Your hair elasticity has a direct impact on how long your styles last, how easy it is to manage your hair, and even how your hair looks.
Knowing how to improve hair elasticity will help you get the best out of caring for your hair.
But wait. How do you even know if your hair elasticity needs to be improved?
This post will provide a simple test to help you determine your hair elasticity first.
It will then provide nine hacks to help you improve your hair elasticity.
But first things first, let us see what hair elasticity even means.
- Hair Elasticity: An Important Hair Property
- Hair Elasticity Types
- Why is Hair Elasticity Important?
- Hair Elasticity Test
- How to Improve Hair Elasticity
- In Short
Hair Elasticity: An Important Hair Property
When you hear elasticity, what comes to mind?
Perhaps the idea of stretching a rubber band and then releasing it. The rubber band goes back to its original state because it is elastic.
It is the same thing with your hair.
Hair elasticity is the ability of your hair to return to its original state after you pull or stretch it — and not break instead.
It is a term that refers to how flexible or stretchy your hair is.
It is that simple but very important.
Your hair elasticity is an indicator of its protein and moisture balance.
The elasticity of your hair is what makes it possible for you to style, comb, or part your hair easily.
In its absence, you would not be able to do all that. Instead, you’ll find that each time you pull your hair, it cuts; like fragile wool.
So, everybody’s hair is elastic. As long as it is hair, it has a measure of elasticity.
However, some hair types are more elastic than others.
You must know where your hair stands in terms of elasticity.
It is one of the six important hair properties that will help you understand the best way to care for your hair.
Knowing your hair elasticity type will also help you know if you need to and how to improve your hair elasticity.
So let’s see.
Your hair elasticity is in either of these three groups:
Hair Elasticity Types
Low Hair Elasticity
Hair with low elasticity is not flexible or very stretchy. Any little attempt to style or comb it makes it break.
Low hair elasticity is an indicator of very high protein content and very little moisture content.
It often results from chemical treatments, frequent use of heat styling tools, and hair dryness.
Medium Hair Elasticity
Hair with medium elasticity can stretch to a reasonable extent without breaking.
Although it can be improved, this type of hair elasticity is fair enough.
Most people have medium hair elasticity.
This type of hair is easy to style because one can part and weave it without much resistance.
High Hair Elasticity
Hair with high elasticity can resist a lot of styling and manipulation without breaking.
The strands have a perfect balance of moisture and protein.
When stretched, the length almost doubles the original length (like in the picture above) and then bounce back to their original length immediately after release.
Why is Hair Elasticity Important?
There are several reasons why your hair should have good elasticity.
For one thing, good elasticity makes hair styling easier and nicer.
As opposed to hair that snaps each time you try to part and style, hair with good elasticity cooperates with styling and weaving.
A good level of elasticity also helps your hair to resist pressure from styling and combing without falling off easily.
Elasticity affects your hair’s look too. With good elasticity, your hair looks shiny, bouncy, and smooth.
That is one way to tell your hair elasticity type.
If it has shine, bounce, and smoothness, then it likely has high elasticity.
To be sure, you should carry out the simple hair elasticity test described below.
Hair Elasticity Test
To test your hair for elasticity, follow these easy steps:
- Wash your hair clean
- While still wet (but not dripping with water), pull a few strands
- Release the hair strands
- Observe its behavior
If it doesn’t stretch easily, breaks from the pulling, or the hair do not bounce back when you release it, it has Low Elasticity.
If the hair stretches and then bounces back at an average speed after you release it, it has Medium (good) Elasticity.
If the hair length when you pull is about two times the length before you pull, it has High Elasticity. A hair with good high elasticity will also bounce back immediately after release.
There you have it; knowing your hair elasticity type is that easy.
If this test reveals that you have low hair elasticity, then the next thing on your mind would be how to improve hair elasticity. That is what you are about to find out now.
If you have medium elasticity, the following tips will help you improve your hair elasticity.
Hair elasticity is something that can change over time. So even if you have high elasticity at the moment, you still need these tips to maintain your hair elasticity.
Let’s now see the nine ways to improve your hair elasticity.
How to Improve Hair Elasticity
First, you have to keep in mind that moisture is key.
When the hair is dry, it loses elasticity and it’s easier for it to break.
Here are nine specific moisture tips to improve your hair elasticity:
1. Reduce Heat Styling
Heat styling means using heat tools like flat irons, hairdryers, and hair straighteners to style your hair.
