CurlTalk

Hair doesn't absorb water until manipulated - weird, or normal?

This is something I noticed years ago but never really thought anything of it until the other day when I water dipped/washed in the sink.

When my hair first gets wet, whether it's in the shower, a pool, a sink, bath...whatever, the water practically goes through it without actually wetting my hair until I do something to it. Like a shampoo bar being rubbed over it (at first I thought it was just buildup that was then being washed away, but read on!), excessive manipulation like squeezing out water, or (and this was what I thought was odd) just brushing my denman through wet hair. No conditioner or anything - just water and a brush, and it turned to silk. But until I actually do something, it's like water through dry grass - it's very odd.

Has anybody else noticed this, and if so, why do you think it happens? Can anybody offer a possible explanation or even take a wild guess? Cuz I got nuthin'. :tongue5:

ETA: The only thing I can think of is that my hair is constantly drying with the cuticle open (but I usually air dry, so...?), and it takes manipulation to shut the cuticle down, which is why I actually have to shove my hair under the water and hold it if I'm doing a sink dip.
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Comments

  • MimsTXMimsTX Posts: 3,482Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Mine does the same thing, as does my sister's.

    The only thing I could come up with when I first noticed it is the thickness of the individual strands. We both have fairly thick, coarse hair and it just seems to repell water unless I move the strands around and allow the water droplets to have access in between all the wiry little hairs. Otherwise, the VERY topmost hairs might get a little wet, but the rest is BONE dry. I think thicker hair is just harder to penetrate.
    CG/Mod CG (soap bars) since 8/12/08
    CO wash/Cond: Kathymack & Flowermoon Castille soap bars, V05 Chamomile Tea, Suave Ocean Breeze, Biolage Conditioning Balm
    Styling loves: DIFFUSING! CK, KCNT, KCCC, FOTE (on dry hair only), Re:coil, Proclaim gel
    Not sure about: Boots, Tweek, KBB Milk, DMHJ
    HATE: plopping, FOTE on wet hair, BRHG
  • curlykristencurlykristen Posts: 113Registered Users
    Maybe it's like surface tension on the surface of a body of water. I remember doing experiments in school where we had to make a pin or something small like that "float" on top of the water, and you did it by putting it there very carefully, so you didn't disturb the surface of the water. And the pin would stay, until you disrupted the water surface, and then it would fall through. Maybe you have hair surface tension!

    Ok, I realize what a dork I sound like for remembering that, particularly since my 20th high school reunion is coming up in a couple of weeks.....

    By the way, I'm new here, and I just wanna say you have some seriously awesome hair. I have been lurking for a couple of months, and have appreciated all your insights!
    Mostly 3A, some 3B/2C fine-med texture/med porosity/low density

    wash: alternate co-washing with V05 & soap bars
    Rinse out: Rotate TJ's N&S, AOHR, LVPNG, GVP K-Pak, CJ CA Daily Condish
    ACV rinses 2x/wk (high pH water)
    LI: if I use one, it's usually CJ CALI CJ H&B LI, or GDLI
    Styling: FSG with AVG, AN, hemp seed oil & slippery elm (winter only), KCCC, CJ CCCC, CJ SG, CJ AFG, AOMM & BRHG

    Currently experimenting w/DM Miracurls CG & MM
  • SunshineGrrlSunshineGrrl Posts: 3,823Registered Users
    I have the same problem. I can stand underneath the shower with the water pounding over my hair and it won't get wet until I manipulate my hair.

    My own deep-dark-depths-of-my-butt theory is that I tend to use products that have oil in them. My hair loves oil and absorbs it pretty readily. That would account for my hair not getting wet until the oil molecules are broken up a bit. Clear as mud? Me, too.

  • susancnwsusancnw Posts: 1,366Registered Users
    I remember doing experiments in school where we had to make a pin or something small like that "float" on top of the water, and you did it by putting it there very carefully, so you didn't disturb the surface of the water. And the pin would stay, until you disrupted the water surface, and then it would fall through. Maybe you have hair surface tension!

    Ok, I realize what a dork I sound like for remembering that, particularly since my 20th high school reunion is coming up in a couple of weeks.....

    By the way, I'm new here, and I just wanna say you have some seriously awesome hair. I have been lurking for a couple of months, and have appreciated all your insights!

    Okay, I'm going to have to try that. And Welcome to NC.com ;)
    My son wears combat boots (and a parachute). So does my son-in-law.
    The older I get, the less patience I have with cleverness. Thomas Sowell.
    Resolve to perform what you ought. Perform without fail what you resolve. Benjamin Franklin.
    Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first. Mark Twain.

    s-event.png

  • vkb247vkb247 Posts: 266Registered Users
    I am wondering how you know that it is not because of build up? If you use silicones or oils then they can definitely cause this to happen.
    Ayurveda Addict:love5:
    I Henna, Cowashing, Poo bars, KCCC, Eco Styler, Oils & Oil Rinsing and Taliah Waajid Protective Mist Bodifier:blob3:
    Always Playing with Herbs or Making Products
    :occasion7:Texlaxed <-- Click 4 Pics
  • redcelticcurlsredcelticcurls Posts: 17,502Registered Users
    I can't recall all of the particulars, but isn't there something in the LOIS hair typing system that deals with this? I was thinking it was either strand size or porosity related.

