Taking “Charge” to Prevent and Repair Damage to Your Hair
Aug 15, 2023
We often say that healthy hair is radiant, but did you know that fueling that glow is an actual electrical charge that gives it strength and beauty? Let’s dig into the fascinating electrochemical reactions that lurk in your locks to learn how science-based haircare helps you take charge of your hair’s health and appearance.
How Your Hair Is Charged
Have you ever shuffled your feet across the carpet and watched your hair go haywire? That’s your hair conducting a charge of static electricity. But even when your hair isn’t standing on end, you’ll be shocked to know that your hair has a slight negative charge. That charge flows from the cells in the hair’s outer protein layer, the cuticle, which are linked like scales into a smooth protective shell. When hair is exposed to strongly negatively charged ingredients, like the harsh surfactants in many lower quality shampoos, that excess negative energy disrupts the molecular bonds in the cuticle. Those broken bonds create gaps between the protein scales and this “raising” of the cuticle leaves strands rough, dull looking and prone to tangling, breakage, damage, and frizz.
To avoid damage from a strong negative charge, many haircare products contain positively charged—or cationic—ingredients, such as surfactants and conditioning agents. These ingredients are attracted to the negatively charged hair like magnets (opposites attract!), and they can help neutralize any bond-disrupting charge to restore smoothness to the cuticle, making the hair easier to detangle and style.
Alterna’s New Treatment Transforms Damaged Hair Into Healthy-Looking Hair*
Alterna’s Caviar Anti-Aging Restructuring Bond Repair Leave-In Treatment Masque is designed to let you take charge of damaged hair, on a molecular level, to help restore the essential electrochemical markers of healthy hair. This multi-tasking masque contains Alterna’s proprietary Bond Enforcing Technology, amino acids, and biomimetic lipids to support a comprehensive approach to treating damaged hair. Lab developed and salon tested, this amazing masque strengthens hair, reduces hair breakage by 69% after first use**, provides smoothness even after repeated washes***, and gives hair a glass-like shine.
Before we tell you more about how the Bond Enforcing Technology works in the masque, we need to talk about amino acids—the building blocks of the protein “scales” that link to form the cuticle. The masque contains a blend of 11 different amino acids that can penetrate porous hair to strengthen and nourish. Remember those electrical charges in your hair? Amino acids have an electric polarity that enables them to bond together and form proteins. Alterna’s Bond Enforcing Technology is a cationic (positively charged) agent engineered to harness the power needed to seal damaged cuticles. Here’s how it works: when hair becomes damaged—whether by harsh ingredients, chemical processes, physical stress or environmental assault (typically oxidation)—the amino acids in the hair can become disordered and lose their natural polarity. Our formula helps to replenish strands by bathing the cuticles in amino acids and using cationic Bond Enforcing Technology to help the amino acids link to the surface of the cuticle where they work to fill in gaps and fissures to restore smoothness and strength.
The Restructuring Bond Repair Leave-In Treatment Masque also contains biomimetic lipids that replicate the sebum your scalp naturally produces. These synthetic lipids provide a smooth, non-greasy topcoat to the hair, protecting it from environmental damage like sun exposure and pollution. Even more impressive? The transformational results can last up to five washes!
The Restructuring Bond Repair Leave-In Treatment Masque is part of Alterna’s cutting-edge Caviar Anti-Aging Restructuring Bond Repair collection. From shampoo and conditioner to serums and stylers, these products are designed to work together to transform damaged hair by helping to smooth and strengthen strands.
When (and Why) to Skip the Conditioner
Conditioners can be amazing and Alterna offers some truly transformative conditioning products. But it’s best to skip the conditioner before using the Restructuring Bond Repair Leave-In Treatment Masque. First, the masque already acts like a conditioner by adding mega moisture, softness, and shine—so adding extra moisture from a conditioner on top of the masque can leave you with limp or greasy-looking locks. Second, the masque’s positively charged Bond Enforcing Technology works best on your naturally negatively charged hair. Since conditioners, by design, work to neutralize that negative charge, they can interfere with the masque’s magic and lessen its effectiveness.
So go ahead and shampoo as usual, then work the masque through damp hair from mid-lengths to ends, one pump at a time. Start with one or two pumps and add more as needed. Do not rinse the masque out (“leave-in treatment’ is in its name, after all), and proceed to style as usual. You can also apply a pea-size amount of the masque to dry hair for extra care between washes. Depending on your hair length and thickness, one container should last about 24-28 treatments.
How to Fix Hair Static
Speaking of hair charges, we hear this question a lot: “How can I make my hair not static-y?” Hair static (aka flyaways) happens when your hair becomes electrically charged-- often due to lack of moisture.(we notice it more when the weather is dry or we are exposed to a full day of heating or air conditioning) Luckily, this hair-raising experience has several easy fixes. One is our Restructuring Bond Repair Leave-In Treatment Masque, which boasts the ability to tame unruly strands among its long list of benefits. In addition to the cuticle-nourishing blend of 11 amino acids mentioned above, it contains murumuru seed butter, a conditioning agent that improves dry and wet hair “combability” and fights static.
Another tip for how to remove hair static: Sleep on a satin or silk pillowcase. The smooth fabric will prevent friction and static that often occur with cotton or linen fibers. You can read more about what causes hair to build up a static charge and the best products to neutralize it in this blog post: How to Get Rid of Static Hair in Winter.
The Bottom Line
Understanding the positive and negative charges of your hair is crucial when it comes to the products you incorporate into your haircare routine. By choosing formulas containing industry-leading ingredients that work with—not against—hair’s natural electrochemistry, you can help repair today’s damage and protect your hair from future damage. Alterna’s new Caviar Anti-Aging Restructuring Bond Repair Leave-In Treatment Masque is an innovative solution designed to give you the “power” to get glowing!
* based on salon studies
** vs. untreated hair
*** vs. untreated damaged (bleached, dried, combed, and washed multiple times) hair and healthy virgin hair