Do you want to improve your hair elasticity?
I’ve been working in hairdressing for over 35 years. In my experience, hair elasticity is something that hairdressers talk about. However, a busy salon environment is not always the best place to really 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 becomes brittle and starts to break. For those of us with curly hair, our hair is naturally dry and can be prone to loss of elasticity. Sometimes dry hair is caused by environmental factors. For some, hair elasticity after bleaching can be a problem.
Has your hairdresser told you that your hair has low elasticity? What does this mean, and what is the definition of Hair Elasticity?
What’s the Meaning or Definition of Hair Elasticity?
When we talk about hair elasticity, what we are really talking about is 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. So, when your hair has plenty of moisture, it looks and feels better. Furthermore, it’s easier to style, plus it holds the shape better.
How to Test your Hair Elasticity NOW
So, here’s a quick test for you. If your hair is wet whilst you are reading this, try this test to check your own hair elasticity.
- Take a strand of hair, hold it at the mid-length or roots (this will prevent pulling at the roots) and gently stretch the strand.
- If hair doesn’t fall back into shape or if it breaks hair elasticity is low.
Chances are your hair isn’t wet right now. However, you can do this the next time you wash your hair.
If you find that your hair has low elasticity, what does that mean and what can you do about it?
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 the factors I’ve mentioned above.
If you are wondering how you can apply that to your hair, I’m going to 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 protect their privacy.
Table of Contents
- Real Hair Story 1 Elasticity for Curly Hair
- Real Hair Story 2 Elasticity for Bleached Hair
- Real Hair Story 3 Elasticity for Dry Hair
- What about your Hair Elasticity?
- How to do The Stretch Test
- So What’s Next? Take Action
- About the Author
- Shop for Hair Elasticity
Real Hair Stories
Real Hair Story 1
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 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 Mag’s body and 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 so she could 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. This was something she felt she didn’t have the time for.
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 weekly hair treatments.
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 for her 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 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’ 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, her hair regained elasticity over 3 to 4 weeks and, her curls started to bounce back.
Now, she’s been using Restore and Shine Hair Masque every week for over 2 years. Now, there’s no way she would miss a weekly treatment. Her hair is in better condition than it has ever been.
But 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.
This was a simple solution and, by making this a part of her regular routine Mags was able to get her bounce back, and keep those curls looking fresh.
Real Hair Story 2
Lizzie, Bleached Hair, Teacher loves fashion, red lipstick 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 and broken, 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, it was part of her personality, and she felt happy about that.
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 halt 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, as I have done for many years, 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 time to understand the client. This 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. This 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 previously been treated. For this reason, we agreed that we wouldn’t colour her hair on the first visit to the salon. At this point, the 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 went off. She came back to my salon eight weeks later so that we could assess if her hair 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 with 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. This 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. This 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. This is drying for hair, and when this process is repeated on the same section of hair, it can get to the point where the hair has little moisture and elasticity. This can result in breakage, particularly at the ends.
Because she committed to a weekly treatment with Restore and Shine Hair Masque, she was able to put back what she was taking out with the bleach. This 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.
Furthermore, Lizzie committed to her shorter bob which, it turned out, she loved. 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 ends, Lizzie and her hair were in a great place.
Real Hair Story 3
Ellen, Dry Hair, Solicitor, two teenage children, she swims three times a week and attends hot yoga classes.
She says, ‘My hair is dry and has lost its shine.’
Ellen was enjoying the freedom that came with having older children who were spending more time with their friends. She had recently taken up swimming and was enjoying 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 she was noticing that her hair was becoming increasingly dry.
Ellen was blessed with 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 and whilst she was frustrated with how dull it looked. She knew that chlorinated water was drying out her hair, but she was unsure of what she could do about it.
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. Plus, 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.
The things that were making her hair dry were mainly environmental; chlorinated water and the temperatures in her hot yoga class. As a result of doing more exercise, she was washing her hair more frequently, and Ellen admitted that there were times when she would skip 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 the key. This would improve the hair elasticity and would get Ellen back to a point where it would be easy for her 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. This 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 simply wet her hair before a swim, towel out the excess water and apply the hair masque. She would then 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 of her hair condition improving.
