Why dry hair / loose hair style can lead to hair damage?
1. Static Electricity and resultant problems
Unlubricated hair is prone to curl, knot and stick together. There is static electricity build up in the hair. You could have seen such things while counting currency notes or in a fresh packet of paper. It is difficult to comb such hair without some extra pull pressure to overcome the static. It is easy to pluck a hair but very difficult to break it into 2 parts. Due to all these factors, there can be hair damage / loss.
If the hair is lubricated a bit with oil, the static goes away and every strand becomes independent of the next / do not cling together. After combing, you can pick out one hair without disturbing much the next hair.
2. Dry hair style does not offer any protection against climatic changes
Hair is a screen / thin barrier between the Sun and the Scalp. So it needs to be protected against the climatic changes.When oil is applied on hair, the oil coat becomes the new, extra screen between the hair and Sunlight.
Vegetable Oilscan be called as Glycerated Fatty Acids for simplicity. They are long chain Fatty acids with Glycerin. Coconut Oil is a non-drying / high boiling point oil. As the oil cannot dry up, it provides some additional protection to the hair against Sunlight. Linseed Oil, the oil used in oil paints, with driers to speed up drying, would take about a week to dry.
Compared to Unsaturated oils like Linseed, Coconut is very slow drying.
Free Radicals float over the scalp. They can be triggered by Sunlight. That can lead to unwanted reactions on the scalp - say premature greying / discolouration of hair. Besides aging, Sun Protection is also a relevant factor for Greying.
Long chain ceramides can stop / minimize the free radicals’ reactions. While oil / fatty acids may not be as effective as ceramides, it is a far better option than a dry un-oiled scalp. It can reduce / slow down the free radicals’ reactions.
3. Emolliency of the head skin / skull is reduced due to lack of oil. There will be extra itching and scratching. In a tropical climate like India, there will extra sweating to maintain the body temperature. That means dried impure water, giving scope for dandruff. Oiled hair reduces these problems.
Oil on the head provides protection to the scalp. Without oil, dry scalp means dry and rough hair. Scalp / skin protection is a basic for hair retention as hair roots / follicles are in between the dermis / true skin and epidermis / outer skin.
4. In a dry and loose hair style, there are air pockets which is why ‘density appears more than the real’. This is also a reason why many indulge in this. Think a bit. The atmospheric air, with pollutants, would also circulate more on the scalp. [ Pollution does not affect the hair at all is my view though some may go for special shampoo. But that would be in a different note]
Fat / oil is the most condensed form of energy among edibles. An Eskimo eats 4 times more fat than an average American. Digestion is no problem. In the Indo China war, more Indian Soldiers suffered / died with frost bite than by the bullets of the Chinese Army. So even in a cold climate, you cannot ignore the oil / fat on the head
The heat energy from the oil fights against the cold wintery winds. Do we not apply oil for cracked lips and heels? [ nowadays it is fashionable to apply paraffin wax coating to the lips through lip balms]
One hair tip
1. If one does not want to have a flat, oily head, the sensible and simple thing to do is to mix a bit of water with oil and apply it on the head. Combing is easy. Hair Grooming is not a hair pulling operation. Water will evaporate and hair will be less oily.
It is your hair. It is the only aid that can make a person look young. It is your call.
[ For more details about Sunlight and Free Radicals, please refer to the page ‘Sun Protection’ page. Those details are not mentioned here to avoid duplication]
Dangers from Dry hair style and Premature Greying
The sales of Dyes / Hair Colourants are increasing almost 20% every year. The 2013 Sales figure is 2700 Crores / $450 Million. Check the sales for 2017. You will know
11-8-2008: Two small girls aged below 10, waiting for their pick up van from School, had brownish hair. The head hair was devoid of oil.
In July 2007, I noted in a Ahmedabad bus, that 3 out of 5 girls, roughly in the age group 18 to 25, had brownish black, grey hair coloured with Mehendi [maroonish] and black dyed hair. Not one had oil on the hair - that was the common point. In my opinion, dry hair style, followed with excess shampooing, discolours many heads. Dyes worsen the position
They have to dye the hair for life. After some years, the hair would appear rough, thick and artificial.
It is better to have real hair density and retain it, than a ballooned up density with air bubbles. Graceful grey hair or gaudy, rough hair? The vote now is in favour of coloured hair