Improve your Hair Elasticity |Why is Hair Stretchy?
Discover everything you need to know about Hair Elasticity in my Expert Guide
I’ve been working in hairdressing for over 35 years. In my experience, hair elasticity is something that hairdressers may mention. However, a busy salon environment is not always the best place to explain the meaning to our clients.
For most of us, hair elasticity doesn’t become meaningful until our hair becomes difficult to style. Or worse, it’s brittle and starts to break. Hair can become too stretchy, also leading to breakage.
So what does this mean? It’s vital that all healthy hair should have some stretch or elasticity. If hair doesn’t have any elasticity, it becomes brittle and can break. With too much stretch your hair can become matted and gummy.
In this blog, I’ll talk about why hair elasticity is a vital part of hair health and why getting the right balance of elasticity is essential to get your hair looking and feeling healthy and shiny.
Hair Elasticity | 6 Tips to Improve your Hair Elasticity
1. Regular Conditioning
Regular conditioning. Always condition your hair after shampoo. Think of looking after your hair in the same way as your face. After cleansing, moisturise your hair with a conditioner.
2. Restore Balance with a Deep Conditioner
If your hair elasticity is low and your hair is breaking or stretchy use the Restore and Shine Hair Masque twice a week for at least two weeks to restore balance. After two weeks, use weekly for maintenance.
3. Build a Weekly Routine
After two weeks of intensive treatment, the hair will start to improve. Follow up with a routine of giving your hair a weekly hair mask treatment.
4. Give your Hair more Treatment Time, not More Product
When using Restore and Shine Hair Masque, I recommend leaving on the hair for as long as possible. For example, you can leave it on for a couple of hours or even overnight. For other hair masks, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
5. Take time out from Heated Styling
Take some time out from heated styling tools. That will give your hair the chance to recover. However, if you can’t bear to be without your hairdryer, choose a lower heat setting. Avoid over-drying your hair. Less is more!
6. Choose products that improve Hair Elasticity
Look out for shampoos, conditioners and hair styling products containing ingredients that will improve hair elasticity. Honey is a favourite ingredient of mine. It improves elasticity, leaving hair supple. Because I love it so much, it’s an active ingredient in my exclusive Styling Products.
Honey to Improve Hair Elasticity|
Styling Mist for Volume
Styling Mist for Volume
Improve your Hair Elasticity |
The Expert View
We sometimes associate hair elasticity with hair type. For instance, curly hair is naturally dry and can be prone to loss of elasticity.
However, it’s not just about hair type.
Dry hair can be a result of environmental factors such as heated styling or exposure to the sun. When hair loses moisture, you may notice that it feels more brittle.
For some, hair elasticity after bleaching can be a problem resulting in excessively stretchy hair, leaving hair matted and at risk of breakage.
I encourage you to think about hair elasticity as achieving the natural balance for your hair, whatever your hair type.
Here’s what I mean by balance. When hair has balance, it has enough elasticity so that it doesn’t break but not too much stretch that it doesn’t fall back into shape.
Keep on reading to discover how you can rebalance the elasticity of your hair.
Whether your concern is that your hair is dry and brittle or your hair has too much stretch, use my tips below to achieve a natural balance.
Discover a simple stretch test for you to check your hair’s elasticity.
Plus, I’ll share some real-life examples of clients who have improved hair elasticity and restored balance to their hair to prevent breakage and stretchy hair.
What's the Meaning or Definition of Hair Elasticity?
In my experience, restoring moisture to hair makes the biggest difference.
Whenever I tackle a hair problem like hair elasticity, it’s helpful to explain the meaning or definition.
So let’s kick off by talking about the definition of hair elasticity.
When we talk about hair elasticity, we are talking about how much stretch your hair has. That’s because this is an indicator of how healthy your hair is and how much moisture it holds.
Every individual strand of hair has many layers. We’ll focus on the centre of the hair and the outer layer.
The hair’s centre, otherwise known as the cortex, holds the moisture for the hair strand. The job of the outermost layer, the cuticle, is to protect that moisture. The cuticle is a series of tiny scales forming the protective outer layer of the hair strand. When those scales are flat and smooth, they protect the hair from moisture loss.
So, when your hair has plenty of moisture, it looks and feels better. For instance, it’s easier to style and holds the shape better. That’s because when hair has enough moisture, it retains elasticity. Elasticity is when the hair has some stretch so that it doesn’t break. However, it can still retain its shape.
When the scales of the protective cuticle lift, hair suffers moisture loss. That can result in hair becoming dry and brittle or so stretchy that it cannot spring back into shape. In other words, loss of hair elasticity.
How to Test your Hair Elasticity NOW
How to do The Stretch Test | Hair Elasticity
The stretch test is simple to do, and knowing the condition of your hair will help in understanding how to style and care for your hair.
