The mestiza muse

Hair Webbing

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Verna Meachum

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Hair webbing occurs when the hair doesn’t have enough moisture for the hair’s cuticle to lay flat, thus causing individual strands to begin attaching and web around each other, much like a spider web.

The ultimate test of properly hydrated hair is to take two inches of your hair (dry, not wet) and pull it apart with your fingers. If when separating your hair sticks together, you have what’s called “Hair Webbing”. (Try this in different sections of your hair)

One reason may be that your hair is not properly hydrated. If not corrected, it will cause your hair to tangle, form single knots, snap, and break which will eventually keep your hair from retaining length. It often affects hair with finer strands too.

Hair webbing tends to happen to me from time to time if I rush through my wash-n-gos or deep conditioning treatments or if I slack off with taking care of my hair after getting color.

Things to Help

  1. Hydration From Within. It’s a problem you want to correct right away. You need to get your hair’s hydration and moisture back in check. Make sure you’re always drinking lots of water. The entire human body requires water for cell growth. Water helps deliver nutrients to each cell, and aids in the removal of waste from the body. On average, we lose around three quarts of water each day and if this water loss isn’t replenished, this results in dehydration. Water makes up a fourth of each hair strand, and hair follicles require your body to have adequate stores of water to grow new hair.

    Although mild or short-term dehydration won’t have serious consequences on your hair, being dehydrated all the time will lead to hair loss. If you aren’t getting enough water, the body diverts the remaining water to help your vital organs function. This means that the hair follicles will stop producing new hair, and chronic dehydration will cause your follicles to stop producing enough hair strands that you naturally shed in a day.

    2. Proper Cleansing. Review what you cleanse with, how you cleanse, and the frequency at which you cleanse is important. Dry hair may lack moisture and is probably not lacking product. Buildup from products, excess sebum, and debris need to be removed from the hair and scalp regularly because it can prevent moisture from penetrating.

    If moisture is still an issue with sulfate-free cleansers, then try alternating your cleanser with a cleansing conditioner (co wash). Or, try is a pre-poo oil/conditioning treatment (see post: Pre-poo treatment vs. Hot oil treatment)

    3. Slow Down. Take time to properly wash, condition, deep condition your hair. Don’t rush through it. Really take the time to work the conditioner/deep conditioner through each strand.

    4. Deep condition. Use mild heat when deep conditioning to open up the hair’s cuticle.

    5. Protective Styles. Be careful not to wear your hair in protective styles too long. I notice hair webbing more often when my hair is constantly in a bun.

    Hope you found this helpful!

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