On our journey to finding the secret to perfect hair, we got to the point in which we had to consult the oracle: in our case Jeni Thomas, Ph. D. and Principal Scientist at Pantene. We inundated her with our questions and curiosity, to which she responded without ever losing patience (thanks Jeni). The Holy Grail of least impeccable, flowing locks is not too far away. Our primary goal this time (stay tuned: in July there’ll be another episode) is to combat static hair, that irritating situation in which hair becomes unmanageable and stays suspended in the air as if you’ve had an electric shock. The first thing we did was to clear up the difference between this situation and frizzy hair. The two phenomenons are actually on extremely opposite ends of our hair’s hydration scale. Static is the absence of water and is triggered by one action, which is often rubbing, whether it’s with a comb or a sweater or cardigan. Frizzy hair instead reorganizes the fibers, because of excessive water content in the shaft, which doesn’t allow the hair to retain its predetermined shape. Generally this can happen year round, while static tends to occur more often during winter, or in very dry climates – this is also true for AC –, especially if you have very straight hair.
To avoid looking like Albert Einstein (or someone that has actually tried to put their finger in a plug socket), there are 5 simple moves to remember:
1. If possible, you need to add humidity to the air. Therefore at home or in a closed environment, we suggest getting a humidifier, perhaps something with a fragrance.
2. Keep you hair hydrated. The fundamental step is conditioner, then add a leave-in treatment, the kind that you don’t rinse. This could come in the form of oil or a cream.
3. To fix emergency situations, carry a leave-in treatment in your bag. You can apply it on the go and at the first sign of any rebellion.
4. If having static her seems like a never-ending curse then you should carefully choose your clothing materials. Silk, for instance, is a great choice, while wool, on the contrary tends to make the friction that sets this phenomenon off worse.
5. Get rid of the traditional plastic combs and brushes and use natural bristles, the reason for this choice is not exactly scientific, but natural bristles tend to better distribute the oils generated by the scalp throughout the length of the hair. The oils, in turn, keep the hair hydrated for longer, avoiding that electric shock look.
Some of you will have probably already heard of some DIY tips, such as wetting your hair, or rubbing it with a dryer sheet. Although they can offer instant results, these tips generally don’t tend to offer many benefits in the long term. We suggest that you take our word for it on the 5 moves: bye bye static hair!