- When hair is wet, select a strand of hair, hold it securely at the root to avoid pulling. With the other hand, gently stretch the hair.
- Release the hair. If the hair stretches and returns to its original length when released, then elasticity is good.
- If there is any breakage or your hair doesn’t fall back into shape, it has low elasticity.
NB Hair is most vulnerable when wet, so be gentle with the hair at all times!
Hair Elasticity | Take Action
Once you’ve established the elasticity of your hair, there are two possible outcomes.
Your hair has good elasticity!
Excellent news! If your hair has good elasticity, think about maintenance. Remember, routine is king. So that means regular conditioning and the weekly deep conditioning treatment. Similarly, avoid styling products with alcohol-denat as they can be drying for the hair. Keep up the excellent work!
Your Hair has Low Elasticity.
Don’t despair! The good news is that you can do something about it.
Hair that has low elasticity has lost moisture and can be prone to breakage and or excessive stretch. Adding moisture to your hair is vital to tackling the symptoms of low hair elasticity. Here’s why:
1. Hair needs Moisture
Your hair structure is a series of layers and, for your hair to maintain health, it needs moisture at its core.
2. The Cuticle protects the Hair
The outer layer of the hair is called the cuticle. The cuticle is a structure of tiny scales protecting the hair’s core to retain moisture.
3. The Cuticle scales lift when Dry
Many factors impact the outer layer of the hair. For example, sun, wind, central heating, styling or chemical treatments. They cause the scales of the cuticle to lift, resulting in moisture loss.
4. Loss of Moisture leaves Hair at risk of Breakage
Once the scaley protective layer lifts, the core of the hair loses moisture. In other words, this reduces the hair elasticity, leaving it vulnerable to breakage or becoming too stretchy.
You can improve and restore hair elasticity. Quick fixes are not the answer. However, with regular attention, you can achieve balance. You can get your hair in shape and keep it that way. My tips below will help to develop your hair care plan.
Get a more in depth view of how you can improve your hair elasticity go to my Real Hair Stories.
I include tips for tackling dry, brittle or stretchy hair. Plus, you can find out how to improve elasticity for curly hair, bleached hair and dry hair.
Improve Hair Elasticity |Take Action
Hair Elasticity in Context | Real Hair Stories
I like to put things in context, and if you were sitting in front of me right now, we’d be having a chat about several factors that influence the elasticity of your hair.
We’d talk about your hair type, the styling techniques you apply, what products you are using and how often you wash and moisturise your hair. Low hair elasticity can be a result of any of these factors.
If you’re wondering how you can apply that to your hair, I’ll share 3 Real Hair Stories with you.
Each of these customers came to me with hair problems related to low elasticity. I’ve changed the names to respect their privacy.
I’ve shared the hair stories in this blog to give you some insights into hair elasticity and why it’s something you should think about for your hair. Plus, some practical tips about how you can create balance and improve your hair elasticity.
You may recognise some of the signs of low hair elasticity in your hair.
I’ve summarised the key points about hair elasticity below.
Real Hair Story 1 |Elasticity and Curly Hair
Mags, Curly Hair, works in Finance, mother to two children under the age of five.
She says, ‘My curls have lost their bounce.’
When Mags came to see me, she felt her curls were being dragged down by the weight of her responsibilities. She’d had two children in quick succession. Combined with the stress of a high pressured job, her curls were depleted.
The changes to Mags’s hair during and after pregnancy meant that her hair needed more moisture than pre-pregnancy. Plus, due to her busy lifestyle, she was short on time. Not to mention, she was only washing and conditioning her hair once a week. The results? Her hair was dry. When curly hair becomes dry, it can lose elasticity. Loss of elasticity gives you precisely what Mags was experiencing; flat curls.
During my years in the salon, I was typically working with time-poor clients. Mags was no exception. Firstly, she didn’t have time to fuss with her hair. Secondly, she wanted a simple solution to incorporate into her lifestyle and easily manage her curls. For Mags, her hair goal was keeping her curly hair looking good in-between washes with a simple routine.
I’ve worked with a lot of curly hair during my career and, I’ve found that taking a simple approach gets the best results.
First up, Mags needed a great haircut. Secondly, we agreed on a plan to get more moisture into her hair. So, Mags would add a second wash to her hair each week. But, this was a challenge for Mags. She felt she didn’t have the time.
I have a theory. When it comes to achieving things in life, routine is king. That means, whether it’s exercise or diet or work, I think good things come out of a consistent approach. So, Mags and I talked about her weekly routine and, we spent some time working out when and how she could fit in a weekly hair conditioning treatment.
Mags usually washed her hair at the weekend and, we agreed that she would continue with this routine. Because she worked from home one day a week, we decided that this was the perfect opportunity to wash her hair, followed by Restore and Shine Hair Masque. For Mags, a woman expert in the art of multi-tasking, this meant she could get on with her job whilst taking care of her hair.
