A sudden change in hair texture can be alarming, especially if you follow a strict hair routine during the week. Spongy hair is a common issue that occurs with curly hair but can affect all hair types due to health reasons or issues with moisture and porosity. A new hair texture doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doing anything wrong with your regular routine, but it’s essential to pinpoint what the issue is before your hair gets worse or becomes permanently damaged.
Hair problems can worsen over time and may ultimately lead to thinning hair, loss of strength and elasticity and even hair loss. Don’t give up on having the shining, luxurious hair your really want. Learn more about spongy and stretchy hair and how to treat these conditions here.
Why does my hair feel spongy?
Your hair can feel spongy if it’s being overprocessed or not properly cared for during the day. You may notice your hair is absorbing a lot of water but drying out quickly and feeling uncomfortable and frizzy to the touch. The porosity of your hair is affected by your care routine and your genetics. If you’re using improper shampoos, skipping conditioner, and using too much heat and chemical treatments, your hair is going to suffer and may develop sponginess.
Your regular care is essential to maintaining healthy, happy hair that can withstand the weather and maintain fun hairdos. If you haven’t changed any products in your routine but are still experiencing sponginess, you may need to reconsider your diet and exercise schedule as well as your medications and overall health.
Your hair and skin reflect your inner health and can indicate deficiencies in key nutrients and minerals before they become more noticeable and affect your day-to-day life.
Sponginess is often a side effect of high porosity hair, which can worsen to a point where the hair can no longer be saved. If your hair is gummy and breaks off easily in your hand, you may have to completely remove the hair and start fresh. This is the worst level of high porosity and often isn’t an issue for many women who catch their hair issues in time for repair. As long as you address the sponginess immediately, you can save your hair with the right treatments and care.
Are there hair types that are more spongy than others?
Curly or natural hair types typically suffer from sponginess more than women with straight or wavy hair. Curly hair requires more nutrients and can suffer from dryness and cuticle issues more frequently. Women with natural hair often use heat and chemical treatments to manage their hair, increasing the chances of irritation and damage. It can be hard to find quality products and effective moisturizers to offset daily damage and keep your hair proficiently protected.
Every hair type can become spongy if you’re not properly caring for your hair. It’s essential to minimize how often you use heat tools and chemicals when taming your hair for the day. If you’ve recently discovered your hair type, schedule an appointment with a beautician to get expert advice on the shampoos and products that will maintain and improve your unique hair health.
Is spongy hair a good or bad sign in terms of hair health?
Spongy hair is a sign of worsening hair health due to overprocessing, which is directly causing high porosity characteristics. High porosity is the worst porosity to deal with as it can quickly lead to hair loss and even having to cut or shave your hair completely off and start again. Your cuticles may be staying constantly open or even be stripped completely away, allowing no moisture to truly be absorbed by your hair.
Your hair is at its healthiest when it has low or normal porosity. A high porosity will affect your hair’s ability to absorb moisture as well as products, making it harder to control and maintain during the day. You may have a higher amount of frizziness, more breakage and split ends.
Your hair will look dull and won’t feel soft and smooth. If you determine you have spongy, high porosity hair, you should immediately seek to offset the damage and treat your hair with its porosity in mind.
How do you treat spongy hair?
Spongy hair can be treated easily with the right products and professional beautician advice. Severely damaged hair can be treated about once a week with a quality protein treatment. This will help to stop the occurring damage and repair the hair cuticle. Avoid using any heat or chemicals including flat irons, blow dryers, color treatments or perms that can exacerbate the issue and worsen your hair health.
Ensure your shampoo doesn’t contain sulfate or parabens that can harm your hair and body. Sulfates wash away the good oils from your scalp and hair, stripping away its natural protection and making it harder to absorb moisture. Invest in a quality leave-in conditioner that will benefit the smoothness and health of your hair.
Using conditioner in the shower is a decent alternative, but leave-in conditioners are typically stronger and protect your hair and scalp for longer. Avoid using too much conditioner that can be wasted if your hair doesn’t absorb it and create a greasy, unclean look.
If your spongy hair is being caused by your health or diet, talk to your doctor about medication alternatives or find the best products to offset the damage. Exercising and eating better are often easier to accomplish than completely changing necessary medications. Your hair will benefit from better products and a more thorough hair routine no matter your health or any other fixed disadvantages.
Is spongy hair the same as stretchy hair?
If your hair is spongy, it may also be stretchy. These issues are separate but related with sponginess more often tied to overprocessing and porosity while stretchiness is related to your natural elasticity and damage. Your hair has a natural amount of stretchiness called elasticity, where it can be stretched to a certain degree until it returns to its natural length. Every woman has a unique level of elasticity based on their genetics and hair type.
An unhealthy amount of stretch can result in your hair feeling gummy, limp, or even completely breaking off. The protein and moisture in your hair work to keep your strands healthy, strong and elastic without over-absorbing products or suffering from breakage. If you over-moisturize and the balance becomes uneven, you can experience issues like sponginess and stretchiness.
Finding the perfect balance for your hair can require experimentation and advice from a beautician. Every woman’s hair is different and requires varying levels of moisture and protein to maintain an ideal level of health. Don’t feel ashamed if you begin to experience spongy or stretchy hair. Every issue can be corrected over time if you’re willing to invest in the right products and care.
Why is my hair stretchy when dry?
Your natural stretchiness is affected by your genetics. If you notice your hair is more stretchy just after the shower or when it’s already dry, you’re likely experiencing stress, product or treatment issues or hormonal imbalances. Most hair issues are caused by similar issues with health, diet and product use and can easily be corrected when you identify the problem and begin a healthier routine.
Stretchy hair isn’t necessarily bad for your hair. It becomes a serious issue if your hair is becoming limp or mushy after stretching or if you’re suffering from breakage. You may not initially recognize if your hair becomes a little more stretchy than usual. The health of your hair becomes endangered when the damage is left too long and reaches a point where you’re frequently losing hair or suffering from thinning or bald spots.
How to fix stretchy hair?
Identify what’s causing the increased hair stretchiness and breakage. Try this easy pull test on your hair to roughly identify your issue. If your hair breaks immediately without stretching, you’re in dire need of more moisture in your routine.
If it stretches unnaturally and results in limp hair, protein is most needed to strengthen your hair. Hair that stretches a little and bounces back or even breaks is maintaining a healthy level of protein and moisture.
Your hair can take a lot of damage and still bounce back. Changing up your routine and practicing informed care can work miracles on your hair’s glow and shine. Avoid sleeping with your hair wet as this can weaken your keratin.
Comb your hair only when it’s fully dry and work gently through the strands to avoid unnecessary tension. Avoid washing every day and instead schedule your wash days to better utilize when your hair needs to be clean.
You don’t want to dry out your hair during the weak with rough shampoo that strips away your necessary natural oils. Moisturize based on your hair type, ensuring it’s fully absorbed and doesn’t accumulate on top of your hair.
Cut off your dead ends and schedule regular trims about once a month based on your growth rate. If your hair is stretchy toward the ends but not at the roots, treat all your hair like it’s suffering from stretchiness. This rule should also be applied to porosity so you’re fully and consistently treating the health of your hair and scalp.
A change in hair texture is startling and can indicate deeper issues with your hair health. If your hair develops a new sponginess or stretchiness, your protein and moisture balance may have been disturbed by a new product, improper diet, or health issues.
Your hair can withstand a lot before becoming permanently damaged. Don’t give up on your hair because it suddenly feels strange or unhealthy. Change up your daily hair routine and diet now for lasting benefits and healthier, shinier hair.
Further reading material
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