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Understanding Hair Elasticity: How to Assess & Improve The Strength of Your Curls

Understanding Hair Elasticity: How to Assess & Improve The Strength of Your Curls

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If you’re looking to enhance the strength & vitality of your curls, there’s a crucial hair element you need to know about hair elasticity. 

What is hair elasticity?

Elasticity for hair refers to your curls’ ability to bounce back—but don’t go tugging on your ends just yet. In this guide, we’ll break down exactly what is hair elasticity, how to properly assess it & ways you can update your curl care routine to enhance your hair’s elasticity naturally.


What Is Hair Elasticity?

As mentioned above, elasticity in hair refers to your curls’ bounce & their ability to retain their original shape after being stretched. It’s a reflection of your curls’ overall health—in fact, your hair’s elasticity can let you know whether your coils need some extra TLC. How?

Your hair strands hold moisture in the cortex, a.k.a., the center of the hair strand. The cortex is surrounded by the outer layer, known as the hair cuticle. If your hair texture becomes too dry, the hair cuticle can lift & cause the cortex to lose its moisture. This results in a loss in elasticity. 

Weak hair shafts caused by a lack of protein can also lead to low elasticity. Therefore it’s important to keep your scalp well-nourished with a combination of moisture-rich treatments & protein-packed products. 


Signs of Healthy Hair Elasticity: What To Look For

When it comes to taking care of your curls, it’s important to understand not only your curl pattern & porosity but also your hair elasticity. Elasticity plays a crucial role in ensuring your hair type stays strong & vibrant so your curls can continue to wow. 

Here are some things to look out for when performing a hair elasticity test:

  • Shine
  • Smoothness
  • Bounce
  • Lack of breakage & split ends

These factors can let you know whether your strands are maintaining their moisture or if it’s time to incorporate our Transition Mask & some Leave-In Conditioner (but more on this below).


Common Causes of Low Hair Elasticity in Curls

Several internal & external factors can affect your hair health, but with the right habits & curly hair styling products, you can care for your curls from the inside out. So, what causes low hair elasticity? Here are some factors that may be impacting your natural tresses:

  • An unbalanced diet, specifically lacking in protein, Omega-3 fatty acids & antioxidants
  • Under- or over-moisturized hair 
  • Styling tools & techniques that contribute to friction & natural hair breakage 
  • Uneven dispersion of oil throughout your scalp

Besides getting in those fatty acids & antioxidants, the way you handle & treat your strands has a huge impact on their curl & shine. One pro haircare tip that can help prevent friction & damage is to always use a tool like our Wide Tooth Comb when styling your curls. This can help you minimize hair breakage while maintaining the integrity & elasticity of your locks. How?

While standard brushes & finer combs can cause excessive friction that may lead to breakage, wide tooth combs can help you smooth your strands & distribute your scalp’s natural oils evenly, ensuring all curls receive the moisture they crave. 


Improving Hair Elasticity: Best Practices for Curl Resilience

If you’ve noticed you have low elasticity, all hope isn’t lost! Alongside adopting the habit of using a wide tooth comb, there are other ways you can improve your hair health & level of bounce in no time.

@patternbeauty The biggest gamechanger of the season is here 🤍 @Juanita NaturalHair|Skincare uses our new Bounce Back Pre-Poo formula to bring her type 4 curls back to life & we are living for the results #patternbeauty #curlrevert #curlsroutine #washdayroutine #curlrefresh ♬ original sound - PATTERN
  

Opt for Protective Styling to Preserve Curl Elasticity & Minimize Damage

For any curly-haired king or queen, dialing into the best protective hairstyles for sleeping is essential. Even if you already take great care of your curls by wearing them in a satin scarf to bed every night & nourishing them with a carefully crafted curly hair conditioner, it may be time to level up your hair care routine even further

Ensure your curl type keeps its body & shine by using protective styles that help your tresses stay smooth, prevent breakage & look chic no matter the weather. From Bantu knots to plaits & buns, there’s no shortage of ways to express yourself while also ensuring you maintain high hair elasticity. 


Nourish Your Curls with Hair Care Products Designed to Enhance Elasticity

When you want to enhance your curl strength & ensure your coils maintain their elasticity, you’ll need to use the right products to amp up the moisture without weighing down your vibrant locks. 

Think of your hair shaft as a complex ecosystem that requires a balanced combination of both moisture & protein to keep your curls big & bouncy. By using the right hair products for curly hair, like our Palo Santo Leave-In Conditioner or Jojoba Oil Blend, you can give your strands the ingredients they need to maintain high elasticity. 

Another alternative to explore if you have experienced a shift in hydration levels is pre-poo. If you feel like your strands need a bit of a moisture boost, reaching for a product like our Bounce Back Pre-Poo, is a great solution. You may be wondering, what is pre-poo? Pre-poo is short for “pre-shampoo”—a pre-wash moisturizing treatment that locks in hydration before you hop in the shower & start washing. By using a pre-poo product regularly, hydrated hair & optimal elasticity can more easily be achieved.


It’s All About the Bounce with PATTERN

Whether you have waves, curls, or coils (or something in between), you can enhance your hair’s elasticity & flaunt that juicy, joyful bounce with PATTERN. 

At PATTERN, we’re committed to designing natural hair care products that nourish your locks & protect your pattern without the use of harsh sulfates or parabens. 

When you’re ready to upgrade your hair care routine, make it all about the bounce with PATTERN.


Sources: 


MDPI. The Secrets of Beautiful Hair: Why is it Flexible and Elastic? https://www.mdpi.com/2079-9284/6/3/40.


Naturally Curly. 6 Nutritionists Share the Foods You Should Eat for Healthy Natural Hair Growth. https://www.naturallycurly.com/curlreading/curls/6-nutritionist-share-the-foods-you-should-eat-for-healthy-natural-hair-growth
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Reviewed by Ashley Ludgood

With over 12 years of experience in the beauty and fashion industry, Ashley Ludgood brings a wealth of expertise to her current role at PATTERN. Her insights have been featured in reputable publications like American Salon Magazine, American Spa Magazine, and Skin, Inc. Ashley has also shared her knowledge at conferences, including Face & Body, demonstrating her ongoing commitment to contributing to the industry. Having been an integral part of the team at PATTERN for nearly 4 years, Ashley continues to make significant contributions. Holding a degree in Journalism from Northwestern University, she remains passionate about her field. Among her favorite products, Ashley turns to the PATTERN Styling Cream, Moisture Milk, and the Cleansing Shampoo as her go-to essentials.

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