Mags kicked off her journey back to bouncy curls by giving her hair a moisture boost. For the first two weeks, she gave her hair two deep conditioning treatments with Restore and Shine Hair Masque. After that, she used Restore and Shine Hair Masque once a week every week.
Restore and Shine Hair Masque did two things for Mags’s hair. It delivered moisture right to the core of her hair and smoothed the cuticle to enable her hair to retain moisture. By doing this, she restored hair elasticity over 3 to 4 weeks and, her curls started to bounce back.
Now, she’s been using deep conditioner, Restore and Shine Hair Masque every week for over two years. There’s no way she would miss a weekly deep conditioning hair mask. Her hair is in better condition than it has ever been.
This approach did more for Mags than bring back her curls.
It made her feel good about her hair. It put her back in control in a way that she could easily incorporate into her busy life. Now, she loves her curls more than ever.
Plus, she loved the experience of sitting in her home office with her hair mask on, smelling the essential oils of Restore and Shine Hair Masque. She found the fragrance uplifting and began to look forward to her weekly hair treatment. She thought it would be a chore, but it turned out to be a treat.
That was a simple solution and, by making this a part of her routine, Mags was able to get her bounce back and keep those curls looking fresh.
Real Hair Story 2 |Elasticity and Bleached Hair
Lizzie, Bleached Hair, Teacher loves fashion and dancing.
She says, ‘My hair is dry, and it’s starting to break.’
When Lizzie first came to my salon, she had been bleaching her hair for most of her twenties. Now, as she approached her thirties, her hair had become dry and brittle and was starting to break. Her bleached hair had lost its elasticity.
Lizzie was afraid. She was afraid of losing her hair. The ends of her hair were thin, broken and stretchy. But Lizzie loved her hair colour and didn’t want to stop bleaching it. Her hair colour was a statement. It was who she was, part of her personality.
Lizzie wanted to maintain her statement bleached hair and, at the same time, regain the elasticity of her hair after years of bleaching. For Lizzie, this meant putting a stop to her hair breakage, preventing future damage and, as she put it, ‘I want my hair back, but I don’t want to compromise on the colour’.
Working in a hair salon, you spend a lot of time with people. I’m sure you’ll agree that the connection you have with your hairdresser is vital to getting the right style and advice for you. Getting your hair done is an intimate experience and trust matters.
Trust was important for Lizzie. She needed to know that she was in control of the process of getting her hair back into good condition. Her hair was more than hair. It was at the core of who she was and is. Lizzie and I spent a lot of time discussing her options.
One of the things I loved about having my own salon was that I could take the time to understand the client. That meant that together we could come up with solutions tailored to their hair and their lifestyle.
Lizzie and I talked for a long time, and we agreed on an approach. The ends of Lizzie’s hair were jagged and uneven. So, we decided to cut her mid-length hair to a shorter bob. That got rid of the worst of the breakage caused by the bleach.
Lizzie had been bleaching her own hair. She had been overlapping the bleach on hair that had already been bleached. For this reason, we agreed that we wouldn’t colour her hair on the first visit to the salon. At this point, her hair was too damaged and, we needed to get her elasticity back after years of over-bleaching.
Happy with her new sharp bob, Restore and Shine Hair Masque in hand and committed to treating her hair Lizzie left. She came back to my salon eight weeks later so that we could assess her hair to see if it was ready to be bleached again.
I love it when people commit to making a change in their life and follow it through. It was hard for Lizzie to stop bleaching her hair. I’m sure she hated having those dark roots during that period, but Lizzie is a determined woman. Lizzie knew that giving her hair some time off was the right thing to do. She took some time to restore the elasticity to her hair.
Like Mags, Lizzie kicked off her journey back to healthy hair by giving her hair a moisture boost. For the first two weeks, she gave her hair two treatments with Restore and Shine Hair Masque. After that, she used Restore and Shine Hair Masque once a week every week for the remaining six weeks.
When Lizzie came back to my salon, we were both amazed by the results.
The combination of giving her hair a break from the bleach and regular deep conditioning treatments had proved effective.
We were ready to bleach her dark roots. That was the other change. Up to this point, Lizzie used to bleach the whole of her hair. But, this was drying her hair and reducing its elasticity.
By concentrating on the roots, we were treating hair that hadn’t previously been bleached. That was important in reducing the damage to Lizzie’s hair.
When bleach is applied to hair, for the colour to take, it opens the cuticle. That is drying for hair. Repeat the process on the same section of hair, and it can get to the point where the hair has little moisture or elasticity. That can result in breakage and excessive stretch, particularly at the ends.
Because she committed to a weekly treatment with Restore and Shine Hair Masque, she put back the moisture she was taking out with the bleach.
