Last week we were interviewed by an editor for Oprah’s “O” magazine about static flyway. If and when the article is published we’ll provide a link but in the meantime here’s the scoop on static charge on your hair.
What is static flyaway?
The name really says it all: it’s a static charge which means it literally doesn’t move. Most electrical charges we encounter (i.e., electricity) are moving through conductive wires. But static charges are stuck in one spot on an insulated surface (like your hair or a balloon after you rub it on your sweater.) All these built up charges repel each other and push your hair fibers apart.
Top three causes of static buildup
Friction – static charges are caused by rubbing a material against your hair that can give up or accept extra electrons. For example, when you brush or comb your hair or pull on a sweater, you’re creating friction that causes electron transfer.
Low humidity – water molecules are conductive so moisture in the air can disperse static charges. That’s why you typically don’t get flyway when it’s humid. But in dry, winter weather the charges are stuck on your hair.
Hair condition – the drier/more damaged hair is, the more negative charge it has and the more likely it will be to transfer electrons.
Top 3 flyaway fixes
Lock it – fight flyaway with styling products (hairspray, gel, etc.) that lock hair in place. This is effective but leaves hair feeling stiff and weighed down.
Lubricate it – Coat the hair with oil or silicone to reduce friction. This prevent static charge from building up in the first place.
Lose it – Get rid of the charge with a good leave in conditioner. (A good rinse out conditioner can help too.) This is probably the best solution.
3 ingredients to look for
Amodimethicone – not all ‘cones are created equal. Amodimethicone has a nitrogen molecule which gives it the ability to disperse charge.
Polyquaternium - conditioners like Polyquaternium-7 or 10 are good anti-static agents too.
Glycerine – if left in hair, can attract moisture molecules which help remove the charge.
Image credit: http://nopsa.hiit.fi