Friday, 13 August 2010

Negative Ions: The Ultimate Hair Fix?

Why Have Ordinary Straighteners When You Can Have Ionizing Ones!

Brookhaven Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider: The Future of Hair Conditioner?
Step into any high street retailer selling hair dryers or straighteners and you can buy your cheap but cheerful bog-standard ones or you can get some fancy schmancy "ionising" ones.  All the celebrities use them, so they must work.

So what is this magic that negative ions bring to hair styling? Fear not. Google has the answers. I found a brilliant bit on on-line wisdom about why negative ions are so excellent for your hair.

The Hype

Apparently "research" shows that negative ions break water molecules down into "micro fine" particles which then get into the hair and restore the moisture balance of your hair. It's all natural and will solve frizziness problems. Isn't that great?


Oh, brother. I don't know where to begin with this load of nonsense. I guess we can start with the concept that if you break down H2O (water) you get a couple H's (hydrogen) and an O (oxygen). You can't reduce a water molecule into some micro form of water.

Maybe they meant the molecules get compressed? Well, the only way to do this is to use a relativistic heavy ion collider, and there's only one of them ... in New York. Somehow I don't think this technology is being used in the hair care industry, but I could be wrong.

Okay, and anyway water gets into your hair in its full-molecule wet form already, no problem. Just stick your head under the shower and Bob's your uncle. "Moisture balance" restored, right?

More Hype

Apparently your hair is unruly and needs help because it carries a positive electrical charge from the friction of your hair rubbing together. This makes your hair dull and unhealthy. Using heat styling with negative ions cancels out the positive ions, giving you smoother, straighter and healthier hair. The negative ions actually rebuild and repair your hair.

Whoa! That's amazing! And so bogus the mind boggles.

More Reality

Negative ions in an electrical field are attracted to positive ions, and positive ions are released by hair that has a damaged cuticle. The negative ions are attracted to the damaged sites and help the chemicals used in conditioners to bond more strongly to the site.

Your hair will feel smoother immediately after straightening because it is more heavily coated with styling product. This does not actually help your hair very much and the heat styling itself is probably causing more damage along the length of the hair.

Negative ions are not “neutralising” anything in your hair, they are only attracting clumps of styling product to the weakest points along your cuticle to make your hair feel nice to the touch, but it is a very temporary fix. It is not – I repeat, not – making your hair healthy.

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