Q: I am a 23 year old male and would like to ask a question about hair. I would like to find out how I could keep my
hair down and not spiky when I get it wet. In other words how could I keep my straight hair from not becoming spiky when it gets
wet (shower or pool) and instead keep it "domed" or "held" down.
A: It sounds as though you have pretty thick, coarse hair. This
means that your individual hairs are thick, and that there are a lot of them on your head. It’s this texture and density that
determines how your hair will behave at certain lengths.
When a person has coarse, thick hair that is cut short, the hair generally tends to stand out
from the scalp. The hair has sufficient strength and structure that it will support more weight than hair that is fine, and the fact
that there are so many hairs per square inch on the head means that the hairs can rely on one another for support. Left to its own
devices, thick, coarse hair will be “spiky” when it isn’t long enough for its weight to hold it down.
We can style the hair to lie flat using product and/or heat styling (blow drying, flat ironing,
etc), but since these styling methods (those using moisture and heat) only alter the physical side bonds in the hair, when the hair
is exposed to moisture and/or heat again – especially if the amount of moisture is sufficient to dilute any product used – the hair
will revert to its natural position.
It sounds as though what you want to do is to either A) continue to allow your hair to grow so
that its weight will keep the hair lying down even when it is free of product and hasn’t been styled, or B) get yourself an accessory
to keep your hair from getting wet when swimming and showering – such as a shower cap and swimmer’s cap.
You could look into getting a thio-straightening treatment, which would alter the chemical side
bonds of the hair, forcing the hair to lie flatter to the scalp. This would make the hair less likely to “spike” when it gets wet,
and will make your dry hair styles last longer throughout the day, but as the hair grows, you will eventually see that your hair has
a bend in it from the hair being forced to lie flat to the scalp and the new growth forming below the point where the hair was bent
backward during the thio-straightening. This of course, can simply be repeated every 6-8 weeks as needed, so long as you keep your
hair cared for properly between treatments.