Professional Hair Education
Many of us have tried different products in hopes that they would help our hair or skin improve so that we could achieve the look we desire. In many cases that do not work. We still, to this day, are searching for products that will do what it says it will. Some of us have found very good products to only find that after so long of using them, they are either discontinued or taken from the shelves. Companies switch products or ingredients all the time and it throws us for a loop. Now we are back searching again. Looking for that magic potion.
To find one magic potion that may last forever, it is first important to know what ingredients work well with your hair texture and skin condition. This can be a challenge if you are not a cosmetologist or someone who have been trained to know about hair and skin conditions. For this reason, we have created a page dedicated to those that have not been taught the skill of a cosmetologist. Below you will find a wealth of information and knowledge to apply in your daily lives. Hopefully you will value this information, use it to manage your kids hair and skin, and also achieve the look you have wanted.
Hair & Scalp
Structures of the hair
A lot of people have many different issues when it comes to hair and skin. That is because DNA, age, and hormonal changes are main factors in determining hair texture, hair growth, and skin conditions. It must be considered that we inherit from our parents a lot of their skin and hair problems. However, hygiene also contributes to certain skin diseases and issues.
Licensed Cosmetologist and Dermatologist have gone through extensive research and practice to understand what is called trichology(trih-KAHL-uh-jee), which derived from the Greek word meaning trichos (hair) and ology (the study of ). This is the scientific study of hair, its diseases, and care. In looking at it from a scientific perspective, you will come to understand that the hair, skin, nails, and glands are all part of the integumentary system. Hair has a very enormous impact on our psychology, as we all cannot go without a haircut or hairstyle for too long. Our self esteem and thoughts on how others will see us makes a difference in our psych.
A mature strand of human hair has two parts. Those two parts are: the hair root and the hair shaft. The hair root is located below the surface of what we call the epidermis (outer layer of the skin) and the hair shaft is the portion of the hair that comes out of the scalp (epidermis).
There are five main structures of the hair root. These are: hair follicle, hair bulb, dermal papilla, arrector pili muscle, and sebaceous (oil) glands.
The hair follicle is a pocket in the skin or scalp that holds the hair root. You have hair follicles all over your body, except the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet. Your hair follicle points downward from the skin (epidermis) or scalp into the dermis (the inner layer of skin), where it surrounds the dermal papilla. In some cases more than one hair will grow from a single hair follicle.
The hair bulb is the bottom part of a hair strand. It is thick and shaped like club that forms the bottom part of the hair root. The bottom part of the hair bulb fits over and covers the dermal papilla.
The dermal papilla (plural: dermal papillae) is the small, cone-shaped piece that is located at the bottom of the hair follicle. This piece fits into the hair bulb. The dermal papilla holds the blood and nerve supply that delivers the nutrients needed for your hair to grow. The dermal papilla is recognized by professionals in the hair industry as the mother of hair because it delivers the blood and nerve supply that provides all the nutrients needed for hair growth.
The arrector pili muscle is a small, uncontrollable muscle located at the bottom of the hair follicle. Any strong emotions or a cold sensation will cause it to contract and the hair will stand up straight.This is what we call goosebumps.
Sebaceous glands are oil glands in the skin that are connected to hair follicles. The sebaceous glands produce and discharge a fatty or an oily substance known as sebum. Sebum is what lubricates the skin and give it that oily look.
There are three main layers of the hair shaft. Those layers are: cuticle, cortex, and medulla.
The cuticle is the outer layer of the hair. It consists of one layer. It is transparent and has scale-like cells. Those scale like cells look like scales on a fish. The cuticle layer gives a barrier of protection to the cortex and medulla. It lies very tightly against the cortex to prevent damage of the cortex. The cuticle layer is responsible for creating that smooth, shiny, and silky feel of healthy hair. To feel your cuticle, take a strand of hair in your hand and pinch it between your thumb and forefinger. If you start at the scalp, pull your fingers lightly upward on the strand and your hair should feel sleek and smooth.The next step is to hold the end of the hair strand with one hand, take you other hand and pinch the strand with the thumb and forefingers. Glide your fingers down the entire hair shaft. You will now feel the hair is rougher. That is because you are going against the natural growth of the cuticle layer. When you have a healthy cuticle layer, it is the hair’s number one defense against damage. When you apply high alkaline chemicals to your hair, it causes the cuticle layer to swell. The swelling of the cuticle allows liquids to penetrate into the cortex. Oxidation from hair colors, relaxers, and permanent waving solutions all have a high alkaline pH that will penetrate the cuticle layer and reconstruct the cortex. They must have a high pH (potential Hydrogen or hydroxyl ions) in order for the products to reconstruct the cortex; whether removing or adding color, straightening, or curling with a solution.
When we speak of the cortex, we are speaking of the middle layer of the hair; a fibrous protein core part of the hair strand that is formed by elongated cells containing the melanin pigment. Nearly 90% of the hair's total weight comes from the cortex. Elasticity and natural color are the results of protein structures found within the cortex. As mentioned above, changes in oxidation chemical procedures like: relaxers, hair-coloring, thermal styling, permanent waving, and wet setting take place within the cortex. That is why it is important to use neutralizing shampoos after each of these services in order to return the hair and scalp back to its normal pH Balance of between 4.5 and 5.5.
