Static Hair : What are the causes & Ways to fight it

  • 03 June 2020
  • Hair Experts @ AHS
  • 4 min. read

Static hair occurs when static electricity builds up in the hair strands, causing them to repel each other. This leads to frizzy hair and, in extreme cases, can even cause hair loss. Solutions to static hair are easy and worth exploring.

With a few tips and tricks, you will be able to master the art of fighting static hair in no time. These tricks can double up as a hair loss solution as they provide effective hair treatment and make them stronger and long-lasting.

What is Static Hair?

Static Hair

Static hair is when the hair builds up static electricity. In simple words, static hair develops a few extra electrons, thanks to friction or due to change in the weather pattern. While static hair is not in itself harmful, it does lead to brittle and frizzy hair.

This is because the hair strands repel from each other. It makes brushing, styling and taking care of hair difficult.

Let us look at this phenomenon of static electricity more closely.

All physical objects (hair included) are made up of atoms. Atoms in turn have three components: Protons, Electrons and Neutrons. Protons are positively charged. Electrons are negatively charged and Neutrons are neutral in nature.

Like particles repel each other while unlike particles attract. So for instance, protons are repelled by protons. On the other hand, electrons too are repelled by one another. However, protons and electrons attract.

In all physical objects positive and negative charges are balanced out. Though, sometimes, extra charges often build up inside the object. These charges remain on the surface of the object and are generally let out through circuits.

However, when the electrical charge is not released, then you get a shock. So for instance, if you rub your shoes against a carpet and then touch them, you will feel the electrical impulse.

Same thing happens with your hair. Hair strands rub against each other and develop static electricity. You can feel this static electricity when you touch your hair strands.

What Causes your Hair to Develop Static Electricity?

Weather Conditions

Lack of humidity in the air can lead to generation of static electricity. Static electricity is especially produced during the winter months, when you are likely to be inside a closed space filled with warm air from the heater.

Water is a great conductor of energy. So, a humid environment leads to lesser build-up of static electricity. But lack of humidity in the air can lead to the development of static electricity in hair.

There are other factors too that can lead to the buildup of electrical charge. The hat and the caps that we wear during the winter months can lead to friction in the hair strands. This can also cause electricity to build up.


Have you ever rubbed a balloon to your head and then tried to hold it up against a wall? You may have seen that the balloon can stick to the surface of the wall without any external help.

This is because the surface of the balloon has developed electrical charge. Same is the case with hair strands. When you rub your hair excessively with a brush or any other object, it may develop static electricity.

What Problems do Static Hair Cause?

There are several hair problems caused by static electricity, shock being the least harmless of them:

  1. Frizzy hair: When your hair develops static electricity, it makes your hair frizzy. This means that the hair strands repel each other. As a result, it becomes extremely difficult to comb or style your hair.
  2. Dry hair: Dry hair or lack of moisture can lead to the build-up of electrical charge in the hair strands. As mentioned before, dry air trapped inside the hair follicle can lead to electricity build-up in the hair. Dryness can lead to a host of hair issues including hair fall.
  3. Brittle hair: Lack of moisture in hair can lead to buildup of electricity charge in hair stands. Lack of moisture can also make the hair brittle, which can lead to hair loss and damage of hair follicles.
  4. Entangled hair: Another byproduct of dry and static hair is entangled hair strands. Since in static hair, strands of hair repel each other, it becomes difficult for someone to comb one’s hair. If left uncombed for a long time, hair strands can get all entangled. Detangling them can be a real challenge for many people.

What are the 7 Ways to Fight Static Hair?

There are several home-grown methods to solve this static hair conundrum. Here are the 7 ways to fight static hair:-

  1. Use a Moisturizing Shampoo

    Moisturizing shampoos contain essential oils and moisturizer to keep the hair soft and supple. This would also ensure that the hair does not become too dry and develop static electricity.

    A moisturizing shampoo locks the natural moisture of hair strands, thereby preventing them from drying up. Massage your scalp gently with the moisturizing shampoo and then rinse it off with water.

    This will not only prevent dryness but will also preserve the natural oil secretion of hair stands called sebum. This will prevent your hair from building up electricity charge as well.

  2. Never Forget to Use a Conditioner

    A conditioner goes hand in hand with a shampoo. While a shampoo is meant to clean your hair and get rid of all the dirt and pollutants, a conditioner will actually help you to clean all the surfactant ingredients of a shampoo that might cling to the hair while using the shampoo.

