The Mestiza Muse

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Be Beautiful. Be Natural. Be You.

Hair Webbing

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

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

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During a phase of my hair journey, I encountered extreme dryness, with my strands clinging together whenever I tried separating them.

I was left puzzled, unsure of the cause and unable to pinpoint a specific term for the phenomenon. This led me to the discovery of what many refer to in the natural hair community as “hair webbing.”

Hair webbing is a result of insufficient moisture, which prevent the hair cuticles from lying flat. Consequently, individual strands cling and interweave, resembling a spider web.

While “hair webbing” may not be a scientific term, it is widely recognized within the curly hair community and aptly describes the specific challenges many face due to moisture imbalance.

We’ve crafted this guide – to assist our readers in understanding hair webbing and offering strategies to preserve your healthy hair.

Testing Your Hair for Hair Webbing

One best way to assess if your hair is adequately hydrated, take two inches of your hair (make sure it’s dry and not wet) and gently pull it apart with your fingers.

If you find individual strands sticking together or appearing glued, you’re likely experiencing “Hair Webbing”. It’s a good idea to try this test on various sections of your hair.

Below is a photo of my hair that captures a close-up of me gently pulling apart a section of hair, revealing strands sticking and webbing together, providing a clear visual of the “Hair Webbing” phenomenon.

Photo of my hair experiencing hair webbing.

Importance of Identifying Hair Webbing

Understanding whether you’re dealing with hair webbing or another hair concern is crucial. Accurately diagnosing the specific issue ensures you’re addressing the root cause, rather than just treating symptoms.

This precision not only aids in finding the most effective solutions but also prevents potential damage or worsening of the condition.

It paves the way for tailored treatments that can restore the health and beauty of your curls.

Causes and Contributors to Hair Webbing

Image of the word root cause being unveiled.

Hair webbing can result from various factors, often interconnected, that compromise the hair’s natural balance and structure. Here are some potential causes of hair webbing:

  1. Lack of Moisture: This is the primary culprit behind hair webbing. Hair that is under-moisturized can have raised cuticles, causing strands to stick together.
  2. Over-washing: While it’s essential to keep hair clean, excessive washing can strip it of its natural oils, leading to dryness and, subsequently, webbing.
  3. Inadequate Hair Care Routine: Skipping regular conditioning or not using deep conditioners can deprive hair of essential hydration.
  4. Use of Harsh Products: Hair products with too many sulfates, high alcohol content, or other drying ingredients can exacerbate hair dryness.
  5. Heat Damage: Frequent use of heat styling tools without adequate protection can weaken and dry out the hair, making it prone to webbing.
  6. Environmental Factors: Living in very dry climates or exposure to harsh weather conditions, like extreme cold or sun, can rob the hair of moisture.
  7. Chemical Treatments: Processes like coloring, bleaching, or perms can weaken the hair structure and diminish its moisture content.
  8. Poor Diet: A diet lacking essential nutrients, particularly omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals, can affect hair health and moisture retention.
  9. Over-manipulation: Constantly touching, styling, or brushing hair, especially when dry, can lead to damage and webbing.
  10. Product Buildup: Residue from hair products, if not washed out correctly, can cause strands to stick together, resembling webbing.
  11. Health Issues: Underlying health problems, such as hormonal imbalances, can affect hair texture and moisture levels.

Understanding these causes is the first step in preventing hair webbing and ensuring your locks remain healthy and resilient.

What is Wet Frizz

Image of a girl with wet frizz.

There is another phenenmenon called, “wet frizz” and you may have noticed this on a wash day. If you’ve experienced immediate frizz after washing your hair, or your hair strands feeling dry, tangled, and clump together even when damp, this is known as wet frizz.

It often emerges post-conditioner rinse or after squeezing out excess water. It can also manifest during the application of styling products or while air drying.

To combat this, ensure you’re using a moisturizing conditioner, and gently pat your hair dry using a microfiber towel or cotton T-shirt to minimize friction.

Applying a leave-in conditioner or a frizz-control product while your hair is still damp can also help in keeping wet frizz at bay.

Distinguishing Hair Webbing from Other Hair Concerns

Hair webbing can be mistaken for several other hair concerns, particularly for those unfamiliar with the nuances of hair health and maintenance.

At first glance, all of the nuances spelled out below can seem quite similar since they involve hair strands sticking together.

However, the underlying causes and the manifestation of each issue can differ. Some of these include:

  1. Hair Matting: Matting involves larger sections of hair tangling into a dense mass, often due to neglect or lack of regular detangling.
  2. Single Strand Knots: Also known as fairy hair knots, these are tiny knots that occur on individual strands. They are especially common in curly hair type and coily hair type because the hair’s curl pattern makes it easier for strands to loop onto themselves.
  3. Hair Tangling: This is a broad term that can refer to any sort of entanglement in the hair, from minor snags to more significant knots. Hair webs can be seen as a form of tangling, but its primary cause is moisture imbalance leading to a specific “web-like” texture.
  4. Hair Shedding: At times, the accumulated shed hair can give an appearance similar to webbing, especially when it intertwines with existing hair.
  5. Frizz: While not identical, extreme frizz can sometimes give the illusion of hair webbing due to the erratic texture and appearance of hair strands that refuse to lay smoothly.
  6. Product Buildup: Excessive use of hair products, or not washing them out properly, can cause hair strands to stick together, which may sometimes be confused with hair webbing.