Although there may be some reasons to use them, if you want to keep your hair elasticity at a good level, you have to reduce how often you use heat tools.
This is because heat tools strip the hair of moisture and can cause heat damage. Both factors are cheerleaders for bad hair elasticity.
If you presently have low hair elasticity, you should completely stay away from heat tools in the meantime.
If you inevitably have to use them a few times, follow these tips to protect your hair elasticity:
- Apply a heat protectant to your hair before using heat tools
- Towel-dry your hair properly before using a hairdryer
- Set heat tools to medium heat during use.
2. Use Conditioners
If you want your hair elasticity to improve, you cannot ignore hair conditioners.
Conditioners add moisture to the hair, and your hair needs moisture to be elastic. To restore or maintain hair elasticity, harness the power of conditioners.
Always use a conditioner after each shampoo wash. That will replace the moisture that the shampoo has taken away. Here are other things you should do:
- Use leave-in conditioners when you style your hair
- If possible, deep condition your hair weekly.
3. Comb Your Hair the Right Way
Are you wondering, “Is there a right or wrong way to comb hair?”
Yes, there is.
And combing your hair the wrong way can worsen its elasticity. This is because, with much friction, your hair becomes liable to breakage.
What exactly is the right way to comb hair? Do the following:
- Always use a wide-toothed comb for your hair
- Comb your hair gently, starting from the tip
- Do not dip a fine-toothed comb in your hair and try to comb out by force.
4. Use Olive Oil
Olive oil contains fatty acids that can go deep into the hair shaft. There, they improve the hair’s strength in terms of protein and moisture.
When a proper balance of protein and moisture is achieved, your hair gets a proper level of elasticity.
Therefore, improving hair elasticity is one of the many benefits of olive oil for hair.
Here are ways you can use olive oil to improve hair elasticity:
- Apply to your hair before shampooing
- Add one or two teaspoons to your conditioner before using it on your hair
5. Eat Right
What you eat has an impact on your hair’s general health and specifically, its elasticity.
The right meals for your hair are rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamins.
To improve your hair elasticity, include the following foods in your regular diet:
- Egg and poultry
- Salmon fish, walnut, and avocado
- Sweet potato and spinach
6. Do Protein Treatments
Hair is made up of keratin, a type of protein. Hence, protein treatments help to strengthen the hair shaft.
With consistent protein treatments, your hair will be able to stretch without breaking; exactly what hair elasticity is all about. So, to improve your hair elasticity, make protein treatments a routine.
You can learn how to do a protein treatment for your hair in this post. Here are a few points to keep in mind:
- Home protein treatments should be done monthly
- Use products specially formulated for protein damage twice a month if your hair elasticity is very low.
7. Steam your Hair
Hair steaming is the process of letting moist heat into your hair. One of the many benefits of this hair process is improved elasticity.
As mentioned earlier, moisture is essential for good hair elasticity.
By letting moisture deep into your hair, hair steaming leaves your hair hydrated, giving it better chances of resisting stretch and manipulation.
How do you steam your hair?
- Check out these details on hair steaming and get right to it.
8. Water Your Hair Regularly
No product, natural or artificial, hydrates your hair as well as water itself. So at every chance you get, apply water to your hair.
Such regular use will make your hair strands hydrated and ultimately improve their elasticity.
As much as you apply water to your hair on the outside, you should also water it from the inside. This involves you drinking enough water. About six to eight glasses of water per day are needed if you want to improve your hair elasticity.
The following practices can help you make watering your hair a habit:
- Get a small spray bottle. Use it to spray water on your hair occasionally
- Whenever your hair is unstyled, apply water to your hair during each bath
Note that applying water to your hair daily is different from washing your hair daily. While you should not wash your hair with shampoo too often to protect its natural oils, applying water to your hair daily is a good hair habit.
9. Nourish Your Hair
Good hair elasticity is a sign of healthy hair. To stay healthy, your hair needs the right ingredients.
So, for improved hair elasticity, you should apply nourishing ingredients to your hair. Some of these include coconut oil, Shea butter, and honey.
This post contains more of these ingredients and their specific benefits for hair.
Having good hair elasticity is important if you want to enjoy your hair journey.
Providing your hair with enough moisture is the key to improving and maintaining your hair elasticity.
Practice the tips above, and you can be sure to see your hair elasticity improve!