Signs Of Curly Hair Moisture Overload, Hygral Fatigue + How To Fix It
Moisture overload and hygral fatigue are nightmares for some curly girls.
Hydration, water, and moisturizing curly hair products are a curly girl’s best friend but, as with everything in life, too much of something good can end up being bad.
If you’re experiencing moisture overload or looking for ways to prevent it from happening, this post should help you understand what happens when your hair has too much moisture and what you can do to restore the moisture protein balance.
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What Is Moisture Overload & What Does It Look Like
Moisture overload is simply when your curls are too moisturized. It means that your hair does not have moisture – protein balance, which is important for healthy, defined curls.
To tell if you’re experiencing over hydration, look for these signs or symptoms of moisture overload and hygral fatigue:
- hair feels too soft when wet
- lymp hair
- frizzy hair
- undefined and loose curls
- weak hair
What Causes Moisture Overload
Curly hair is known to be prone to dryness and in an effort to ensure that your curls are hydrated and well moisturized, you can actually add too much moisture to your hair.
Moisture overload can be caused by:
- Using only moisture-rich products
- Not using hair strengthening protein products
- Overnight deep conditioning
- Deep conditioning for longer than is recommended
- Using the wrong curly girl products for you hair’s porosity
What is Hygral Fatigue
Even though hygral fatigue and moisture overload are used interchangeably, there’s a difference.
Moisture overload actually leads to hygral fatigue.
Hygral fatigue is different from moisture overload, because it happens over time. When your hair goes from wet to dry too often, your follicles become more exposed to swelling and shrinking. Over time, your hair becomes fatigued. So, over moisturizing your hair makes you more likely to experience hygral fatigue.
Hygral fatigue is damage to your hair follicles caused by swelling from excessive moisture.Healthline
When your hair follicles are exposed to moisture (water or moisture rich hair products), they swell and when the follicles dry, they shrink. So, hygral fatigue is damage caused by your hair’s over-exposure to moisture and the constant swelling and shrinking of your hair follicles.
How To Fix Moisture Overload
The key to is to prevent moisture overload before hygral fatigue kicks in.
To fix moisture overload give your curly hair the moisture it needs and not more than it needs. Using products that contain moisturizing and protein ingredients will help keep your hair balanced.
To determine how much moisture your hair needs, it’s important to evaluate & assess your hair’s:
- Porosity – size of your hair cuticle and how moisture is absorbed and retained
- Elasticity – how much your hair strands will stretch, which is determined by the moisture of your hair.
With too much moisture and not enough protein, your hair strands will stretch too much and lose definition. However, you can prevent and minimize moisture overload and hygral fatigue from happening.
Steps to fix moisture overload:
- Wash Hair with a pre poo treatment
- Add curly girl products with protein
- Do not wet your curly hair too often
1. Wash Hair With Pre Poo Treatment
Pre poo treatments involve the use of oils, like coconut oil, on your dry hair before shampooing. This helps to reduce protein loss, prevent breakage, hygral fatigue and make detangling easier. For best results, pre poo treatments can be applied from a few hours before you wash your hair to the night before.
2. Add Curly Products With Protein
To fix moisture overload, adding products with protein ingredients to your curly girl routine will help to create moisture-protein balance.
How to tell if a curly girl product has protein is to look for some keywords like:
Popular and easy to spot protein ingredients in curly girl products:
- Amino Acids
- Quinoa seed
- Hydrolyzed wheat protein
- Hydrolyzed rice protein
- Hydrolyzed soy protein
- Hydrolyzed silk protein
As you can see, some of these protein ingredients contain the word “protein”, as well as hydrolyzed. Hydrolyzed basically means that the protein is broken down until it’s small enough to penetrate into your hair shaft to repair any damage.
If this is still too much and you’re unsure of a hair product you want to try, put the product or the ingredients into a site like “Curlscan” and it will quickly let you know if your product is curly girl approved and the types of protein ingredients included.
Use Less Moisture rich Curly Girl Products
If you’re experiencing moisture overload or hygral fatigue, it’s time to change your hair products. If all of the products you use are over hydrating your hair, then switch to minimize the amount of moisture you’re applying to your curls.
So, if you’re looking to add less moisture to your curly girl routine, it’s a good idea to know what the moisturizing ingredients are so that you can limit your use. If these ingredients are high up on the list of product ingredients, then you know that it’s a moisture-rich product.
