Denise is shocked by all the static electricity in her hair, especially in the winter time. So, she’s turned to the Beauty Brains to find out what causes it and how to stop it. The Right Brain gets excited about electricity in this response…
The Causes of Static Electricity
Static electricity, unlike the electric current that runs your blow dryer and your iPod, is caused by two unlike materials rubbing against each other. (Think about rubbing a balloon on your sweater or running a comb through your hair.) This process causes electrons to be transferred from the surface of one material to the other. The material that loses electrons ends up with an net positive charges and the material that gains electrons ends up a net negative charge.
When this charge build up occurs on materials that don’t conduct electricity very well (like dry, damaged hair) the electrons just kind of sit there. (Hence the name “static electricity.) If there’s enough moisture in the hair the charge can dissipate, but in very dry weather it has not place to go. This charge buildup causes hairs to repel one another (like two ends of a magnet) and that’s when you get static flyaway.
3 Tips For Reducing Static Charge
1.) Reduce the friction that causes static charge.
If you can, cut back on combing and brushing, be careful when putting on or taking off coats, sweaters, and hats. If you must comb or brush, using a wooden comb or brush can help. Ok, this isn’t the most practical advice in the world because you still HAVE to style your hair, but you get the idea – the more you rub stuff against your hair the worse the flyaway will be.
2.) Prevent charge buildup by increasing the conductivity of your hair.
Increasing the conductivity of your hair means that the charge can be spread out and neutralized. Leave in products are particularly good for this because they’re less likely to build up on your hair over time and they can be easily reapplied during the day. You don’t have to spend $15 on something like Fredrick Fekkai Winter Hair Anti static Weightless Mist, there are plenty of other products that work as well. Read the back of the package and look for products that have the ingredients with the word quat or “amine” in their name. These ingredients conduct electricity better than silicones or oils and so are better static fighters. If you don’t like a leave in, you can spray Static Guard on your hair brush or you can even wipe your hair with a dryer sheet. Not our favorite choice but it gets the job done.
3) Improve the condition of your hair so there are less damaged sites.
The more porous and damaged your hair is, the drier it will be. And the drier it is, the more likely that static charge will build up on it. Use a good rinse out conditioner every time you shampoo to keep your hair smooth and moisturized and you can lessen the likelihood of charge building up in the first place. If you don’t mind using silicones, Pantene is one of the best conditioners available. If you’re silicone-shy, try something like Nisim