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Electric hair: What it is and how to tame it

by Kasper Lindgren on Oct 13, 2022

Read through by Dorthe Kristensen

Hairdresser and former co-owner of the award-winning hairdressing chain Zoom by Zoom
With many years of experience in the hairdressing industry, Dorthe has advised many customers about hair and hair care. Dorthe has read through this blog entry to ensure high quality and professionalism. This blog post is professionally updated on May 20, 2024.

Table of contents

Do you often struggle with electric hair? It can be a big task to tame the hair, especially in the winter months when the air is drier. Don't worry, we're here for you! Throughout this blog post, we take you all the way around the subject of 'electric hair'. First of all: what it is, why you get electric hair, but especially also what you can do to avoid electric hair. We bring you our best tips and tricks that will hopefully help you and your tresses avoid electrocution.

What is electric hair?

To explain what electric hair really is, we have to make use of slightly nerdy descriptions. Perhaps you learned at school that everything basically consists of atoms and that these atoms then consist of protons, neutrons and electrons. Hang in there, because now it's getting a little technical. Electrons are negatively electrically charged and if these electrons then escape from the atom and settle on another atom, suddenly there are 2 negatively charged electrons in the same atom. This will result in them repelling each other. And it is actually this reaction that causes electric hair.

To elaborate, when the hair receives a lot of extra negatively charged electrons, which causes electrical charges to arise in the hair, it will cause the individual strands of hair to repel each other. Just like if you put two negative ends of a magnet against each other. This will cause your hair to fly around on your head or, for example, will stick to your skin or your clothes.

The difference between electric hair and frizzy hair

Electric hair is caused by static electricity, which causes hair to stand out and become flyaway. This often happens in dry environments or in winter. Static electricity is caused by a lack of moisture, which causes the hair to become electrically charged. To tame electric hair, use anti-static sprays, moisturising products and avoid synthetic materials.

Frizzy hair occurs when hair lacks moisture in its outer layer (cuticle), causing the hair to absorb moisture from the environment and swell. This leads to a coarser texture and uncontrolled volume. Frizzy hair is often the result of damage from hot styling tools, chemical treatments or natural hair texture. To combat frizz, you can use moisturising shampoos and conditioners, leave-in conditioners and anti-frizz serums or oils.

Why do I get electric hair?

But how does your hair suddenly become electric? Why and how does your hair pick up these electrons?

Electric hair occurs when there is friction between your hair and another object. Have you tried the trick of rubbing a balloon against your hair? It is actually the same thing that happens when you, for example, use hats, scarves or the like. The friction that is created means that the negative charge of electrons rubs off on your hair and creates this electrical charge.

Now you may be asking why you rarely have electric hair in the summer but you constantly have it in the winter?

There is a good explanation for that. In the summer, the weather and humidity are usually high, this means that the electrical charges become more spread out and therefore have an easier time being discharged. On the other hand, winter is often characterized by low humidity. The dry climate together with dry hair creates the best conditions for electric hair. In particular, the changing climate between the cold air outside and the warm air inside helps to create the optimal conditions for electric hair. If the hair is dry or damaged you will be able to experience a greater degree of electric hair.

Is electric hair harmful to hair?

Yes, electric hair can be harmful to the hair. When the hair becomes electric, it means that it lacks moisture and this can lead to damage and breakage. Electric hair can also be a sign of over-drying of the hair and if not treated properly, it can lead to further damage to the hair strands.

The difference between electric and frizzy hair

Electric and frizzy hair can very often be confused as they look very similar, but there is one crucial difference, especially in relation to what you need to do to tame your locks.

Frizzy hair occurs when the dry and/or damaged hair absorbs moisture from the air. It causes the hair to frizz and curl. You most often experience frizzy hair in the summer months when the humidity is high. Conversely, you get frizzy hair in the winter months because the humidity is low and the hair is dry and/or damaged.

Our best advice to avoid electric hair

Such! Now it's learned a little about what electric hair is, why you get it, as well as what the difference between electric and frizzy hair is. These are important steps in knowing how to tame your locks. I've collected our best advice for electric hair here, so you can get your hair under control.

Give the hair enough moisture - Find the right hair care products

If you want to get rid of electric hair, it is very important that you find hair care products that match your hair's needs. If you experience electric hair, it is important to find products that give your hair a lot of moisture, but at the same time can also help retain moisture in the hair. The moisture helps to discharge your hair's electrical charges, so you avoid flyaways all over the place. It can also often turn out that you have to use one type of product in the summer and another type in the winter.

We can definitely recommend our Repair and Care Shampoo and Conditioner , which is a moisturizing shampoo that gives your hair the ultimate care and moisture. A big favorite not only with me but also with our many customers who tend to have dry and frizzy hair.

Use a moisturizing hair mask

If you still feel your hair is dry and lacks moisture, you might want to try a moisturizing hair mask. The function of the hair mask is slightly different from shampoo and conditioner in that it has a more in-depth effect on your hair strands. You must use a hair mask approximately once a week to get the desired result.

A hair mask that we can recommend with lots of moisture is the Intensive Repair and Growth hair mask , which contains, among other things, Inca Inchi oil, Mango Butter and vitamin E. It increases your hair's resilience, prevents damage and reduces frizz.