Moisturizing ingredients in curly hair products:
- cetearyl alcohol
- cetyl alcohol
3. Stop Wetting Hair Too Much
Wetting your hair too often will lead to the issue of constant swelling and shrinking of your hair follicles.
So try to wash your hair less often and stick to refreshing your curls on the days following your wash day instead of having to completely wet and restyle your hair daily.
Follow A Balanced Protein-Moisture Curly Girl Routine
To fix a moisture overload problem, add more protein into your curly girl routine.
Just be careful and avoid using protein rich products at each stage of your curly hair routine as you will run the risk of protein overload.
Instead, select a few curly girl products that contain protein to include in your curly girl routine:
- Pre Poo Treatment
- Sulphate Free Shampoo
- Strengthening Deep conditioning mask or treatment
- Leave in conditioner
- Curl Cream
- Gel or mousse
The best way to find out exactly what your hair responds to is to experiment. Try out different curly girl products with proteins to see how your hair reacts.
Curly Girl Method Protein Products
These curly girl approved products contain protein ingredients and are incredible for your hair. To purchase on Amazon, just click the product 🙂
- Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Mafura Oil Intensive Hydration Shampoo
- Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl & Shine Conditioner with Silk Protein & Neem Oil
- Shea Moisture Manuka Honey & Yogurt Hydrate & Repair Protein Power Treatment
- Curlsmith Bond Curl Rehab Salve
- Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie
- Curlsmith Feather Light Protein Cream
- Curlsmith Curl Defining Styling Soufflé
- Curlsmith Bouncy Strength Volume Foam
Moisture Overload vs Protein Overload
Sometimes, it’s hard to tell if you’re experiencing a moisture or a protein overload. The first way you can tell is to assess your current curly girl routine:
- Are you washing your hair too often?
- Are you wetting and drenching your hair daily?
- Do you use conditioner too often ?
- Do you leave your conditioner on your hair longer than recommended ?
- Check your current curly girl products to see if your routine is too moisture rich
In addition to answering those questions, this table can help you determine whether you are experiencing a moisture or protein overload.
|Moisture Overload Signs
|Protein Overload Signs
|Hair strands stretch with no bounce back
|Hair strands have little to no stretch & break easily
|Hair is too elastic
|Low elasticity strands
|Dry, brittle hair
|Hair tangles easily
|Hair feels soft & mushy
|Hair feels rough & stiff
|Loose, undefined curls
|Stringy, undefined curls
Knowing what your hair needs is the first step in restoring the moisture, protein balance so that you can get back your defined, bouncy curls. I hope that you’re gained a lot of insight from this post to help you!
Check out this post to see if you are experiencing protein overload.
Before you go, check out these other curly girl posts:
- Drugstore Curly Girl Approved Prodcuts For Wavy & Curly Hair
- Best Drugstore Curly Hair Products 2021
- Affordable Curly Girl Products For 2a 2b 2c Wavy Hair
- Curly Girl Method Approved Sulfate Free Shampoos
- Best Curly Girl Deep Conditioners
- Best Curly Girl Approved Gels 2021
- Hairitage Curl Creme – Curly Girl Approved Curl Cream Review
- Aussie Instant Freeze Gel – Curly Girl Approved Gel Review
- Eco Argan Oil Gel – Curly Girl Approved Protein Gel Review
- Kinky Curly Curling Custard Product Review
- Shea Moisture 100% Virgin Coconut Oil Daily Hydration Shampoo & Conditioner Review
- Curly Girl Product Review – Cantu Moisturizing Curl Activator Cream
- How To Deep Condition Curly Hair
- How To Squish To Condish Wavy & Curly Hair
- What Is A Gel Cast & How To Scrunch Out The Crunch
- Protein Overload Signs & How To Fix It
- How To Fix Wet Frizz
- Easy Way To Refresh Curly & Wavy Hair
- How To Start The Curly Girl Method
- Make Your Hair Curlier
- How To Grow Curly Hair Faster
- How To Sleep With Curly Hair Without Ruining Your Curls
- How To Tell If You Have Naturally Curly Hair – Take the free quiz
- Get Dyed Curly Hair At Home – No Damage
- How To Style Low Density, Fine Curly Hair
- Curly Hair Styling Routine for 3A & 3B Curls
- Wavy Hair Styling Routine 2a 2b 2c curls
- Curly Hair Winter Routine