels good, looks good and doesn’t tangle, why I care where the hair originated? When I’m done, you too will appreciate the behind the scenes negotiating and control that is provided invisibly day in and day out by your current importer.
The first question all new customers ask is where did the hair come from?
Download a copy of my book to find outmore
How Hair Extensions are Sourced, Treated and Graded available from Amazon
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