Learning how to properly care for your body begins when you properly understand what you're caring for. We already learned about skin, its components and some of its functions. Today, I want to go through some basics about hair.
Hair grows all over your body with the exception of palms, the soles of your feet, lips and eyelids and it is made up of approximately 97% keratin protein and 3% moisture.
The actual hair (hair shaft) is made of three layers: cuticle, cortex and medulla. The CUTICLE is the visible part and the part that shows how well we care for our hair, it can be shiny and healthy or it can show the signs of damage from styling, chemicals, stress or excessive teasing and brushing. The CORTEX of the hair is what gives its flexibility and strength and it's where you find hair's pigments (melanin) that determine your hair color. Lastly, the MEDULLA, is composed of protein and gives hair it's body and elasticity.
Beauty tip: Give yourself a daily scalp massage to help bring in better circulation and encourage growth by allowing follicles in your roots to get all of that nutrient-dense and oxygenated blood!
Just as with the skin, we can see the signs of good health right in our hair. When you are in good health, you hair will grow to be strong and shiny. But environmental factors as well as stress, lack of exercise, lack of water, hormonal imbalances, drugs and a poor diet will definitely contribute to a hair that appears dull and frizzy.
Additionally, regular hair products are usually a chemical cocktail. Here's why:
• Lauramide Dea - Part natural, part synthetic. Used to build up a lather, but is drying to hair and can cause scalp itching and dermatitis.
•Oleyl Betaine - Synthetic. Used to reduce static, but causes dandruff, dry hair and scalp AND it's TOXIC when absorbed through the skin.
• Sodium C 14-16 and Olefin Sulfate - Petroleum derivatives used as wetting agents. Yes, petroleum in your hair! Eek.
• Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Cetyl Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate - Synthetics that cause a ton of allergic reactions, hair loss, dry flaky scalp, skin rashes among others. These are usually named "all natural".
Did you know? We all lose about 100 hairs every day (out of the 100,000 that we have). Follicles grow hair for 3 to 5 years and "shed" each hair, immediately replacing it with a new one on each cycle.
To keep things simple, since our hair is made up of protein and moisture, those are the two components we must keep in mind when implementing a hair care routine from the inside out. The same as with our skin, learning to read labels and trusting the ingredients list will prevent you from putting harsh chemicals in your hair that might not be the best choice, instead, opt for all natural ingredients and essential oils that will nourish and protect your hair -and health!
See you next time.
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