Surprise! I got an email from Lilysilk last night. Apparently they monitor certain keywords for marketing purposes and found my blog. They were nice people to talk to and thanked me profusely for “advertising” for them in my blog – guess what, they even asked me if I want to start carrying some of their products on my blog. I suppose I will need some time to think about that.
In any case, let’s keep going with our little silk pillow lecture here. I was originally planning to cover the topic of how the naturalness of silk affects our sleep, but just like how I planned to cover facial skin and hair care last time, the topic turned out to be too large and I’m a bit hard pressed on time today. Final solution? Well, lets finish what I started last time – let’s talk about silk pillows and your hair.
I’m sure everyone has woken up with frizzy hair, or bed head, before. Personally it was a big problem for me when I was a student. I remember waking up to go to 8 o’clock classes in the morning and realize that my hair was a total mess midway on the bus. I suppose being a guy helped since my hair was short and thus unable to tangle too much, and people generally didn’t care about how my hair looked. What I didn’t know back then, was that frizzy hair was a sign of my hair being mishandled and crying for help (not that I would do anything different if I did, after all I was a single male university student).
So why do we get frizzy hair in the morning? This is a rather big question that many hair stylists have tried to answered and find a solution for, to varying degrees of success. Generally speaking, your hair tangles because the surface of your hair is coarse/uneven. Imagine when you place two ropes with rough surfaces together and twist them, the chances of them sliding off each other and separate are very slim (it’s impossible, really). However, if the ropes are well-lubricated, they would have a much easier time to slide against each other even when tightly twisted, making tangling much more difficult. Your hair is exactly the same – except you are putting hundreds of thousand of hair strands against each other – imagine the amount of knots and tangles you are going to get if the surface of each strand is coarse!
With coarseness being the main culprit in unruly morning hair established, the logical thing to ask next is: What causes coarseness in hair? This is again, a big question, but for the purpose of this article I will just give you the two major factors that affect the surface smoothness of your hair:
Lack of moisture/oil:
Moisture makes your hair supple, and oil gives it sheen, but that is not their only function. Moisture, or water, is required by your hair cells to regenerate and repair any damage done to it and oil acts as the natural lubrication between hair strands to allow free movement of each strand and avoid entanglement.
When you take a bath before going to bed, you not only wash the dust off your hair, you are also washing the oil off. If the shampoo you use does not provide adequate “reimbursement”… Well guess what, you are going to have trouble putting your hand through your hair the next morning.
“What about water? My hair should be really well moisturized if I take a bath before bed, right?” You may ask. Of course your hair is well-moisturized after a bath, sometimes even too well moisturized your hair starts bloating and becomes uneven on the surface, which may feel very similar to having dry and coarse hair, but it is not a cause for concern as the effect goes away when your hair dries. What you need to worry about, is what comes AFTER your hair dries, as sometimes your hair will “overdry” due to several factors:
Dry air: If the air in your bedroom is exceedingly dry, it will be more difficult for your hair to retain enough moisture to stay supple. Heat will compound the issue even further.
Wind: Continuous air circulation that does not bring in adequate amount of moisture will serve to take away what little water your hair is trying to keep. This happens when you sleep with the fan blowing on your head or outdoors without proper hair protection.
Pillows, Bedsheets, Towels, Duvet Covers – whatever you put your hair against: This is the most important factor as it is applicable to everyone, regardless of where you live. Unless you sleep with your head on some sort of hard surface directly, the material of the item you use to support your head should be of great concern. Cotton, for example, is very absorbent of water as we have discussed in my last article, and will suck your hair dry with ease.
Lack of proteins:
What exactly is hair made of? The answer is – proteins. Roughly 88% of human hair is made of a certain type of protein called keratin, and it is responsible for the shape, sheen and overall feel of your hair. When your body has trouble producing the appropriate amount of keratin, your hair will suffer – that is why malnourished children often have bad hair.
So how exactly does a silk pillowcase help? Easy – by giving your hair what it lacks:
– Silk barely absorbs any moisture at all from your hair, and sleeping on silk actually helps reducing the amount of moisture lost as it reduces the surface contact area between your hair and the air.
– You see shampoo advertisements boasting about “silk proteins” all the time. Silk fiber is made from natural proteins and amino acids that are very similar to those contained in our hair and skin, and silk pillowcases have a natural affinity with hair. It’s unlikely that sleeping on silk can cure protein insufficiencies, but it does alleviate some of the coarseness problems when you sleep.
Ah, and I almost forgot about another big factor in frizzed hair in the morning – friction. Friction from pillowcases with rough surfaces such as nylon (really! I have seen a nylon pillowcase before) and not-so-rough surfaces such as silk can catch strands of hair when you toss and turn at night. Imagine a strand of hair with its end caught – no matter how you turn, the strand is going to stay in the same place, forcing other hair strands to brush up against it causing knots and tangles. The strand can also become folded or even break easily if you apply enough force to it where as it is unlikely for the same to happen to a free hair strand. Silk effectively solves this problem by allowing your hair to not get caught at all during sleep. There is no break, no folding, and of course, no tangling, as the factors for your bed head is effectively eliminated by the silky-smooth surface of a silk pillowcase.
…and that’s it folks! Silk does do wonderful things for your hair. If you don’t believe me, there are tons of posts that you can find on google in which people share their ecstatic experiences with silk pillows and pillowcases. If you are worried about the cost, you really don’t need to. A high-end silk pillowcase costs approximately $50-80, less than what you would pay for a year worth of shampoos and conditioners, but lasts much much longer and gives you more than just hair care. Not a bad investment at all I’d say!
PS.: I thought I was going to finish in a few paragraphs, but this has turned out to be longer than my facial skin care piece. Mark, if you are reading this, can I have half a day off tomorrow so I can go to see Catching Fire?
PPS. That was meant to be a joke… No update tomorrow folks, so don’t keep your breaths. I’ll probably resume this weekend or something.