Understanding the specific characteristics and causes of each of these issues is essential to differentiate them from hair webbing, ensuring that the appropriate care and treatment are applied.

Hair webbing is an issue that can be caused by many factors. One reason may be that your hair is not properly hydrated. If not corrected, your hair may begin to form more tangles, single knots, then snap and break.

Hair webbing is something that happens to me from time-to-time if I rush through my wash n’ go’s or deep conditioning sessions, and don’t take care of it after getting color.

Mastering Hair Health: Hydration, Care, and Protection

Mastering healthy hair is not just about aesthetics, but delving deep into the holistic wellness of our crowning glory.

By embracing these three foundational pillars, we set forth on a transformative journey towards achieving and maintaining the our hair vitality.

Conditioner’s Crucial Role in Hair Health

Conditioning is central to the well-being of your hair. Insufficient conditioning can lead to hair webbing, intensified tangles, single-strand knots, split ends, and eventual breakage.

I’ve personally experienced this when I’ve hastily moved through my wash and deep conditioning sessions or neglected post-color care.

Hydration From Within

It’s essential to remember that the foundation of hair health is not just about external treatments but also hydration from within. Drinking water is paramount for maintaining luscious and hydrated locks.

Dehydration has widespread effects on our health, notably impacting hair follicles, and may lead to hair loss. It also may reduce the ability to produce new hair.

Prioritizing hydration, therefore, safeguards and promotes healthy hair growth.

Effective Hair Cleansing Habits

Neglecting hair health can cause dryness and breakage. Addressing dry hair means ensuring three aspects: regular scalp cleaning, product choice, and consistent moisturizing.

Contrary to instinct, merely adding more products to dry hair can exacerbate the issue, increasing product buildup and drying hair even more.

The optimal solution is to regularly cleanse with a clarifying shampoo, eliminating build-up and enabling products to nourish the hair shaft.

If sulfate-free cleansers don’t suffice, alternating with a cleansing conditioner (co-wash) or incorporating a pre-poo oil or conditioning treatment can make a difference.

The Art of Patience in Hair Care

To achieve the best outcomes from your hair treatments, patience is key. Taking the time to wash, condition, and deep condition meticulously ensures that every hair strand is treated and receiving enough moisture.

While the frequency of hair washing varies among individuals, experts suggest that not everyone needs daily shampooing. Only specific groups, like those with fine hair or living in humid conditions, might require it.

Deep Conditioning for Profound Moisture

For exceptionally dry hair, use a deep conditioner to revive moisture levels. These treatments, especially those containing natural oils like argan or coconut oil or shea butter, penetrate the hair shafts deeply.

Pre-poo treatments, applied before shampooing, can also boost hair health, making the subsequent washing process gentler and more effective.

For heightened results, some opt to use mild heat during deep conditioning to further “open” up the hair cuticle.

Balancing Protective Styles

While protective hairstyles, like buns, offer many benefits, prolonged wear can escalate hair webbing issues. Switching styles occasionally can mitigate webbing-related damage.

Though protective styles are undoubtedly beneficial, it’s equally crucial to periodically let your hair breathe.

Protein Treatment

Protein treatments can help address hair webbing to some extent, especially if the webbing is a result of damaged or compromised hair structure. Here’s why:

  1. Strengthens the Hair Shaft: Protein treatments help to fill in the gaps and irregularities along the hair shaft, reinforcing its structure. When hair is stronger, it’s less likely to tangle and web.
  2. Reduces Breakage: By adding strength, protein treatments can reduce breakage, which can be a contributor to webbing, especially if hair breaks and then tangles with adjacent strands.
  3. Balances Moisture and Protein: Sometimes, hair webbing can be a result of an imbalance between moisture and protein in the hair. While moisture is essential to maintain elasticity and prevent webbing, too much moisture without the balance of protein can lead to overly elastic hair that tangles easily. Protein treatments can restore this balance.

However, it’s important to approach protein treatments with caution:

  • Protein Overload: Too much protein can make hair stiff and brittle, leading to breakage. It’s crucial to maintain a balance between protein and moisture. If you’re using protein treatments, also ensure you’re deep conditioning regularly to maintain moisture.
  • Not a Sole Solution: While protein treatments can help, they aren’t the only solution for hair webbing. Addressing other factors like hydration, gentle detangling, and proper hair care routines is essential.

Remember, everyone’s hair is different. It’s always a good idea to consult with a professional or conduct a strand test before diving into regular protein treatments to ensure it’s the right solution for your specific hair needs.


Hair webbing can be challenging, but with appropriate care, it’s entirely manageable. Regular cleansing and moisturizing are key to optimal hair health.

Remember to take your time with hair treatments, deep condition often, and use protective styles in moderation to maintain hydration.

Armed with these foundational hair care techniques, implementing them will set you on a path to vibrant, well-moisturized curls in no time!


I’m just a girl who transformed her severely damaged hair into healthy hair. I adore the simplicity of a simple hair care routine, the richness of diverse textures, and the joy of sharing my journey from the comfort of my space.

My mission? To empower others with the tools to restore, and maintain healthy hair, and celebrate the hair they were born with!

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