Sunday, July 13, 2014

Moisturizing Low Porosity Hair

Updated May 2016

Low porosity hair is not necessarily difficult hair or problem hair. It is hair that is easily kept in a healthy condition, strong and elastic. It doesn't need a lot of help to keep its integrity, it needs gentle handling and a little personalized care. So why do people describe having a hard time moisturizing low porosity hair, then? What are we missing? Why isn't conditioner the quick path to moisturized hair? Why does oil and conditioner seem to sit on top of your low porosity hair, but soak in for everybody else? NOTE: Healthy, low porosity hair may or may not have the cosmetic attributes you find desirable - that's different. That's perception and expectation. You may find your low-porosity hair frustrating because you want it to feel or behave differently whereas somebody else might prefer to have hair like yours.

If your lower porosity hair feels dry, wiry, tangly or brittle it not necessarily lacking oil or conditioner - it's lacking hydration and flexibility. Hydrating lower porosity hair takes a different mindset - and a special bag of tricks. If your hair is medium to coarse, it may also need help with softness and flexibility, something you get from conditioners and some oils. Look for conditioners thickened with cetyl alcohol to lend softness to your hair.

Don't confuse silky or slippery hair with low porosity hair. That's not necessarily low porosity although it's more likely to be low porosity. Low porosity hair is usually more porous on the ends. Maybe a little more, maybe a lot. Most people's hair is not the same at the roots as it is at the ends. Sometimes it isn't, but usually it is. Don't neglect your ends! Lower porosity hair often needs "porous hair care" on the ends, but a lot less of everything emollient-y than your all-porous-haired counterparts who can use handfuls of conditioner and oil with reckless abandon. If your hair takes a long time to get wet - it's not necessarily low porosity. If your hair is very thick or very curly, it takes longer to get wet.

The cognitive process begins with the word "moisturize."

Moisturize: A catch-all term. Moisture is water. Not conditioner, not oil. You don't drink oil when you're thirsty.

Hydrate: Provide and maintain adequate water. Ah, now this is what your lower porosity hair needs! Hair contains water. Well-hydrated hair is more elastic, more flexible, and less frizzy or fluffy than dehydrated hair. Hydration is all about water in and around your hair. Here's a post with more information about how much water your hair holds within the fiber.

Low porosity hair is what we all have coming out of our scalps. But for some people, it tends to stay low porosity as it grows and only rough handling combined with exposure to hair-lightening bleach (peroxide+high pH) or swimming pools or salt water and lots of sun over years can make it porous. For some, hair becomes porous by the time it reaches your chin or shoulders. But whether or not it behaves as though it is porous is a different story.

Low porosity hair and/or silky hair may run in families. And so does hair behavior that may help keep your hair from becoming porous - good hair care, an outdoorsy lifestyle, you get the picture. Any texture hair can tend to be lower porosity and any hair width, fine (narrow), medium or coarse (wide) can be low porosity.

Low porosity hair has cuticle scales that lie tightly against the surface of the hair. Low porosity hair is hydrophobic - it repels water from it's surface. It does not readily allow water in (when immersed in water), nor does it readily lose the water that is contained within the hair - it does not dehydrate quickly from its internal material. That doesn't mean it won't get frizzy or limp in humidity or feel dry and tangly. It also doesn't mean it feels soft and flexible - hydrophobic simply means that lower-porosity hair does not exchange water with the environment quickly. Low porosity hair can dry out in sun and wind and with lots of swimming or high-heat styling or bleaching (highlights). Low porosity hair may be more resistant to hair dye and other chemicals as well, but only if you handle it gently and don't expose it to multiple insults; for example permanent hair color + high heat styling. Or lots of summer sun + swimming in chlorinated pools or salt water. Wear that swim cap.

Lower porosity hair does not have many chipped and broken cuticles sticking up, ready to be broken off with abrasion, thus it tends to remain lower porosity.  That also means there are fewer binding sites for cationic conditioning ingredients, which is one reason it is difficult to use standard hair conditioners and get a good result.
Red "+" signs indicate (roughly) potential binding sites
for cationic hair conditioners in this low porosity, coily hair.