    This sometimes can also cause electrical charge to build up in hair. However, a good quality shampoo will prevent this from happening. It will protect the hair strands by sealing them off and protecting the internal moisture of the hair strands.

  3. Make a Deep-Conditioning Mask your Friend

    A deep-conditioning hair mask has all the ingredients that can protect hair strands that are especially dry. This may happen in a few people, who do not respond to normal hair care treatments.

    Even moisturizing them cannot solve the problem of dry hair. As such, it is imperative that you go for a hair pack or a deep-conditioning mask every now and then.

  4. Massage your Scalp Regularly

    Scalp contains natural oil. Sebum, which is secreted from the glands keeps the hair moisturized. It also prevents static electricity buildup in your hair. Oil massages have other great benefits all well. It helps in blood circulation that helps in hair regrowth. Oil massages also keep your hair shiny.

  5. Say no to Plastic Combs

    Remember the balloon experiment we talked about? In that experiment, the balloon developed static electricity when it got rubbed against the head vigorously. As such, it could stand on its own against a wall.

    The same thing happens if you use a plastic comb. Brushing your hair vigorously with a plastic comb leads to static electricity in your hair. Switch to natural products like combs made from boar bristles or wood to avoid static hair.

    Plus, using natural products are great for the environment as well. Plastics are bad for the environment as they are essentially non-biodegradable in nature.

  6. Use Natural Fiber as a Towel

    Towels today are made from substances that are harmful for your hair and help in the buildup of static electricity. Further, rubbing your hair with a terrycloth towel may also lead to friction leading to static electricity.

    Switch to natural fabrics that are great for the hair. Also after your bath, you should avoid rubbing your head vigorously. This may also lead to static hair problems.

  7. Use Dryer Sheets

    Finally, you should use anti-static electricity sheets or dryer sheets that are easily available in the market. These sheets contain natural oils that keep your hair healthy and shiny. Use these sheets after taking a shower. This should prevent the hair from developing an electrical charge.

What are the 5 Things We Should Avoid?

While we have looked at the things that we should do to avoid static hair, there are a couple of things you should avoid to get rid of the problem permanently.

Firstly, try and avoid living in a room with dry air. This is especially a problem with people living in cold countries. In these countries, the radiator inside a room heats up the indoor air, making the hair dry and brittle. Use a dehumidifier in order to make the air humid. This will in turn prevent the build-up of static electricity.

Secondly, do not brush your hair vigorously. Not only does this damage the hair, it also helps in the build-up of static charge. Instead, try and use gentle strokes while combing the hair.

This not only makes the hair stronger by improving the blood circulation to the scalp, it also makes sure that there is no electricity build-up in the hair.

Thirdly, never allow your hair to get completely dry. Remember, the drier the hair, the more likely it is to develop static charge. Therefore, oiling, moisturizing and keeping the hair strands clean are the key to preventing static electricity and, of course, continue having great hair.

Fourthly, avoid rubbing plastic objects (including phone) with your hair strands. Combing is a necessary job one has to do. However, try and avoid plastic combs. Also do not rub anything plastic against the hair. Otherwise there is a chance that static electricity might develop.

Fifthly and finally, never rub your hair with a towel. The trick to long-lasting hair is to pat dry wet hair with a cloth. This is because your hair is the most vulnerable when it is wet. Vigorously rubbing will dry out hair and make it brittle.

Therefore, after you take a shower, wrap your hair with a cotton cloth and then squeeze out excess moisture. Doing this will prevent the buildup of static electricity and avoid breakage.


Static electricity in hair is a common but damaging phenomenon that can eventually harm your hair in the long run. Extra electrons that stick to the surface of hair stands may cause static electricity.

This can be easily avoided by a number of tricks that we learnt in the course of the article. These include keeping the hair moisturized, avoiding dry hair and finally, avoiding rubbing of hair with plastic combs.

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Article by Hair Experts @ AHS

Originally hailing from the length and breath of the country our team of hair experts bring together their strength that lies in consulting for hair and skin/scalp concerns that are faced by a lot of people. This core team involves field experts having passion in the field of aesthetics and creating as well as finding the right answers and clearing doubts about all things "Hair". Combining the interest in the field of aesthetics and general well-being, the team moves forward applying the knowhow gained in the field of trichology as well as hair transplantation contributing successfully in being part of our Team India operations and contributing to the needs of our patrons.

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