Saturday, 18 June 2011

YOUR hair. Part 1: examine it

A couple of days ago I said I'd be posting hair-related material on my blog. More than this, I am going to start a hair guide with tips, suggestions and examples, hoping that everybody will find their own key to flawless strands.

1. Examining the hair

The hair is made up of dead cells, ordinarily called keratin (see skin's stratum corneum). Hair's keratin has a very delicate structure and because of this feature, the hair is flexible and firm, able to take any kind of shape. If you happen to examine at the microscope the transversal section of a strand, you can easily notice that around the relatively thin and empty core there are clumped together a bunch of small fibres, connected through a thick sticky substance. These bundles are surrounded by the so-called scaly layer, made up of some other layers that protect the hair on the outside. Besides these genereal characteristics, there are also a couple of differences that concern the quality and the composition of the hair. These differences have a major with regard to choosing the appropriate hairstyle. Here is a description of
the most common types of hair:

  • The normal, healthy hair is flexible, easy to brush if wet and easy to shape. It shows elasticity, shine and fineness, that is because the scaly layer on the surface of the hair is solid and smooth. Basically, this type of hair bears every possible coiffure because it does not grows too thick nor too thin and is also suitable for chemical curls. What is even better to know, it does not require any kind of special care.
  • The thick and thin hair is poor in strength and also sparse; because this type of hair has a small number of elastic fibres, it looks withered and limp. The main advantage is its easy styling, although it tends to lose its shape at the same pace. The most recommended coiffures are the ones that make it look airy and fluffy.
  • Oily hair is slimy, moist, it hangs in strands, it sticks to the head, the hairdo quickly loses its volume and fluffy shape and that is because of excess amount of fat which is fluid and easily spreads along the strands. A simple coiffure, with little effort and nothing fancy would suit this type of hair that needs to be washed every two days. There are also special mixtures with absorbent effect that slow - to some extent - the seepage of fat onto your hair.
  • Restive dry hair is usually brown or red, with strands that hold strong keratin fibres that oppose to any shaping effort with a tendency of recurrence to the initial growing direction. Easy to rumple, its lack of shine is due to insufficient amount of fat produced by glands. Haircuts that go along with hair's growing direction are whorls are preferred, so that a beautiful shape can be kept even without a hairstyle. To take care of it, you should use mixtures that include nutritive substances and give it shine.
  • Damaged hair has its surface rough (lumpy), with discontinuous and brittle scaly layer. If the strands are long, then the ends are damaged due to an aging process and the tips are split. Above all, the hair should be cut gradually, trimming all damaged tips, especially since these are worthless: they do not preserve the given shape and show an untidy appearance. If the hair is affected on its entire length because of a prolonged exposure to the sun or an unsuccessful chemical treatment, a restoration is possible with the help of special mixtures (to be detailed later on). 
  • Curly hair is frizzy, wavy, almost always strong and firm and most of the times dry, a feature that makes it also brittle. It is most advantaged by coiffures that do not imply a hairdryer, since its drying is better to be made in natural air. You basically take care of it like it would be a damaged and/or restive one, so that the strands would become softer, manageable and shiny.
  • Blowzy hair seems smooth at first sight but it grows whorls here and there, and this keeps you from dressing it. It is preferable a haircut that integrates the whorls in such a way that would make them look like they are elements of the hairstyle. One other possibility would be the chemical curling that tames the tips, in that case lots of attention is needed and mixtures are a must.

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