Note: It is important that you use shampoo first (preferably 2 times) and then hair mask. Finally, finish with conditioner. This is because conditioner helps to seal the hair and thus seal the moisture inside the hair shaft.

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Consider your hair care routine

Do you have your hair care routine completely under control? This is often where we see that there is a lot to catch up on both in relation to the general health of the hair but also in relation to taming electric hair. For example, how often do you wash your hair? We recommend 2-3 times a week. The reason for this is because frequent hair washing can help to dry out the hair, which will make the hair more electrical, but at the same time also make the hair more porous. You should also avoid using hot water when you wash your hair, as it helps to dry it out even more.

You can also look for a sulfate- and silicone-free shampoo and conditioner to avoid drying out your hair. Read more about shampoo without sulphate and silicone here .

Find a hairbrush that matches your hair

It is important to find a hairbrush that matches your hair type. If you have a tendency to electric hair it could be a sign of dry hair. Here, metal brushes and combs will be a bad choice for you. It is important to find a hairbrush that is good at distributing the hair's natural oils. The scalp produces some natural oils that the hair benefits from. These natural oils help keep hair healthy and shiny. It can therefore be a very good idea to choose a hair brush with boar hair, as it helps to distribute the natural oils very well in the hair.

We personally love the Curved Paddle Brush . It is nothing short of fantastic! With its curved brush head, it follows the scalp and provides an effective distribution of the hair's natural oils. At the same time, it is gentle on the hair and perfect for saving hair on children as well, as it does not hurt to use even if the hair is tangled.

Protect your hair

It is extremely important to protect your hair, especially if you use heat styling on your hair. Here you must use a heat protection product, it can be a serum, hair oil or spray which helps to protect your hair from the heat. You can also choose products that help to seal the hair so that it is not affected by harmful radicals.

When your hair is dry

If you want to get rid of your electric hair, it is important to find a hair care product with an anti-frizz effect. It can also be a good idea to find a product that moisturizes the hair with some good oils. We can highly recommend Smooth and Shine Anti-Frizz elixir , which is a unique hair oil with an anti-frizz effect, as well as oils such as inca inchi oil and argan oil.

Choose the right pillow cover

Do you have the right pillowcase? Do you sleep with satin pillowcases or covers with synthetic fibers? Then you may have experienced that it can give you electric hair. Therefore, you can consider switching to a pillow cover with natural materials such as bamboo, silk or cotton. The natural materials do not emit as much electricity as synthetic materials do. You will therefore be able to experience a significant difference in your hair.

We would recommend that you look towards a bamboo pillowcase, it is very gentle on both hair and skin, and at the same time it is one of the most sustainable materials you can get. Bamboo pillowcases have a smooth surface like sweets and therefore do not wear down the hair in the same way as, for example, cotton can tend to do.

Watch out for drying hair products

We talked a little about it earlier in this post. There are some ingredients in hair products that contribute to drying out the hair. You want to avoid that if you experience electric hair as a problem. It can therefore be a good first step to take a closer look at your hair products. You must pay particular attention to whether the product contains sulfates and special SLS/SLES sulfates are among the most drying. Especially you with curly hair will be able to experience a great effect by switching from sulfate and silicone containing products to hair products without sulfate and silicone .

Products for electric hair

Now you've been through all our top tips and recommendations. As mentioned, there are a lot of things you can do of a minor or major nature. But you'll experience the biggest effect if your hair gets enough moisture and care. There are many things you can do to ensure that your hair maintains the necessary moisture and care. Of course, it also depends on your hair type, as you may have different needs if you have curly hair or if you have fine and straight hair. However, here we will try to take you through some of our product recommendations for electric hair.

Repair and Care - Healthy Hair Kit

If you don't want to mix and match shampoos, conditioners and hair masks, we have the perfect solution for you. Through many tests, we have developed our own hair care range that focuses on care and moisture. The Repair and Care range is uniquely formulated with some of the best ingredients you can find and is sulphate and silicone free. Among the ingredients is Inca Inchi Oil, which has a repairing and conditioning effect on the hair. In addition, we can highlight Aloe Vera, Inca Inchi Oil, Macadamia Oil, Jojba Oil and Shea Butter, Sorbitol, all of which have amazing conditioning properties. Healthy Hair Kit contains shampoo, conditioner and hair mask, so you have a complete hair care kit.

Style and Shine Heat Protection Spray

One of the things that can often cause electric hair is heat styling. It's very important that you use a heat protection spray so that you don't dry out your hair and put too much wear and tear on it. We have the perfect solution for you with our Heat Protection Spray, which is heat protective up to 220 degrees, UV protective and silicone-free. The fact that it is silicone-free is something you don't see very often and this has a positive effect as product residues don't easily build up in the hair.

Bamboo bonnet

A bamboo bonnet is a sleeping cap for sale that protects the entire hair. It's a bit of an upgrade from a bamboo pillowcase, which is also often used to protect the hair when sleeping. The bamboo bonnet encloses the entire hair and reduces friction in the hair when you sleep. It's really ideal for those who want to wake up with electric morning hair.

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