So, we left off with Hair Types based on follicle size... and I promised a look into the anatomy! I promise once we understand this, we can get to the stuff that we really want to know. Like... why some products only work sometimes, what ingredients work with or against our hair health, etc!
First, let's take a look at the structure of our hair to begin to understand better what is beneficial to the hair strands (fibers).
Hair (Fiber) Structure
Our Hair Fiber Consists of:
Cuticle - Protects the cortex and limits friction between fibers
Cortex - Largest part of the fiber, contains pigments & is responsible for strength and shape
Medulla (in some) - The middle most part of the fiber, is not present in every individual.
Did you know that our hair is between 50 - 100 micrometers (microns) in diameter? Or that it's main purpose is to protect the scalp and provide thermoregulation?
That's right, our hair was created for our protection!!! Which is why it's sooo important to understand it.
Our Hair Follicle Consist of MANY layers:
2 sheaths under the dermis
ORS (outer root sheath) - supports hair growth and protects the rest of the layers.
IRS (inner root sheath)
2 dermal layers
4 Epidermal Layers
- 4. The 3 layers of the fiber (above)
All of these layers are responsible for the growth and protection of the hair fiber!
Each of the layers have numerous specialized cells.
Okay, so the basic take away from the anatomy of the hair is that...
1. Our hair has many layers.
2. Just placing any product on the hair can hurt or help the health of our hair.
3. That we must be intentional with what product we use and how.
4. Healthy Hair begins at the ROOT (below the dermis)
Sooo, Just putting anything on our hair can either be helpful, ineffective, or detrimental to the health of our hair follicles, which could not only damage our hair but affect the health of our body! The things that we put onto our hair (and skin) can be absorbed, which introduces every ingredient in those products to the cells in our body. yikes?
Now that we understand the anatomy of our hair, we can begin looking at what nutrients help these layers do their job, so that our hair is able to perform it's job efficiently and we see the benefits (strength, moisture, growth)!
Next, we'll look at what natural chemicals (nutrients) are present in our hair.. I know I know, starting to get to the good stuff, I can't wait either!
... But FIRST, comment below and tell me what nutrients you think our hair consist of or some ingredients in the products you currently use!
As always... I look forward to this journey of self evaluation & growth with you, my brothers and sisters!