Hair, like Pasta, can get dehydrated. In those moments, the best thing you can do is to let it soak up water
If you've ever purchased one of those ramen precooked packs from the grocery store, or cup o’noodles, you know that they come dehydrated and pre cooked. What you have to do is add hot water, stir it all up for a bit and you're good to go. These noodles are cheap and not very healthy, but that’s besides the point.
What I wanted to look at here is the whole process of adding water to the pasta and what happens next. The pasta starts out very stiff and as you add hot water, it becomes flexible and suddenly you can move it around and ultimately eat it. Similarly, hair will soak up water and become “flexible”, so use water!
Pro-tip: Even if you’re just spraying your hair with water (as opposed to getting it soaking wet), try this: Spray your hair, wait 10 seconds before you touch it, and see if it’s more flexible than if you touched it immediately. You'll thank me later :)
If you don’t want your cooked pasta to get stuck together, add some olive oil to your drained pasta. Your styling products do the same for your hair
Years ago, a good friend gave me a tip. We had made pasta, and the pasta was ready before the sauce, so he suggested adding olive oil to the pot so that the spaghetti wouldn’t stick together.
It’s been a long time, but I still remember that tip to this day. Basically, the oil will stop the pasta from sticking together. If you have natural hair that is curly coily or kinky, you know that your hair strands have a big tendency to stick together, and they’ll stick together as soon as they start drying if you don’t do something to keep them separate.
There is a theory out there that says that your curls are actually meant to protect your scalp from the sun. By sticking together, they’re creating a “hat” of sorts, to protect your scalp.
Back to the curls and pasta analogy. When you apply leaving conditioners, oils, gels, oil etc. to your hair, you're stopping the “sticking together” process, reducing the static between curls, and keeping them separate, which avoids tangles and all the other issues that cause natural hair to be “hard to manage”.
Would you add olive oil to dry ramen? No? Sometimes, it’s better not to pre-poo
It's nearly winter in Canada where I'm writing this, so it's getting colder. The heat is already on at my place, which dries out the air, no humidity in sight. I neglected my hair for a few days, which made it extremely dry, like ramen-noodle-from-the-store-dry. And, and as I was getting ready to wash my hair, I thought: you know, sometimes we encourage pre-pooing, but if my hair is this dry, I don't think it makes any sense to pre-poo it because what it needs more than anything else is water.
Dry hair is brittle, it breaks easily. Sometimes, the best thing you can do is hop in the shower and let that water soak up your hair until the hair starts to be flexible enough to move. That’s what I did, and within a few minutes, I was able to start sectioning the hair out without having to tug.
Is your hair overdone or al dente?
To continue the analogy even further, I want to show you this YouTube video by Audrey Davis-Sivasothy author of the Science of black hair book. She did a brilliant job at demonstrating the difference between protein and moisture needs:
Do you have any tips to share? Shoot us an email or post them below, and remember: You’re incomparable.