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Around the beginning of this year, I noticed my hair texture feeling a little funny between January and March. Normally, my hair is fairly soft, but not an oily soft. More of a slightly dry soft touch. I decided to try out overnight deep conditioning, or the baggy method, to see if I could get the shine of my curls better and a more oily feel for my curls. I would often mix my favorite deep conditioner and my favorite oil, typically tea tree oil, together and place it on my hair with a plastic cap. Over the plastic cap, I always used a satin bonnet or scarf to cover the cap and provide some additional heat while conditioning overnight.
I tried out overnight deep conditioning starting in January, and it wasn’t until around the end of February that I noticed a slight change to my curls that I did not like. My curls became mushy to the touch. It seemed like a wax like film was being created on my hair, which made it harder for me to achieve the styles I wanted with the products I normally used. At the time I didn’t understand why this was happening and automatically assumed it was because I wasn’t not using enjoy oils with my deep conditioner treatment even though my scalp was perfectly fine. No flakes, dryness nor itchiness going on, my scalp was in decent condition at the time.
I began to increase my oils in my treatment, which helped towards creating a shine for my curls but not much towards the mushy feel of my curls. After another week or so, my curls started to become worse and worse. They were not springing back up once I would pull them down. This is when I knew I was definitely doing something wrong.
Hygral Fatigue – is when your hair becomes too wet; hair cuticles are absorbing too much water; hair is not being given enough time to dry in between wetting.
After doing some of my own research in trying to figure out what I was doing wrong with my hair, I learned that I was suffering what you would call Hygral Fatigue where my hair was actually too wet. With me constantly doing overnight conditionings, it caused my hair to weaken due to too much moisture being placed on it constantly.
There are four things that typically cause Hygral Fatigue:
- Re-wetting your hair constantly
- Extending deep conditioner sessions for longer than they’re supposed to be
- Baggy Method (overnight conditioning)
- Lack of hair protein
Since learning about this, I have not overnight deep conditioned since March of 2018. My curls have begun to bounce back into place like there are supposed to do. The feel of my curls is soft again, and doesn’t have that mushy feel and I’m retaining more length now. I didn’t realize the breakage that comes with hair if it is not allowed any time to dry in between wetting until now. With eliminating my routine of having my hair wet all the time, it has saved me on hair breakage.
Have you ever suffered from this condition? If so leave a comment in our comment section on how you managed it and the effects it has had on your natural curls.