Red "+" signs indicate potential binding sites for conditioner
in this porous, coily hair. There are many more resulting
from chipped and broken cuticles.
Some people recommend using chemicals (baking soda solution, soap bars) to make hair low porosity hair more porous so it can take up more conditioner. This is something you need to do with caution - try the treatment on at least a 1-inch section of hair and assess the results before using it on all your hair. From hair that I have tested and blog readers comments, baking soda mixed with yogurt is less aggressive a treatment than baking soda and water and baking soda mixed with conditioner also seems to be less aggressive than baking soda and water. Baking soda mixed into shampoo seems to be more aggressive than baking soda and conditioner.

The potential problem with using baking soda and soap bars and acid to try to moisturize hair:
You'll read online that alkaline solutions make cuticles open and acidic solutions make cuticles lie flat or "close up" too. That is semi-accurate - alkaline solutions force hair to swell. As it swells, the cuticles pop up and there is an exchange of solutes inside the hair and alkaline solution that you applied. Everybody's hair is just a little different - not just the fiber itself, but what we've done to it, where we live (water chemistry, sunlight's UV and heat, temperature) and what we've put on it. Is it really possible that everybody's hair will display the exact same behavior in acidic and alkaline solutions? Of course not. Some hair reacts violently to baking soda and some hair reacts (swells) very little. Some hair is in between. If your hair is low-porosity, it's probably not extremely reactive - though if your hair is long or the ends tend to be truly dry, they may be more porous than the rest and more reactive. Please, please, please do a test strand first! 

If you like the result of a baking soda mixture on your test strand - but it seems too strong, cut the baking soda quantity in half or fourth and try again. Please note - baking soda takes a long time to dissolve in room-temperature liquids. If your mixture is gritty, the exposure of your hair to baking soda will be too patchy - more concentrated in some areas than others. Baking soda will dissolve faster in a heated liquid with plenty of stirring. See more at the end about how baking soda changes your hair.

In my experience with hair analyses, it is unpredictable whose hair will swell and thus become more porous in acids and bases (alkaline solutions). Some people's hair is very sensitive to vinegar solution, but not citric acid or vice versa. Some people's hair does not swell in baking soda solution, but does in the lather of a strongly alkaline soap bar. If your lower porosity hair is acid and alkaline-sensitive and you use an alkaline soap bar followed by a vinegar rinse because the soap is supposed to "open" the cuticles and the vinegar is supposed to "close" them, you have just permanently damaged your hair without meaning to. Maybe a little, maybe a lot. Only time will tell. Your hair is unique. Only your hair "knows" whether it will respond badly to being subjected to acidic and alkaline solutions. Do what works for you and observe how your hair responds. If you use a treatment that works well for somebody else and get a undesirable result, don't think there's something wrong with your hair - there's something wrong with how that treatment interacted with your hair.

Lower porosity hair needs different terminology 
When we say want to moisturize our lower porosity hair - we're really trying to say something more complicated - but also very simple.

We want it to feel soft. We want it to be flexible. We want it to not tangle excessively. We want our coils, curls and waves to be as well-defined as they can be (or as you like). We want our straight hair to be smooth and reflective, not flyaway. Whereas our porous-haired counterparts can get those benefits with creamy deep conditioners or oils, we just get a limp or greasy or tacky-feeling and unsatisfactory result.

What do we want?!
Lasting hydration
Lubrication (slip) and detangling
Weight but not "heavy" and please, oh please no greasyness and no coated-feeling build-up!!! 
Definition (discernible wave and curl pattern, tolerable frizz and flyaway index)

Dose - it's all about dose and application
It's easy to say, "I can't use oils or that conditioner or x, y and z." But sometimes our problem isn't the ingredient, it's the dose. Low porosity hair still needs oils and conditioners, we need them in smaller doses. Or we need those things diluted with water. Or we need to use them before washing our hair instead of after. If you're using a thick, rich conditioner for it's lubrication but it feels too heavy or greasy, look for a lighter-weight conditioner that is more fluid but still has good lubrication.

