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Damaged Hair

A Healthy Hair shaft

How to Get Healthy Hair

Maybe you have found yourself asking these questions (If not, just humor me):

What purpose does hair actually serve? It may provide some insulation, but not much to speak of really. Scientists believe that the evolutionary function of hair was to provide:

  • Protection of vital parts of the body from cold.

  • Additional layer of protection for the skin. We have less hair today than our ancestors and future humans may eventually become hairless.

It’s ironic your hairs’ lack of function is what gives it our cultural meaning. Healthy hair is your crowning glory . . . a decoration of sorts. Hair is one of the most important defining statements about your self-identity.If your hair is in disarray and all out of order, all other attempts to create a statement of who you are will fall short.

 Hair is protein . . . the same protein that makes up your fingernails, teeth and skin. The scientific name for this protein is keratin. Soft shiny hair is an indicator of good health, like clear skin and strong fingernails. Your hair is fed by blood, which first feeds your essential organs such as your heart and brain. Whatever nutrients are left goes to the extremities. This is why dull lackluster hair sometimes indicates an illness or vitamin deficiency.

Anantomy of an Individual Healthy Hair Strand

Let’s take a closer look:

  • The cuticle~~ The outermost layer of your hair is made up of overlapping scales, as on a fish. Healthy hair cuticles lie down smoothly and reflect light, giving hair its shine. This is the only protecting layer for your hair. A conditioner can help smooth the cuticle. Most women can tell whether they need conditioner by the way their hair feels, such as dry, brittle, broken ends. Here’s a test to find out whether your cuticle layer is damaged. Shampoo and condition your hair, then comb it out. If the comb sticks in your hair down toward the ends, your cuticle is either dry or damaged, and you will benefit from a deep-moisturizing conditioner.

  • The cortex ~~The bulk of the healthy hair strand, makes up 90 percent of its weight. It gives the hair texture, strength, elasticity, and color because it contains melanin, or pigment. Some leave-in conditioners with protein actually penetrate the cortex and build up the hair from the inside out. (When you use permanent hair color, it needs to penetrate the cortex in order for it to take).

  • The medulla~~The light, air-filled core. We don’t know just what it does, and some people with fine hair don’t have it at all. Anthropologists think that this might be a throwback to our caveman ancestors, who needed insulation to keep them warm.

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