Hair Structure – Important Information for Hair Growth
A strand of hair consists of three layers and is primarily composed of proteins. About 88% of the hair follicle is a protein called keratin. The second substance present in this layer of the hair is called sulfur. Sulfur, and how much of it is in your hair, will determine the result you will get when processing your hair with certain chemicals such as coloring or permanents and is important to understand for hair growth.
The Deepest Layer - Medulla
The medulla is located in the center of the hair follicle. Thin or small hairs may not have this layer present. This layer of hair is generally unaffected whether negatively or positively by hair products. This means that damage or repair will not be fixed on this level of the follicle. Since the innermost layer, the medulla is either not present in some hair follicles or generally unaffected by hair products or chemicals used it is fair to say that nothing can be done on this level to improve the health of the medulla.
The Center Layer Called The Cortex
The pigments located in this layer of the hair follicle determine what texture and color the hair strand will have. Changes can be made on this layer of the hair follicle with chemicals such as bleaching, coloring, perming, or straightening.
The cortex can be damaged due to excess chemicals so it would be safe to say that using an experienced cosmetologist would be the best way to avoid extreme damage at this level.
This is outermost layer of the hair. This layer of hair is affected by everything you do from the food you eat (nutrients), the shampoo you use (good or bad), and the chemicals used to process the hair. It consists of scales that protect the cortex. It is most receptive to vitamins for hair growth or products for hair loss.
If the cuticles are in good condition, not broken or damaged then hair will generally lay flat which provides a sleek, shiny look. However, damaged cuticles lead to split ends and hair may appear dry or frizzy. In other words this is the part of the hair that is directly responsible for a "good hair day" or a "bad hair day" and may directly impact how fast your hair grows.
Important Hair Care Advice
Now for the important part, the cuticle of the hair can be repaired if you replenish the nutrition and moisture to the follicle. Achieving this might require you to invest in a moisturizing vitamin shampoo and possibly some vitamin supplements.
The important thing to know is that the damage can be managed and repaired. Increasing the moisture and nutrients to the hair follicle will increase its strength and thereby reducing the amount of breakage and damage that is present giving you healthier, shinier, more manageable hair.
General Hair Structure
- Huxley and Henle Layers
- Cuticle and protective Sheath