A BBC member, has shared some great insight about hair science, and I wanted to share this with everyone!
The key to hair health are two things...MOISTURE and PROTEIN. A proper balance between the two gives you healthy hair with no breakage. The problem comes when one or both is out of wack.
Hair is made of keratin, a protein. Certain processes (relaxing, pressing, blowdrying, flat ironing, and dyeing) weaken the protein bonds in the hair, causing the hair to break. There are ways to combat this.
When using heat, relaxed or natural, be smart. Use a heat protectant and try to avoid daily usage.
Now, about moisture.
Hair that is too dry will become brittle and break.
Therefore, it is very imporant to find a great moisturizer!!
1) Grease/oil is not moisturizer. Oil should only be used to SEAL moisture IN the hair, not moisturize.
2) Deep conditioning is important. Instant conditioners (V05, Suave, and other conditioners that tell you to leave them on for 2 minutes, then rinse) do nothing but coat the hair shaft. They do not penetrate.
3) In order to infuse the hair shaft with moisture, you need to deep condition. First, find the right deep conditioner (one that will advise you to apply it, put on a plastic cap, then sit unde the dryer for 15 minutes). These types are designed to infuse moisture deep into the shaft. If you don't have a dryer, you can put on a plastic cap and wrap a warm towel around your head. Some people simply sleep in it and allow their body heat to do the job.
4) Going back to oil...the time to use oils would be AFTER deep conditioning, in order to seal the moisture in the hair shaft.
5) Frizzy and poofy hair is caused by dry hair. When your hair frizzes or poofs, it's because it's thirsy and it's pulling moisture out of the air. This is prevented by deep conditioning properly.
When the hair has a proper moisture/protein balance, it will retain all of it's growth because there will be no breakage or split ends.