Low Porosity Hair Hydration How-to (one or more of these may work for you)

1) Work at the surface of the hair with these tips: You can do a lot of hair-hydrating to soften, add flexibility and lubrication with products that never need do anything but stay on and around your hair shafts, helping prevent water loss and providing superficial effects.
  • Leaving in conditioner: For low porosity hair, leave-in conditioners are used to add lubrication, weight and flexibility and provide softness. We are not expecting a leave-in to "soak in" with low porosity hair. We're using it for a superficial effect, as a styling product. If you find that leave-in conditioners seem to sit atop your hair, try this trick:
  • The trick for low porosity hair: Use leave-in conditioners on dripping wet hair, or apply them and then quickly move your head under and then back out of the shower spray (or pour some water over your hair) for good coverage and dilution. Conditioner for leaving in can be used alone or mixed into a gel like homemade flaxseed gel to combine effects, improve distribution and get it all done in one step. You may not need much leave-in or left-in conditioner and diluting & distributing it with the shower spray or mixed into a styling product can be a necessary step because you're using it for a superficial effect. Your leave-in helps style your hair, plain and simple. You can also mix a little conditioner with distilled water in a spray bottle to apply a leave-in. Not everybody needs a leave-in conditioner. If your hair needs help with flexibility and softness and lubrication, or if your hair is coarse, you're more likely to need some.
  • Film-forming humectants: Here is a link to a post about these ingredients. Film-forming humectants really are the bee's knees for low porosity hair. Flaxseed gel (linseed) or okra gel (homemade), aloe vera gel, pectin, hydroxyethylcellulose, marshmallow root, slippery elm, panthenol, xanthan gum, Hydroxypropyltrimonium honey, glycine betaine (beet extract, sugar cane extract), seaweed extract or Irish moss extract; all these ingredients form clear, flexible films over your hair that trap water near your hair to keep it hydrated or moisturized - but without being heavy, creamy or oily. Protein also falls into this category, more on that below. These ingredients can keep hair hydrated extremely well and also have great styling benefits. Hydrated hair is flexible, well-defined and softer. Look in the "Product List by Ingredient Category" page to see how these ingredients translate into hair products. The list is near the end of the page. Get your film-forming humectants in rinse-out and leave-on products. The Best Leave On Products For Low Porosity Hair contain a balance of film forming humectants, light conditioning ingredients and oils.
    • Aloe vera: What is the deal with aloe and low porosity hair? Does it cause build-up or not. My observation has been that if your hair tends to accumulate build-up in general, it is likely to get some "aloe build-up" which might be a dry, rough feeling. If that's you, you might avoid aloe entirely if you want to keep things simple. But aloe vera might still work nicely without unpleasant side effects in a conditioner or included in a cleanser that you use only occasionally.
  • Protein: Hydrolyzed protein for lower porosity hair acts as a hydrating (or moisturizing) agent. Protein slows water loss from hair. Larger proteins form hair-hugging, water-grabbing films over hairs that trap moisture near your hair. Smaller proteins can do this and also settle in under and around the cuticles and keep the water in your hair longer. This is different than oils which just trap water. Proteins grab water from your wet hair and hold on to it so when your hair dries, it stays better hydrated. Moisturized! Fine and medium hair are more tolerant of both large and small protein than coarse hair. Coarse hair that can tolerate protein may do better with smaller proteins like amino acids or hydrolyzed silk, keratin, collagen. Low porosity hair tends to have less of a "WOW!" result from protein overall, but as long as your hair isn't coarse, you might still get some really nice hydration and bounce from protein.
  • Fine and medium hair can usually tolerate more frequent protein than very coarse hair. Because protein adds some extra support to hair, it can make coarser hair feel rough and dry and abrasive if used too often. This is a link to a post with more about protein.
  • Oil choices and oils in products vs. choosing well-balanced products: Oils for leaving on low porosity hair? Sure! But your hair is probably picky about which oils you use. It will probably vary depending on whether your hairs are narrower or wider and whether your hair is thick (dense) or not.
    • Product base matters with oils and low porosity hair! A product with a film-forming humectant base - a flax seed (gel) base, an aloe vera gel base, Irish moss (aka seaweed extract) base that also includes some oils (but not in the first 3 or 4 ingredients) might be okay for adding oils to or layering with oils...but - see the next bullet point below... 
    • Emulsifiers are critical for using oils in low-porosity hair. Conditioning ingredients like Cetrimonium chloride and emulsifiers like Polysorbate (20, 60 or 80) or Ceteareth-20, or conditioning emulsifiers like Behentrimonium methosulfate and cetyl alcohol are all emulsifiers. They allow oils to be mixed with water and not separate out. Like the difference between oil-and-vinegar salad dressing and creamy salad dressing. Oils may behave very differently in your hair when they are properly emulsified in a conditioner. 
    • If you have a film-forming humectant base with conditioning ingredients and a little oil - you have a well-balanced product like this can be wonderful for keeping low porosity hair hydrated, lubricated and soft.
  • Conditioner chemistry: Try a conditioner that does not contain cationic conditioning ingredients, or contains cationic conditioning ingredients that are shorter in carbon chain and less likely to build up or feel slimy. Examples are:
  • Aubrey Organics (no cationics in Aubrey Conditioners - other Aubrey formulas are fine, but sometimes herbal extracts feel like build-up)
    • Honeysuckle Rose Conditioner
    • GPB Balancing Protein Conditioner
    • Chamomile Luxurious Conditioner 
  • Curl Keeper Slip 
  • California Baby Conditioners
  • Elucence Moisture Balancing Conditioner 
  • Earth Science Citress Conditioner
  • Giovanni Direct Leave-in (can use as a rinse-out also)
  • Giovanni Nutrafix Conditioner
  • Giovanni Magnetic Restructuring Conditioner
  • Kiehl's Hair Conditioner and Grooming Aid
  • Ovation VOlumizing Creme Rinse
  • Suave Daily Clarifying Conditioner
  • Trader Joe's Refresh Conditioner
  • Trader Joe's Tea Tree Tingle Conditioner
  • As I Am Naturally Leave-In Conditioner
  • Rainbow Research Kid's Conditioners