The innermost layer of the hair is called the medulla and it is made of round cells. Very fine and naturally blond hair does not have a medulla because the medulla contains the melanin pigment theat gives color. It has been scientifically proven that only coarse, thick hair has a medulla. Every male beard hair has a medulla.
DAMAGED CUTICLE LAYER BELOW
Protein & Keratin
It must be considered that hair is approximately 90% protein. Hair is created from protein that grows from cells that form within the hair follicle. When living cells form, they travel upward through the hair follicle. They go through a process called keratinization which brings them to maturity. When these newly formed cells mature, they are filled with a fibrous protein that we call keratin. After they have completely filled with keratin, they move up the entire strand of hair, lose their nucleus, and suddenly die. When the hair emerges from the scalp, the cells are completely keratinized and are no longer needed so they die. What this means is that once hair emerges from the scalp, it is a non-living fiber composed of keratinized protein. This protein is made up of a long chains of amino acids. These amino acids are made up of five major elements; carbon, oxygen, hydrogen, nitrogen, and sulfur. They are known as the COHNS elements. These elements are also in nails and skin. Proteins are made of long chains of amino acids. They are a complete set of units that are joined together from end to end like beads. The chemical bond that joins amino acids is strong and therefore referred to as a peptide bond or end bond. A polypeptide chain is a long chain of amino acids linked together by peptide bonds. Proteins are viewed as long, coiled, and very complex polypeptides that are made of amino acids. A helix is the spiral shape of a coiled protein. It is created when the polypeptide chains intertwine with one another.
Hair Growth & Cycles
The main two types of hair that can be found on the body are: vellus hair and terminal hair.
Vellus hair is also known as lanugo hair. It is short, fine, uncolored, and are the fine, soft hairs that are present on the foreheads, eyelids, bald scalps, and nearly all other parts of the body of adults; except the palms and soles of the feet. Vellus hair is the hair on babies and it almost never has a medulla (an inner part of hair that gives hair color). Women normally have 55 percent more of vellus hair on their bodies than men. Vellus hair helps perspiration evaporate. The long, coarse, pigmented hair found on the scalp, legs, arms, and bodies of males and females.
Terminal hair is far more coarse than vellus hair and has color. Whereas terminal gray is colorless. Terminal hair usually has a medulla. Hormonal changes in children causes some areas of vellus hair to be replaced with terminal hair, which is thick and coarse. All hair follicles are can produce either vellus or terminal hair; it depends on genetics, hormones, and age.
All air growth occurs in cycles. Each completed cycle has three phases to it that are constantly repeated over and over again throughout your entire life. Theses three phases are known as: anagen, catagen, and telogen. Everyday we lose about 35 to 40 hair per day, according to recent studies.
During the anagen phase, new hair grows. It is known as the growth phase. In this phase new cells are actively produced in the hair follicles. Hair cells are manufactured faster than any other normal cell in the body. The average growth of healthy scalp hair is about ½ inch per month. The rate is different for other parts of the body, with age, and it depends on what sex you are. Hair on the scalp grows faster on women than on men and on all heads it grows rapidly between the ages of 15 and 30, but slows down fast on all humans after the age of 50. Once again, hormones and DNA are factors to be considered, along with the age and sex. Almost 90 percent of your scalp hair is growing in the anagen phase. This happens at any time. The anagen phase usually lasts from about three to five years. It depends on the individual. In some cases, it can and will last as long as 10 years. The longer the cycle, the longer the hair is can grow. During this phase some people can grow their hair longer than others.
The catagen phase is a short transition period between growing and resting phases of the hair follicles. It signals the end of the growing phase and this is the time when the follicle canal shrinks and detaches from the dermal papilla. The hair bulb disappears and the root end shrinks to form a rounded club. The catagen phase is very short, lasting from one to two weeks. Approximately less than one percent of scalp hair is in the catagen phase at a time. 3.
The telogen phase, is known as a resting phase. It is the final phase in the hair cycle. This phase lasts until the fully grown hair is shed. Hair is either shed during this phase or stays in place until the next growing phase. When the new hair is growing it pushes it out the old hair. Almost 10 percent of scalp hair is in the telogen phase at one time. The telogen phase lasts for three to six months. Abruptly after this phase ends, hair returns to the growth phase and begins an entire cycle again. Every four to five years, on an average scale, the entire growth cycle repeats itself once.
Hair Loss - Alopecia
Years ago studies suggested that over 63 million people in the United States suffered from abnormal hair loss, known as Alopecia. The three most common types of abnormal hair loss are: androgenic alopecia, alopecia areata, and postpartum alopecia. We often see a lot of men with bald spots, the typical horseshoe shape in the top of the scalp. This pattern of baldness is termed Androgenic Alopecia. However, they are not completely bald. Their terminal hair has converted into vellus hair; fine hairs that are barely visible. There may be many reason underlining their partial baldness; age, hormones, medications, DNA - Hereditary etc. It has been recently discovered that Male Pattern Baldness (MPB) is mainly the result of men receiving too much prostaglandin D2, a hormone responsible for MPB. See: US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health, "Does prostaglandin D2 hold the cure to male pattern baldness?" US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (2018), https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2452120. Teens can sometimes get androgenic alopecia and this is frequently seen by the time he turns 40. Around the age 35, there is almost 40% of men and women who show some degree of hair loss.