Ellen was someone who had embraced the routine of exercise as a way of getting her body fit, and as a way of boosting her mood. Because of this, she understood the need for 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.
What about your Hair Elasticity?
Hopefully, the hair stories that I’ve shared with you have given you some insights into what hair elasticity is; why it’s something you should think about for your own hair and what you can do about it. You may even recognise some of the signs of low hair elasticity in your own hair.
I thought it might be useful to summarise some key points about hair elasticity below.
Hair that has low elasticity has lost moisture and can be prone to breakage. Moisture is as vital to the hair as it is to the skin.
- The hair is made up of layers and, for the hair to stay healthy, it needs moisture at the core of the hair.
- The outer layer of the hair is called the cuticle, and this layer is made up of tiny scales that are there to protect the core and help it to retain moisture.
- Lots of factors have an impact on the outer layer of the hair; Sun, wind, central heating, styling chemical treatments etc. all conspire to make the cuticle dry.
- As a result of the cuticle becoming dry, the scales lift and the core of the hair loses moisture. In other words, this reduces the elasticity of the hair.
How to do The Stretch Test
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 securely at the root area so that you can avoid pulling at the roots. 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, then your hair has low elasticity.
NB Hair is most vulnerable when wet, so be gentle with the hair at all times!
So What’s Next? Take Action
Once you’ve established the elasticity of your hair, there are two possible outcomes.
If your hair has good elasticity, think about maintenance. Remember, the right routine is king. So that means regular conditioning and the weekly deep conditioning treatment. Similarly, avoid styling products with alcohol-denat as it can be drying for the hair and keep up the excellent work!
If you find your hair has low elasticity, please don’t despair! Above all, the hair stories I’ve shared with you, are a testament that with the right routine for your hair, you can restore elasticity. As a result of my years of experience, I never promise quick fixes, but I know that with regular attention, you can get your hair in shape and keep it that way.
My top tips for improving hair elasticity
- Regular conditioning. Always condition your hair after shampoo. Think of looking after your hair in the same way as your face. After cleansing, moisturise the hair with conditioner.
- If you think your hair elasticity is low and starting to break, use the Restore and Shine Hair Masque twice a week for at least 2 weeks. This will help to rehydrate your hair and give it a much-needed-moisture-boost.
- After 2 weeks of intensive treatment, the hair should be starting to improve. Now, you can kick off a regular routine of giving your hair the mask treatment once a week.
- Take some time out from heated styling tools. This 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!
- 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.
- Look out for shampoos, conditioners and 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 Styling Products.
Healthy Hair Matters
I’ve been working with hair for many years and, I believe everyone can achieve healthy, shiny hair. Above all, it takes time and patience.
If you have concerns about the health of your hair. Or, if you find your hair has become dry and brittle. Or if your hair has lost its shine, I’ve recommended some additional reading below.
Whether your hair is fine, coarse, colour-treated, grey or curly, all hair can become dry. Plus, I talk tips for adding moisture to all hair types. After that, I get more in-depth on the causes of dry hair and answer some common questions.
I share the benefits of Avocado for hair and share some salon know how on getting the best from your deep conditioner.
Want to know about the causes of damaged hair? How can you tell if the hair is damaged? Firstly find out what steps you can take to repair damaged hair. Secondly, I answer the most common questions about damaged hair.
About the Author
Norris Ogario is founder and Creative Director of Ogario London. Developed in his London salon, the Ogario London haircare products reflect his belief that hydration is the key to fixing most hair problems. Hydrated hair can be styled with ease. Plus, hydration leaves hair shiny and healthy. Norris has over 35 years of hair know-how. With expertise in all hair types; from dry hair to fine or grey hair, from frizzy to damaged or bleached hair, curly hair and afro hair, Norris offers his expert advice.
Shop for Hair Elasticity
I take a holistic approach to healthy, shiny hair. I believe in eating foods that provide nutrients for the hair and scalp, whilst at the same time using good quality hair products that get moisture right to the core of the hair. Because, when it comes to hair products, I believe that, in addition to regular cleansing and moisturising, weekly treatments with Restore and Shine Hair Masque is absolutely essential to improving the moisture and elasticity of hair.