How To Do an Elasticity Test

Moisture or Protein — What Does Your Dry Hair Need?


During a salon visit in my old stomping grounds of Chicago, I asked my former hairdresser to recommend a weekly conditioner — one that would restore, revitalize, and deep-condition my dry "winter hair" all at once. "Great," she said. "Let's give your hair an elasticity test to see if you need more moisture or protein." I was game, but what did it all mean?

To determine what your hair is lacking, gently pull out a few pieces of wet hair from various parts of your head. Holding each hair separately between both thumbs, lightly pull. How does your hair react? Is it gummy, does it snap or appear brittle, or does it return back to its original state?

  • If it's gummy: Repair damage with protein-based conditioner. Try Frédéric Fekkai Protein Rx Reparative Conditioner ($23 to $38), which helps to mend hair, all while adding hydration.
  • If it snaps or appears brittle: Put moisture back in with a deep conditioning treatment. Try Jonathan Hydrating Mask ($26).
  • If it returns back to its original state: Congratulations. You've got some healthy hair on that noggin. Use shampoos and conditioners for your hair type (curly, limp, colored, etc.) to maintain.

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