Hair Tips

What Is Actually On My Head?

Your hair is “dead”. Actually, the hair you see, which is called the hair shaft, is dead. As it is made up of the protein called keratin. Even though we understand our hair as being lifeless, there is much life that happens under your scalp!  

We will explain simply, the fundamentals of how hair grows. Hopefully, allowing you to better understand this more-than-just-appearance-like characteristic of both males and females.

Hair has two distinct components:

1. The follicle: residing under the scalp
2. The shaft: visible above the scalp

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At the base of the follicle is the papilla containing capillaries (tiny blood vessels that nourish cells). The very bottom part around the papilla is called the bulb. The cells of the bulb divide every 23 to 72 hours. Surprisingly, faster than any other cell in the body – and you thought your hair was dead!

As mentioned, the hair shaft is made of the protein called keratin. There are three layers:  

1. Inner layer: the medulla
2. Second layer: the cortex 
3. Outer layer: the cuticle

 layers of hair

The medulla is right in the middle of the hair shaft, acting as a lifeline. The cortex makes up the majority of the hair shaft by giving your hair its width and colour. The cuticle is the protective outer layer made-up of overlapping scales (sometimes well illustrated in hair care commercials).

Do not be so shocked at how much you shed! This is a natural occurrence for humans, being quite random, opposed to other mammals with seasonal shedding patterns. You may shed anywhere from 50-100 hairs per day.

There are three stages of growth and shedding: anagen, catagen, and telogen. Not all your hair is in one of these stages at the same time. 

 hairdiagram

 

Sometimes your Hair Stylist will use these terms for you to better understand your hair process, often, when it comes to colouring or highlighting. Never be afraid to ask what exactly he or she mean by, “penetrating the cuticle”!  

(A short form answer: the cuticle must be opened for permanent colour to be depoosited). 

 

By Amanda Vagners
a.vagners@hairrepublic.ca

Image sources:
Image 1: http://science.howstuffworks.com/innovation/everyday-innovations/hair-coloring1.htm
Image 2: http://www.designessentials.com/education/science-of-hair/~/media/Images
Image 3: http://www.rejuvemedical.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/diagram6.png

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Frizz is Your Friend!

Many of our clients come in during the summer with one major problem – frizz. Do not dread this ‘F’ word because we have tips to turn frizz into your friend!

Ottawa is having a summer of all types of weather; from sweltering sun to rain storms that soak you down. What can we do to protect our tresses from damage and having a mind of its own?

hydrate-me

Depending on your type of hair, there are many options. However, every type of hair can benefit from hydration with the correct shampoo and conditioner. Our clients come back time and time again for Kevin Murphy’s Hydrate Me Wash and Rinse. This product is extremely smoothing and hydrating to the point of saying bye-bye to your split ends! Being packed with antioxidants, it retains the hairs moisture and leaves your hair feeling smooth, repaired and radiant. Also, one of our favourite products because it is sulphate and paraben-free!

paul_mitchell_lavender_mint_moisturizing_shampoo_conditioner

You may also opt for a similar product in Paul Mitchell’s Tea Tree Lavender Mint Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner. This will be a perfect amount of hydration for more fine hair. It will aid in taming your frizz and keeping your hair feeling and looking soft!

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If you have any type of curl in your hair, we recommend you enhance your. During the day, this weather will likely turn your hair from straight back to its curls regardless. Kevin Murphy’s Motion Lotion will go beyond controlling your frizz, by not weighing your hair down. You do not need a lot of this product – a dollop the size of a nickel in your palm for mid-length hair will be just enough. Rub between your palms and apply from the mid-length to the ends of your hair. Scrunch and twist your ends to define your curls. This product also provides UV protection which is critical against sun damage and to retain colour!

300To further enhance your curl (or to create beach-like waves) in your hair, we recommend finishing with Paul Mitchell’s Awapuhi Texturing Sea Spray. It will aid in volume and refreshing your curls. It has been voted as the Best of Beauty in 2011 by Allure Beauty Expert.

Feel free to leave a comment and we will answer your  hair questions!
We are always available for advice or hair consultation during our operating hours.

By Amanda Vagners
a.vagners@hairrepublic.ca