Wet hair: Why it tangles and breaks

Wet hair: Why it tangles and breaks

Have you ever stepped out of the shower only to find your hair a tangled mess? If so, you're not alone. Wet hair can be a source of frustration and annoyance for many of us. But have you ever wondered why this happens? Let’s take a look at why wet hair tangles. Read on for a deeper understanding of why your hair behaves this way when wet, and get armed with the tools to prevent hair tangles and achieve silky, smooth, and tangle-free hair.

Hair Structure and Behaviour

To understand why wet hair tangles, it's important to look closer at the structure and behaviour of hair.

Each strand has three distinct layers: the cuticle, cortex, and medulla. The cuticle is a protective barrier with overlapping scales that help keep moisture and damage out. The cortex contains the pigment that gives hair its colour and the proteins that give it strength and flexibility. Finally, the medulla is the innermost layer, consisting of loosely packed cells that support the hair shaft.

The behaviour of hair is also important to consider. When hair is dry, it has a natural elasticity that allows it to stretch and bounce back to its original shape. However, when hair is wet, it loses much of this elasticity and becomes more fragile and prone to damage. Additionally, wet hair is more susceptible to tangling, as the individual strands are more likely to stick together and become intertwined.

The Effects of Water on Hair

When hair is exposed to water, the hydrogen bonds that hold the strands together are weakened, making it easier for the individual strands to separate and become tangled. Additionally, water can cause the cuticle layer of the hair shaft to swell, creating a rough surface that is prone to tangling with other strands.

The effects of water on hair also vary based on the type of water. Hard water, containing high levels of minerals, can leave a residue on the hair, making it more difficult to comb through and adding to tangles. On the other hand, chlorinated water can dry out the hair and make it more brittle, leading to breakage and hair tangles.

Understanding how water affects hair is crucial in preventing tangled hair problems and maintaining healthy hair. By taking steps to protect hair from water damage, such as using a swim cap or washing with a clarifying shampoo to remove hard water build-up, you can minimise tangles and keep your hair looking its best.

Causes of tangled hair after washing

Causes of tangled hair

There are several reasons why hair tangles after washing. One of the most common causes is rubbing your hair with a towel. When you rub your hair aggressively, you create friction that can cause the hair cuticles to lift and tangle with each other. Instead, gently dab your hair with a soft towel or microfiber cloth to remove excess water. You can also use a wide-toothed comb to gently detangle hair while it's still wet.

Another common cause of tangled hair problems after washing is not combing your hair before washing it. If you have knots or tangles in your hair before getting it wet, the water can actually make them worse. Take the time to comb or brush your hair before showering.

Using the wrong shampoo or conditioner in your hair care routine can also lead to tangles. If you have thin hair, using a heavy conditioner can weigh it down and cause it to tangle more easily. On the other hand, if you have thick or curly hair, using a lightweight conditioner may not be adequate enough to prevent tangling. Be sure to choose hair care products that are designed for your specific hair type.

Finally, rough sleep can also contribute to tangled hair after washing. If you sleep with wet hair, a satin or silk pillowcase will reduce friction and prevent tangling. Additionally, using a sleep cap or braiding your hair before bed can help keep your hair smooth and tangle-free.

Products and Treatments for Tangled Hair

One of the best ways to address tangled hair is to use the right products and treatments and find the best hair care routine for your type.

If you have particularly unruly hair, you should use a leave-in conditioner or hair mask. These treatments can help nourish your hair and make it more manageable, preventing tangles from forming in the first place.

The Hair Repair Mask from iluvia is the best for tangled hair care. The humidity-resistant and anti-frizz formula repairs hair and prevents damage. It helps tame frizzy, dry and brittle hair, preventing hair breakage, tangles and knots. It also smoothens the hair, making it easy to comb through when wet.

Another iluvia product that is a must-have in your hair care is the Intensive Hair Care Serum. It’s not only great as a matted hair treatment but also for thin hair that could use a volume and shine boost. But if you have thick, heavy or coarse hair, opt for the Heat Protection Serum. It protects from humidity, damage from environmental pollutants and heat styling.

Matted hair treatment with hair mask
Tangled hair treatment with Intensive Hair Care Serum
Use heat protection serum for coarse hair

While tangled hair treatment can help prevent and address tangled hair, you should remember that they are not a substitute for good hair care practices. To keep your hair healthy and tangle-free, be sure to wash and condition it regularly, avoid over-styling, and protect it from damage by wearing a hat or using a heat protectant.

Although dealing with tangled and matted hair can be frustrating, a few simple practices, such as using a wide-tooth comb and incorporating hair care products like the Hair Repair Mask and Intensive Hair Care Serum into your routine, can prevent tangles and keep your locks looking their best. Remember, consistency is key! Keep up with your hair care routine, and you'll soon be saying goodbye to tangled hair problems.

Get more insight into hair problems and how to combat them by heading to iluviapro.com.