Tensile? What in the world do you mean by that? Ok do not sit there reading this and think, ‘ dang girl you don’t know what tensile means, did you pay attention in English class? “Yes, YES I did” *in my Kevin Hart Voice*.
For those who do not know the meaning of tensile never mind, that’s what Google, the dictionary and Wikipedia are for (wink).
Allow me to drop a little knowledge on you, Tensile refers to the force that is required to pull something apart. In the case of your hair strand, it is the level of elasticity your hair has, so if you hold a strand using both hands and pull the strand of hair apart, your assessment will be based on how much force it will take to pull the hair until it breaks.
Without a doubt, you want your hair to be strong, after all strong hair with good elasticity can stand up to manipulation, environmental influences and all the other things it is subject to on a daily basis.
Do not get confused though, because if you have a strand and you are pulling for days, and the thing just stretches like it’s a piece of chewing gum, that is not exactly a true representation of strength.
In that case your hair is super elastic to the point of looking stringy and straggly which means you need to do something to it to get those muscles popping again by way of a protein treatment.
There are a few ways you can boost your hair’s tensile strength and as your luck would have it, I plan to share them with you here, let’s begin.
This is probably the most obvious way to increase hair strength because protein is what makes up the very structure of the hair. It can be a little alarming when someone says they are protein sensitive because it is almost like saying you are allergic to the very thing your hair is made of.
Small protein molecules or hydrolyzed protein has the ability to penetrate the hair strand and improve the hair from the inside out. Larger protein molecules sit outside of the hair strand and help to smooth the outside areas making your hair strong on the outside. The protein molecules in an egg are a perfect example of large protein molecules.
Believe it or not how you treat your scalp is directly related to how strong your hair is. This makes perfect sense because foundation is everything. This means cleaning your scalp and paying attention to any irritation that you might have.
Scalp massages are great because they stimulate your hair follicles and get your juices flowing not to mention they relieve stress too. Another benefit is that scalp massages help to spread your natural oils* sebum over your hair and this oil actually assists in increasing your hair’s elasticity and strength. Just pick an oil, any oil that you fancy, coat your finger tips and go to work.
Aren’t you tired of us singing the finger detangling song? Finger detangling is popular for a reason; combs and brushes wreak havoc on your hair’s cuticles even if your hair is straight.
If you must use a comb ensure that the comb is a wide tooth comb*, and if you must use a brush ensure that the bristles are not close together.
Any device that can strip down the hair strand will lower your hair’s tensile strength so finger detangling helps your tensile strength by omitting arguably the most damaging aspect of your hair regimen.
Avoid Certain Ingredients
Your product ingredient list, is your best friend, never mind that brand stuff, skip all the pretty stuff and head straight to the list. There are certain ingredients that can strip your hair causing it to be detrimental to your hair’s elasticity.
Chemicals such as sodium lauryl sulfate, often found in regular shampoos, isopropyl alcohol and diethaolamine are all harmful to your strands. Try to choose products that are as natural as possible and that are chemical free.
Protecting Your Hair From The Sun
If you are lucky enough to read this in the summer or you live in one of those permanently sunny states (lucky you) then listen up! We love the sun but sometimes we will also feel it’s harmful effects on our skin and on our hair. Heat and UV rays weaken the hair strand and will lower it’s elasticity over time.
Wear a hat when you know that your hair will be exposed to the sun for long periods of time, try sun block for your hair or use a natural oil with spf, anything to keep your hair protected daily.
Avoid Heated Styling Tools
Just like the sun, curling irons*, flat irons*, any kind of iron* or heated device that is applied directly to your hair can break it down and make it weak. We have many posts that deal with the subject of heat damage and how to avoid it so there is no need to rehash it here.
Just know that using precautions is the name of the game when you are trying to keep your strands strong.
That’s it, I hope these tips help you improve your hair’s tensile strength which will lead to longer healthier hair in the long term.