2) Work at and beneath the surface of your hair with these tips:

  • Oil Pre-Shampoo / Pre-cleansing treatments: <-- Click this link for a post about how to make oil pre-shampoo treatments work with your hair. With low porosity hair - getting a benefit from oil sometimes means knowing some tricks for using it. Using a hair-penetrating oil on your hair like coconut oil or sunflower oil or olive oil or my oil blend for several hours before you wash your hair can add softness, lubrication and weight to your hair. Because you wash after this treatment, you won't have greasy feeling hair, but the softness and definition remains. Oils do not create build-up like conditioners can (with the exception of cocoa butter and plain shea butter or other solid-at-room-temperature plant butters). These are ideal treatments for lower porosity hair because even though your hair doesn't soak up loads of oil, it can benefit from it. And because low porosity hair can be build-up prone, oils can be a good option for deep conditioning. When your hair feels tangly, use oils that have good lubrication for your pre-wash such as sunflower, jojoba, olive or avocado.
    • Trick for using oils on low porosity hair: Use a light touch for an oil pre-wash treatment. Enough oil to add some shine, or maybe a little more to add some weight and make your hair feel a little "dirty." Use this only on the ends if your hair becomes greasy easily. Leave on for 2-6 hours. Low porosity hair that is not coarse (wide hairs) tends to do better with shorter treatments but slightly coarse and moderately to very coarse hair can take longer treatments. Use a good shampoo to cleanse; if you're using a very mild shampoo, you might want to do a second wash with shampoo diluted with water if you used more oil than you needed. If you're a co-washer, be sure to work the conditioner thoroughly into your hair to remove excess oil.
  • Heat: 1) Heat (used with hair treatments) may increase your hair's porosity slightly but not in the more aggressive way of acids and alkaline solutions. See this post for more details. Heat gives your hair a greater surface for binding conditioners. 2) Heat liquefies ingredients, the act of wrapping your hair to apply heat improves product distribution, and more conditioner will adhere to your hair with heat. Use heat with deep conditioning treatments if your hair is feeling extra dry or tangling more than usual. Using heat can double the amount of conditioner that binds to your hair.
  • Steam: Steam combines the beneficial effects of heat (listed above) with an abundance of moisture in the form of water vapor. In the presence of steam and a conditioner, your hair will be plumping up with water and with it will go some of the good things from the conditioner you have put in your hair. Heat increases conditioner binding to your hair, hydrates it to the maximum for even more softening and conditioning. Use a hood or bonnet type steamer or a handheld steamer made for use on hair. Steamers made for upholstery or clothing will produce a lot of steam that is much too hot to be safe for your scalp. Steamers for the face are safer for hair also.
    • Steam for deep conditioning treatments or steam in your leave-in conditioner or some oil to lock in the steamy goodness instead of rinsing it out.
  • Deep conditioning: Lower porosity hair does not pick up as much conditioning as hair that is more porous. If your hair needs an intense burst of softness, detangling or hydration, use a deep conditioner, or your usual conditioner with a little oil and whatever else you like added. 
  • - Add heat or steam to the treatment, barely warmer than body temperature is all that is necessary.
  • - Leave it on 5 minutes for hair that is easily over-conditioned or gets too soft, 10-30 minutes for the most intense effect.
  • See this post for more details about how to work with heat and timing for deep conditioning.
  • Alkaline solutions: But promise to do a test strand first and pay close attention to how your hair responds. Baking soda mixed with conditioner or water at whatever concentration works for you. These can temporarily (and permanently) alter your hair's porosity and may change surface texture. But there's more to baking soda than porosity...
    • The probable explanation for the positive result some people get with baking soda mixtures is related to surface chemistry as well as porosity. The alkaline baking soda solution likely disrupts or breaks down the "F layer" containing 18-MEA (the lipid-rich epicuticle - see the beginning of this post). Once this has happened, the hair is no longer as hydrophobic (water-repelling). Hair becomes more hydrophilic (water-attracting). It becomes wet more easily. There is a disrupted lipid barrier (the epicuticle is degraded or removed) that was slowing the movement of water in and out. As a result, the hair will bond with more of whichever cationic conditioner you apply. At least the first time you use conditioner after the alkaline treatment. This still isn't porosity, it's surface chemistry. You lose the natural lipid layer and replace it with commercial conditioner. Conditioners have different textural and aesthetic qualities from the oils that were on your hair before. 
    • Alkaline baking soda solutions and soap bar lather cause hair to swell. Anything you want to get into your hair shaft needs to be in this solution or applied immediately after. Once you rinse, your hair begins to return to its non-swollen state.
    • Some people report a similar effect with bleached or highlighted hair - that it holds a curl better as a result of the treatment - and for very similar reasons. Sometimes alkaline solutions give hair a slippery feeling - alkaline solutions tend to feel slippery in general - they're dissolving the oils on your hair and skin, sort of turning them into soap. It's a similar chemical process. After repeated use, alkaline solutions may leave your hair more porous overall because there is exchange of solutes in the hair for alkaline solution while the alkaline solution is on your hair. Proceed with caution when using acids and alkaline ingredients on your hair and scalp. If you notice a problem, please consider taking a break from these ingredients, or try one of the next tips to buffer the effects of baking soda...
    • Mix your baking soda with yogurt (unflavored, unsweetened) to take advantage of yogurt's hydrating qualities, some of the smaller proteins and amino acids and lactic acid (and other acids) and unique lipids from the milk. Yogurt bring the pH down to closer to 7, but still causes some swelling of the hair. Rinse really well to avoid stinky yogurt-hair later on!
    • Mix your baking soda with conditioner to buffer the hair a little - this does protect the hair a little. 
    • Use shampoo bars or superfatted bar soap instead of liquid castile soap - the oils help protect your hair by adding lubrication. 
    • If you use liquid castile soap, dilute it with water and add a little oil for lubrication.
Flexibility is something that is inherent in your hair, in its curl pattern, and in its hydration level. Some people's hair is less flexible because it's internal structure is somewhat more rigid. Examples are very coarse (wide) hair, curly, coily or highly-textured hair, or some gray (white) hairs. It's not the amount of curl that matters as much as the tendency of that hair to conform to whatever shape you try to apply - or to go along with its neighboring hairs. The type and arrangement of proteins in your hair has a lot to do with its flexibility and curl pattern. Some of us have area of different curl patterns that are more "naturally inflexible" or else we have those hairs scattered over our heads. These hairs tend to be or at least to behave as low porosity too. 
  • To help your lower-porosity hair be more flexible, keep the water levels optimal. That means using film-forming humectants, preventing water loss with balanced products which contain film-formers (i.e. plant-based gels), a little oil and/or some conditioning ingredients.
  • Meanwhile, give your hair some daily help (or whenever it feels less-flexible) with a hydration spray such as a mixture of distilled water and conditioner and anything else your hair appreciates that might improve hydration like aloe vera juice or a protein additive like Neutral Protein Filer. Use this spray lightly to bring moisture and flexibility to your hair and get the water levels back up. Unless the air around you indoors and outdoors is humid all day (tropical or nearly so), your hair will tend to lose moisture to the air.
  • For added flexibility, when hair looks dull or begins to spread out and lose definition, feels inflexible or sounds crunchy, use a little oil (spread a couple drops on your palms and fingers and rub until they shine) on the ends and work your way up. Oil can be used alone for flexibility and definition, or it can go under or over a hydrating spray. 
  • Conditioner pomade. Rub a little conditioner between your palms and fingers until it's a bit dry and pasty feeling. Use that on any frizzy or inflexible areas - smooth it over sections as though making a ponytail(s), or as though you are pinching and sliding a ribbon between your fingers for smaller sections. The ingredients in conditioners have a very light "hold" and tack unlike oils. This can be done on damp or dry hair.

