Hair is partly about our health and overall well-being.
A balanced diet, regular exercising, getting enough sleep, and reducing stress can make our mane thicker and shinier.
However, certain medical conditions, stress, or even improper care can result in brittle, thinning hair.
Understanding the hair structure, type, and the mechanism of hair growth is essential to keep our hair healthy.
Besides, it can also enable you to notice the early signs of hair loss, allowing you to take the necessary down and, in some cases, stop the process.
Understanding your hair type is crucial to maintain a good hair care routine, just as knowing your skin type helps you choose the best cosmetics and moisturisers.
If you don’t know what to do and what not to do with your hair, you could damage it severely over time.
We have a quick, simple guide to help you identify your hair type and find the best way to care for it.
Whether your hair is curly or straight, blond or black, it is made of keratin, a protein also found in your skin and nails.
Every hair on your head grows out of the epidermis and comprises two core parts: hair follicle and the shaft.
The hair follicles are located underneath the skin and are responsible for sprouting new strands of hair.
The part of the hair that grows beyond the skin is the hair shaft — basically, the hair you can see on your scalp today.
Hair growth cycle
Your hair undergoes a constant cycle of growth and shedding.
This cycle consists of 4 stages, the anagen, catagen, telogen and exogen.
Each day we lose about 80 hairs as they reach the end of the exogen stage. Then the follicle returns to the anagen stage and starts to grow a new hair strand.
The hair growth cycle will continue until something disrupts it, ultimately inhibiting or slowing the production of new hair.
In mammals, hair’s primary purpose is to conserve body warmth and provide insulation against low temperatures. Varying colours and patterns found in hair can also serve as a form of camouflage to hide from predators, and may be important in sexual attraction.
When talking about hair, there are three key purposes to consider: sensory input, protection, and thermoregulation. Hair on the head, for instance, helps protect the scalp from sunlight and cold.
Keratin, a resilient protein, is one of the core building blocks of hair. Hairs grow from follicles within the skin, and a hair bulb at the base of each follicle creates hair shafts from divided cells.
Trichology is the branch of dermatology focused on hair and scalp health. Trichologists avidly research hair, and help patients with hair loss or scalp issues.