That meant she was able to maintain the moisture in her hair. In turn, this meant she increased the elasticity of her hair and stopped further breakage and stretch.
Furthermore, Lizzie committed to her shorter bob. Getting her hair trimmed regularly and keeping a sharp line in the ends made her statement hair even more powerful. With the elasticity restored and no more straggly, stretchy ends, Lizzie and her hair were in a great place.
Real Hair Story 3 | Elasticity and Dry Hair
Ellen, Dry Hair, Solicitor, two teenage children, swims three times a week and attends hot yoga classes.
She says, ‘My hair is dry and has lost its shine.’
Ellen enjoyed the freedom that came with having older children who were spending more time with their friends. She had recently taken up swimming and loved going to hot yoga classes a couple of times a week. It was the first time in years that she had this time to herself, but her hair was increasingly dry.
Ellen had thick hair, and for most of her life, she had been able to enjoy her hair without having to do too much to it. With her new routine of swimming and yoga, she was feeling energised.
However, her hair was becoming more difficult to style. When hair becomes difficult to style, it’s a classic sign that hair has lost elasticity. Ellen was frustrated with how dull it looked. Another sign that she needed to restore balance and elasticity to her hair. She knew that chlorinated water was drying out her hair, but she was unsure what she could do about it.
Firstly, Ellen was entering a new phase of her life. She was determined to keep her body fit, and she wanted to look and feel her best. Similarly, her hair had always been her crowning glory, so her goal was to get it back in shape, looking healthy and shiny. Secondly, she wanted her hair to be as easy to maintain and style as it always had been.
In my experience, thicker hair types tend to be drier. But there is an exception to every rule, and Ellen’s hair was not particularly dry.
However, the things that were making her hair dry were mainly external; chlorinated water plus the temperatures in her hot yoga class. As a result of doing more exercise, she washed her hair more frequently, and Ellen admitted that there were times when she would skip the conditioner.
We needed to find ways that Ellen could add moisture to her hair without too much fuss. Getting the right level of moisture into her hair was vital. That would improve the hair elasticity and get Ellen back to a point where it would be easy to style and manage her hair.
We agreed on a plan. Ellen was usually at home on Saturday mornings. Every Saturday, she would give her hair an intensive treatment with Restore and Shine Hair Masque. Because of the thickness of her hair, she would leave it on for a couple of hours before rinsing. That gave her hair a weekly injection of moisture.
If she felt she needed an extra boost, she would use the hair masque whilst swimming. She would wet her hair before a swim, towel out the excess water and apply the hair masque. She put on her swimming cap and let the intensive conditioning treatment work its magic whilst she swam.
The elasticity of Ellen’s hair had improved the next time I saw her. She loved how her hair was looking and feeling. The texture of her hair had started to feel a little bit rough. Now, it had that slippery feel again. She was finding her hair easy to style and noticed that her hair was holding its shape. Her hair was shiny.
Ellen’s hair responded to the additional moisture. She’d noticed a difference in her hair after the first treatment with Restore and Shine Hair Masque. Over the next few weeks, she was aware that her hair condition was improving.
Ellen was someone who had embraced the routine of exercise. She was building strength in her body and boosting her mood. Because of this, Ellen understood the need for a haircare routine. She committed to the weekly treatment with Restore and Shine Hair Masque and, it paid off. It left Ellen’s hair looking and feeling healthy and shiny.
Hair Elasticity | Take Aways
I’ve talked about why hair elasticity is a vital part of hair health and why getting the right balance of elasticity is essential to get your hair looking and feeling healthy and shiny.
Improving hair elasticity is the key to tackling dry, brittle hair to achieve hair shine and health. Take action and follow the steps below to create your own routine for balanced, healthy hair.
Hair Elasticity | Shop the Blog
Restore and Shine Hair Masque
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Styling Mist for Volume
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Styling Mist for Glossy Finish
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Over the years, I’ve helped many customers with dry hair concerns. I write about all aspects of healthy hair, from understanding how to stop frizzy hair to sharing tips on how to get rid of split ends. Plus I share salon tips and techniques for looking after all hair types.
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Ogario London is a salon developed range of natural hair care products. Because we are passionate about our products, delivering the best results is at the heart of what we do. Do you have questions about our products? Or, would you like advice on the best products for your hair type? Maybe have another question about how to look after your hair? If you do, please get in touch at email@example.com.
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Beauty Bible Recommends Ogario London Hair Masque Hair Treatment
Restore and Shine Hair Masque was awarded best hair mask in the Ultimate Natural Beauty Bible Awards. As an independent hair care brand, we are incredibly proud to be recognised alongside some of the industry’s biggest haircare brands. Because I spend time ensuring that our products deliver the best results, I couldn’t be happier to get this review and win this prestigious award.