Hair Memory: Is it Actually a Thing?

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So, you’ve decided to change up your current hairstyle. Maybe added some wispy bangs, maybe you switch to an undercut bob. But whatever you do, it’s just not going exactly the way you had visioned your locks would look like.

So, what have you been doing wrong? Why hasn’t your hair behaved how you want it to?

Well, the answer could lie in your hair’s memory. Come again? Yes, your hair, just like all of the cells in your entire body, has its own “memory”, which means that you would have to train it first, in order for it to be styled differently.

So, let’s take a closer look at what hair memory actually is…

Hair Memory

So, what exactly is hair memory, and is it even a real thing?

Well, the easy answer to this is yes, it is a real phenomenon. And if you’ve ever experienced a problem changing up your hairstyle, then it’s because your hair has memory and it doesn’t take on a new style easily.

It’s quite a common issue.

This is because your hair’s roots determine how it grows in a certain direction. And changing its direction will take some time and patience.

Just imagine for a moment a plant on your windowsill, which is growing towards the sunlight. If you decide to move the plant to another area, then it will take a while for the plant’s leaves to turn toward the direction of the sun again.

Your hair’s roots determine how it grows in a certain direction, and changing its direction will take some time and patience.

This visual example of the plant and the sun can help you to understand what can happen to your hair when you try to change styles if you have hair memory.

So, for instance, lets say you have very curly or wavy hair that you always straighten. But when the humidity hits, it starts to frizz. Or maybe when it gets wet it starts curling again. In these cases, the keratin protein in your hair has a certain “memory”.

It’s sorta like turning a ship… you turn the wheel, but it takes a little while for the boat to come ’round!

To correct it, you’ll have to work your hair consistently against its memory tension, which is going to take effort and patience.

This is something that’s not going to happen overnight. In fact, it could even take months before your hair gets used to its new shape.

If your hair has a mixture of textures, such as straight and waves, or waves and curls, then you might want to consider taking more drastic action and going for a big chop, which means getting rid of the old memory and starting afresh.

By cutting off all the dry and damaged parts, and allowing it to dry without adding any stress, you will be more able to coax this hair into holding the style you want it to when it’s wet.

What To Avoid If Your Hair Has Memory

Although it’s a chemical used in many drugstore shampoos, sulfates could be the culprit that is causing your hair to hold onto its memory.

Sulfates are used to create the classic foamy texture that helps to clean dirt, dead skin cells, and oils from the scalp and hair. The lather created attaches to these contaminants and removes them from your hair easily.

However, sulfates can cause other adverse effects, especially if you’re allergic to sulfur or have eczema, rosacea, or sensitive skin. They strip your hair and scalp of their proteins and natural oils, which can affect hair growth.

Another undesirable consequence of using sulfate shampoo, is that the keratin in your hair will become deficient, which will make your locks more prone to drying and frizzing. This will make your hair hold onto its memory more, and not move the way you want it to.

This is especially true if your hair type is already dry or fine.

The keratin in your hair will become deficient, which will make your locks more prone to drying and frizzing. This will make your hair hold onto its memory more, and not play the way you want it to.

Luckily, it is possible to keep your hair clean and healthy by using a sulfate-free shampoo. We recommend Love Beauty And Planet’s Vegan Biotin Sulfate-Free Shampoo , which will leave your locks feeling deeply cleansed, hydrated, strengthened, and soft all at the same time.

It has a sun-kissed mandarin fragrance that will lift your mood, while its added coconut oil works to provide shine and visible fullness, tame flyaways, boost the strength of your locks, and leave a glossy smoothness to your hair, which will provide the perfect canvas to create a new hairstyle.

Love Beauty and Planet Sulfate-Free Shampoo Vegan Biotin & Sun-Kissed Mandarin Deep Cleanse, Hydrate, Strengthen, Volumize & Shine 5-in-1 Multi-Benefit Nourishing Shampoo 32 oz
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Now that you know how hair memory works, you just have to practice a little patience in order to achieve the style that you really want. If you’re running into hair memory problems, it is worth trying a sulfate-free shampoo, which can help to speed up the process.

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).