Other hydration boosters: 
Aloe vera rinse: Combine 1 part aloe vera juice (the drinkable kind) with 1 part water. Add a small squirt of glycerin if you like. Apply with a cup or squeeze bottle, work through and leave on for a minute or two. Rinse. The reason to dilute with water is to keep the pH around 5 because aloe vera juices can be quite acidic which is harsh hair and may irritate your scalp and eyes.

Honey: Mix warmed honey (do not let it boil, it will become hard when cool) into conditioner or with warm water or warm herbal tea. Apply to hair as usual for conditioner, leave a honey rinse on for a few minutes. You can use this with heat too.

Banana: You must be careful with bananas! Banana has amazing hydrating and shine-enhancing power. No green bananas. No solid-yellow bananas. I am not kidding. It's really hard to wash out banana chunks and for some reason, when you put banana in your hair which has not been pureed to complete and total mush or is not ripe enough - it forms chunks. In your hair.
But when it is good - it is so good! Honey and banana combination can soften hair a lot. Blend up 1/4 to 1/2 very ripe banana (lots of brown spots on the skin) and apply it to your hair - with some warmed honey if you like. Leave on with heat for 3-5 minutes.
A better idea is to use baby food banana puree if you have never used banana before. 

Yogurt: Stick with non-fat plain (unflavored, unsweetened) yogurt if your hair is easily weighed down. The lactic acid in yogurt hydrates hair and there are some proteins that are small enough to be "active" in your hair. Use this before a thorough cleansing to avoid any lingering yogurt in your hair or else rinse really, really well. In my experience, yogurt can make hair feel like it has a lot of "drag" in it and needs a lot of slippery conditioner to un-do that effect.

Avoid dehydration:
Your low porosity hair is what everybody else is trying to mimic with deep conditioners and hair repair agents. Don't dry it out! Wear a hat or scarf in the sun and in cold, dry air. If you get a lot of sun exposure, use some protein if your hair tolerates it. Sun will make hair more porous, though not necessarily more rough. People with thin hair (not dense) or with haircuts that leave hair not dense (lots of layers) people with white hair and blonde hair will have more UV damage than dark brown to black hair.
Avoid high-heat styling tools.
Protect your hair while swimming, and when out in the wind.
Use lower peroxide hair color or plant dyes to color hair - or get your hair as healthy as possible to let your natural color be it's most intense.
Wear a silk or silky, smooth scarf, bonnet or "buff" at night to reduce friction and create a little humid environment around your hair - the humidity comes from your skin.

Every day give your hair some hydration. If you aren't wetting your hair daily, mix up a spray bottle with distilled water, a small amount of conditioner, and other goodies like aloe vera juice or a hydrolyzed protein additive or boil the distilled water with marshmallow root or horsetail or nettles. Mist your hair with this to provide water, lubrication and ingredients with lasting hydration to keep your hair supple all day.
Or use a steamer (if you have one) to provide moisture during dry or windy weather.
Oils can soften and lubricate hair in between washes if it gets that rough or stiff or lighter colored look on the ends.

Hard Water: (added May 2016)
If you have hard water in your shower, it will make the behavior of your low porosity hair more pronounced. See this post for more details and how to manage hard water and your hair. If you have "city water" - treated and distributed by a municipal water treatment facility, you can contact them or check their online report or the one they mail you annually for hardness. Minerals in hard water bond to hair just like conditioner does. To put it another way - the minerals in your hard water compete with the cationic conditioners in your conditioner for binding sites on the surface of your hair. So there are the hair-lubricating and softening cationic conditioners fighting it out with the hair-stiffening and friction-creating calcium and (to a lesser degree) magnesium in your water. Hard water makes your low-porosity hair even less friendly towards oils and conditioners.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin Reduction-Induces Surface Modification of Human Hair. Kamath and Ruetsch. Journal of Cosmetics Science, 2010. 61, 1-12