How does static hair develop?
Your hair is powered up! Or well, that way you could see it a bit when you have static hair. (Maybe you’ve ever had a shock from your hair? I have!) When there’s friction between two materials that are very different from each other, like your hair and your plastic brush, there’s an exchange of electrons. One material gets the electrons and is therefore negatively charged (your hair) and the other material loses electrons and is therefore positively charged (your brush or simply the air).
Normally the negative charge disappears from your hair by itself, as long as your hair contains enough moisture and the humidity is high. Unfortunately, your strands are often a bit dehydrated by the heating and the humidity is low in the winter, so the electrons only stay together a bit like a pile (hence the addition ‘static’). You can see what happens when you try to bring the two ends of magnets together, instead of attracting each other like when you hold the inner sides of magnets against each other, your hair repels each other, causing you to fly hair in all directions. So the keyword for static hair is moisture. When your hair is dehydrated, there is (more) static electricity.
With these tips you can prevent static hair:
Keep the moisture content of your hair at the right level
Moisturize your hair; make sure your hair contains enough moisture. You can do this simply by wetting your hair a little (several times a day). Applying oil to wet hair will lock in moisture, so it’s also advisable to use a leave-in conditioner, aloe vera gel or even hairspray.
Avoid heat devices
It is better to stay far away from your hair dryer or curling iron, which will dry out your hair.
Turn on the heater less often or less high.
The heat from the stove makes the air very dry, and the air extracts moisture from your hair as well.
Choose a good brush
There are special brushes and combs on the market that counteract static hair. They are often made of special materials that reduce friction. Denman brushes are a good example of this. Do you prefer to use a comb? Avoid plastic and prefer a wooden or horn version.
Be careful with your scarves and sweaters
They may keep you nice and warm, but scarves, sweaters and cardigans are often made from materials that slurp moisture from your hair. Go for cotton or smooth materials, if possible. Avoid wool, (fake) fur, and everything fluffy. Don’t want to say goodbye to your favourite scarf or your nice thick sweater? Wear your hair up, so it doesn’t come into contact with the moisture-guzzling material.
Keep an eye on your acidity
When the acidity is too high, your hair is also negatively charged, making it even more susceptible to static hair. By doing a cider vinegar rinse you bring down the acidity of your hair so that your hair has no or very limited electrical charge.
If the tips don’t work
You’ve tried everything, and yet your hair remains static? Chances are you have fine hair just like I do, or your hair is damaged. Because of the thin or damaged scaly layer, your hair has a lot of trouble holding moisture, which makes static hair a common problem with fine or damaged hair. However, try to follow the above tips as closely as possible. The most important thing, in this case, is not to prevent static electricity, but to prevent (further) damage to your hair by dehydration. Do not wear your hair loose, but fix it with a lot of oil or product in it when your hair is suffering so much from the winter months.