Understanding Your Hair Type

Understanding Your Hair Type

Anyone who works regularly with hair, like a stylist, has to understand everything there is to know about your type. The reason behind this is that in order to treat it properly, your stylist needs all the background information they can get to avoid doing unnecessary damage. After all, hair is never created equally.

If you were to pull a strand of it out of your head, you would see a small bulge at the end of it. This is known as a follicle, and your hair grows out of each tiny follicle embedded in your scalp. It contains hundreds of cells which constantly divide and merge to form each hair as it grows. Because it is filled with your cells, each follicle of hair also contains your DNA, your own unique blueprint.

Each strand of it is made up of three layers: the medulla, the cortex and the cuticle. The medulla is the inner layer, and is only present within thick hair. The cortex is the middle layer, and provides strength, color and texture. The final layer, the cuticle, protects the cortex from damage. The entire finished strand is made up of proteins called keratin, created through chemical processes within the body, and made up of proteins processed from the foods you eat. Good stuff in, good stuff out. A bad diet can literally ruin your hair.

Genetics and geography also play a large part in how your hair is created. In people of Asian descent, the strands are round and thick, African descent grants you flat strands, which creates that natural fuzz and curl that embodies the Afro. Those of European descent will often be blond or dark with very thin strands. The only exception to that rule are the redheads of Irish descent, who actually have the thickest hair of all, beating out even the Asians for those luxurious tresses.

So, the next time your stylist makes what seems to be idle conversation with you, especially if you are a new client, she is actually asking just the right questions about your background. With enough information about your heritage, lifestyle, and even eating habits, a good stylist can instinctively choose the hair products that will work best with your hair, and will benefit it the best. Do a little research on your family tree, and you will see what we mean.

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