    My hair won't get fully wet unless maipulated too.
    Kiva! Microfinance works.

    Med/Coarse, porous curly.
  • kat180kat180 Posts: 6,280Registered Users
    I can only properly wet my hair through in the shower. If i have a bath and dunk my hair under the water, and move my head around when I come back up my hair will still be very dry, only actually wet right on the ends. Its very odd. I think maybe it is so thick it needs the water to be 'combed' through with my hands.
  • mixed_in_91mixed_in_91 Posts: 2Registered Users
    I have the same problem! I can sit under the shower for hours, even if I manipulate my hair, it never gets wet!
  • StarmieStarmie Posts: 6,681Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    My hair's on the fine side of normal and will get wet as soon as I'm under the shower, my son has very thick coarse curls and his hair repels water until it's manipulated. It's certainly not build-up as he's 11 and doesn't use any product (unless he allows me to "play"!).

    His swimming instructor was fascinated by it.
    3b in South Australia.
  • LoloDSMLoloDSM Posts: 3,778Registered Users
    Mine does the same thing only my hair is fine and very silky/slippery.

    My theory is that it's finally moisturized enough that it doesn't readily absorb water. :dontknow:
    Loose botticelli curls and waves
    No silicones/no sulfates since March 2008
  • holly8holly8 Posts: 632Registered Users
    The same thing happens to me.
    Natural since Jan 2,07
    I did a BC
    Hair type:3C\3B
    Multi-racial hair
    Hair length:Started at neck and ears(in its curly state).In Dec 08 (2 years natural) My hair was somewhere near armpit length with bentonite clay in my hair.

    Mission: to obtain healthy hair every day!!

    Hair products:homemade products.....


    :angel1::love5:
  • sexyjacksparrowsexyjacksparrow Posts: 439Registered Users
    Me too. My hair doesn't seem properly wet unless I give it a good squidge!

    Kerry xx
    [FONT=&quot]UK curly - mostly 2c[/FONT]
    • [FONT=&quot]Going back to basics![/FONT]
    • [FONT=&quot]Happily using a mixture of sulphates, cones and CG products.
      [/FONT]
    • [FONT=&quot]Permanently undecided whether to cut or grow![/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Currently loving:[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Lush I Love Juicy shampoo
    Charles Worthington frizz smoothing conditioner[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Superdrug coconut & almond intensive conditioner[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Montagne Jeunesse avocado & cherry bark mask[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Umberto Giannini curl gel
    Boots 'pink' curl creme
    [/FONT]
  • mary99mary99 Posts: 52Registered Users
    If you Google 'hair repels water' or something similar you can read explanations of how our glands produce a waxy coating for our hair that's similar to what coats a duck's feathers. It's pretty common in animals. Shampooing probably makes it less so in humans.
  • CurliLocksCurliLocks Posts: 10,572Registered Users Curl Dabbler
    My hair is the same. It is not very porous at all. I have found that it helps to turn the shower from a spray to a heavy rainfall, like ribbons of water coming out. This penetrates the hair better when I manipulate it. Actually, my 11 yr old son found this out and LMK. :)
    SF Bay Area, CA * "The Angel-Goddess-Guru of Haircoloring" :D
    3b/c/a mix. medium texture, low porosity
    My Motto: Strand Test! some hair pics
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC] -- gone, but never forgotten.
  • BecciBecci Posts: 401Registered Users
    Well the firstly my hair does this and its so strange because sometimes I straighten my hair and when it comes to washing my hair again, either in the bath or in shower it stays stick straight! However with a bit of scrunching and brushing my curls start to come back and my hair begins to get wet.

    Secondly I seem to recall alot of years ago when my friend was doing a hairdressing course that they said something relating to wetting hair. It was something about the natural oils in your hair and scalp that protect it from picking up nasty bacteria and stuff that coats it and fills or flattens the cuticals so you have to manipulate and move the hair to loosen the cuticals to let the water "in".

    The same kind of theory applys to skin as it is water proof. You can wet it but it doesnt soak through.

    Anyway this was a long long time ago but at least it may shed a little light on it for you.:happy6:
    From U.K & started CG 13th July 08 :thumbleft:

    Using VO5 Moisture Milks Passion Fruit Smoothie for co-washing and conditioning.

    Using Boots curl creme

    Considering going Mod-CG and using H&S once a week to prevent build up, flakes and other nastys.:confused3: