October - November 2005
Hair Care: Structure of Hair
hair grows from a separate hair follicle, situated in the dermis. It
begins its life in the root, or papilla, at the base of the follicle.
The outer layer of the hair (cuticle) consists of overlapping cells
which protects the inner layers. The soft, inner cells are called the
cortex, which determines the strength, elasticity and thickness of
the hair according to the depth and quality of the cortex.
pigments, which gives hair its colour, is in the cortex. The central
core of the hair is called the medulla. Every follicle has a sebaceous
gland, which produces sebum, a waxy lubricant which protects the hair
Hair:- This can be a natural condition or it can be induced in
otherwise normal hair by heating, styling products, colouring, perming
and using the wrong shampoo. Use dehydrating ingredients to replace
moisture loss. Panthenol, Pro-vitamin B5 and Glycerine are the best
ingredients for re-moisturising the hair.
Hair:- This is due to the over production of sebum by the sebaceous
glands in the scalp. To control the condition, choose a mild shampoo
and avoid using conditioners on the roots of the hair, only on the
ends, if necessary.
hair:- This is when hair is greasy at the roots and dry at the
ends of the hair. It is mainly due to the result of hair mismanagement.
To correct the problem, cut the hair above the level where the hair
is split ends start and trim hair every six weeks. Use a deep conditioner
on the ends of the hair twice a week and only a mild shampoo when
Nobody actually has grey hair, it is simply that as we age, individual
hairs lose their colour and become white, which is thought to be genetically
pre-determined. Grey hair not only lacks melanin, its cuticle cells can
also be coarser and more tightly packed than ordinary hair, therefore
when colouring the hair, stronger formulas are recommended in order to
achieve a permanent shade.
Dandruff is a mild fungal condition affecting the scalp, and most
of us will experience it at some time in our lives. A microscopic yeast,
called pityrosporum ovale is naturally present on everyone’s’ scalp,
but if conditions are right, the yeast will multiply rapidly, causing
the skin in this area to shed large numbers of dead epidermal cells.
presence of dandruff on the scalp is immediately apparent in the form
of numerous dry, white flakes in the hair and on dark clothing. Contrary
to myth and legend, dandruff is not caused by dirt, inadequate hair
rinsing, or head lice!
tar is the traditional anti-dandruff ingredient and some other popular
examples are Ketoconazole (which is the most recent and widely used),
Climbazole, Selenium Sulphide and Zinc Pyrithione, which attack the
yeast and either kill it or stop it reproducing.
Anti-dandruff shampoos have to be used regularly over several weeks before
the dandruff disappears.
Use a dryer with varying heat/speed settings with a minimum of 1800
Watts power. The dryer should be comfortable to hold while drying the
hair, making sure that the switches are easily accessible during use.
modern models now have a ‘cool air’ button to set the style
after drying; and a nozzle, which diffuses the flow of air that lifts
the hair, without damaging the hair root and shaft.
Before drying: Coat your hair with a Protective Styling Spray, which
not only make your hair easy to style, but also holds ‘moisture
in,’ which is vital for colour treated, dry or brittle hair.
Let your hair dry naturally for as long as possible and then
‘roughly dry’ with a medium setting followed by short bursts
on a higher setting until almost dry.
This is a round metal plate which is heated, around which, the hair
is wound to create ringlets, curls, waves or add a soft bounce.
use a protective styling spray before use to reduce damage as the hair
is in direct contact with metal at a very high temperature.
This is round, barrel- shaped appliance with vents for warm air and
so it is gentler than the curling tongs; but enough to create soft curls
These are foam based, which bend into shape, enabling tighter curls
to be produced.
These are best used on ‘nearly dry hair’ to minimise damage
and maximise the time required to get the right style. Using heated rollers
on wet/damp hair would need longer styling times, leading to excessive
Curls are created naturally in the papilla, which varies according
to ethnicity and genetics.
By straightening hair, more light is reflected, giving the hair a shinier
and healthier appearance. The most modern method of straightening hair
is by the use of hair straighteners.
are basically two hot, flat metal plates between which the hair is
pressed and the kinks are literally ‘ironed out.’ The hair
remains straight unless you are in a damp environment, in which the
cuticle cells will absorbs the water and return to its natural state.
styling spray should be used before styling to protect the hair. It
should not be used on a daily basis because the hair shaft would become
brittle, resulting in split ends and weak ,broken hair.
There are an array of products on the market for the most intricate
A light liquid, cream product which gets “frothed” due
to the injection of air bubbles, is dispensed from a metal canister.
This medium is quite easy to spread along the length of the hair and
should be applied to washed hair just before it dries completely. Mousses
give body to fine, straight hair and also reduces frizz in naturally
This is more popular with men than women and holds the hair in place
much more efficiently than other products. The wax is in a solid state
in a tub and has to be scooped out with fingers and then rubbed onto
the hands before smoothing through the hair. It is excellent for the
look or reducing frizz in permed hair.
Modern formulas are blends of gums, resins and conditioning agents that
style the hair without damage. Gels can be used on wet or dry hair and
are great for holding hair flat or for the more dramatic styles.
These are made up of resins that not only hold the hair, but also
keep the flexibility of the style. It is used to
‘finish off’ the hair style and to keep the hair fixed in
a particular shape.
Beware of the build up of residue from all hairstyling products which
can lead to dryness, irritation and itching. Ideally, they should be
washed off at night with a mild shampoo. Deep conditioning treatments
should be carried out at least once a week.
Before you apply hair colour for the first time, you should carry
out a skin and strand test about 24 hours prior to doing a full head.
The instructions are always included in the home colourant boxes. This
will determine whether you are allergic to the chemicals and bleaches
that are often an integral part of the colourant.
As we age, individual hairs lose their colour pigment and become
pure white. The age at which this process starts can vary and is predominantly
due to genetics.
hair colourants are ideal for this since the process is fast, inexpensive
and quite effective.
Vegetable Based Hair Colourants
is a natural plant based alternative and is ideal for people sensitive
to the harsh chemicals found in regular hair dyes:
has been used in Asia and North Africa to add shine, volume and subtle
red shades to otherwise dark hair. Henna dye stains the outside of
the hair cuticle which often results in uneven colouring as damaged
sections of hair cuticle expose the inner cortex.
These formulas are “washed in and out”, leaving a subtle
effect. They last between 1- 3 shampoos and are not particularly good
for covering grey hair.
These can change the tone of your hair and increase the depth of
colour, but won’t lighten it. They contain small colour molecules
which penetrate into the inner layer of hair cuticles so they will not
be washed out as quickly as the temporary molecules. This colour ant
lasts between 6- 8 shampoos.
Lasting Semi Permanent
This formulation lasts up to 24 washes because they contain low levels
of hydrogen peroxide. This removes a small amount of natural pigment
from the cortex and replaces it with new colour molecules. This will
add depth and shine and colour hues to dull and lifeless hair.
This will change the base hair colour by one or two shades, lightening
and brightening your hair. It contains a much lower level of ammonia
than permanent colours and so it will not remove the existing pigment
from the hair shaft. This is ideal for those who want a natural looking
permanent change but it’s not particularly good for colouring grey.
This type is excellent for lightening, darkening, changing the tone
and covering the grey. The colour is deposited on the hair until it grows
out so you have to be very confident of the hair colour change before
undertaking this procedure!
Hair Colours contain hydrogen peroxide and ammonia which strip the
outer cuticle cells of the hair and allow new colour molecules to penetrate
to the inside of the hair shaft. Roots will have to be touched up every
4- 5 weeks as these look more prominent due to the depth of the colour
of the treated hair.
you’ve coloured you hair you should use specific shampoos and
conditioners for colour treated hair. You should rinse out chlorinated
water immediately after swimming, as this reacts with the chemicals,
making the hair coarse and brittle.
More articles by Shashi Gossain B.Sc (Hons), MRPS, Member
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