How to test hair's health?
Porosity is defined as the hair shaft’s ability to absorb moisture. Without cuticular damage, the hair shaft is relatively impermeable to water and other substances. With changes caused by permanent waves, coloring, temperature or pH changes, the cuticle can be rendered more vulnerable permitting penetration and damage to the cortex. With repeated injury, the cuticle can be rendered permanently damaged allowing moisture to escape and making the hairy dry, brittle, and exhibit split ends.
Hair Elasticity measures the tensile strength of the hair with a normal hair able to stretch to about 1 and 1/3 its original length with healthy hair able to support a 100-g weight without breaking. Elasticity is dependent upon a healthy cortex, and a hair shaft that has poor elasticity can break easily with grooming and with product application.
Hair Texture is affected by two determining factors: the thickness of the hair shaft and the feel of the hair itself. Wiry hair possesses its characteristics by virtue of the tight adhesion of the cuticle to the cortex and the flat arrangement of the cuticular scales. Wiry hairs may be more resistant to chemical alteration.
Hair Permeability is affected by the degree of porosity, elasticity, and texture of the hair shaft with the porosity and texture having the major influences on permeability. Porosity clearly plays a greater role than texture. However, fine hair will absorb more applied product than coarse hair given the same degree of porosity. Coarse hair with great porosity will still have greater permeability than fine hair with low porosity.
What type of hair problems you can have?
Frizzy hair is defined as ‘tight wispy curls’, but it is also hair that has gone out of shape, has lost its smoothness and sticks up in wisps. Frizzy hair occurs in all hair textures, but is most common in curly and fine hair. Frizz hair appears when the out layer hair, called cuticles are damage, than hair easily exchange moisture with the environment.
Gray or white hair is not caused by a true gray or white pigment, but is due to a lack of pigmentation and melanin. The clear hairs appear as gray or white because of the way light is reflected from the hairs. Gray hair color typically occurs naturally as people age. For some people this can happen at a very young age (for example, at the age of 10). The same is true for children with white hair, caused by Albinism. In some cases, gray hair may be caused by thyroid and Vitamin B12 deficiencies. At some point in the human life cycle, cells that are located in the base of the hair's follicles slow, and eventually stop producing pigment.White people will begin to gray in their twenties and early thirties while Asian people begin graying in their late thirties, but most African people can retain their original hair color until their mid-forties.
Trichorrhexis Nodosa is a defect in the hair shaft characterized by thickening or weak points (nodes) that cause the hair to break off easily. This group of conditions contributes to the appearance of hair loss, lack of growth, and damaged-looking hair.
Among Caucasians the defect often appears at the ends of the hair shaft with splitting of the ends, thinning and whitish discoloration.
These conditions are directly related to environmental causes such as "perming", blow drying, aggressive hair brushing, and excessive chemical exposure.
Trichonodosis is characterized by knotted of the hair shaft. This may be spontaneous or secondary to mechanical factors like vigorous scratching or combing the hair.
Thermal, chemical or mechanical stress can cause split ends. For example, the use of curling irons and other heat treatments may cause split ends. Excessive application of hair products such as perms and hair coloring may strip protective layering off the outside of the hair's shaft and weaken the hair, making the hair prone to split ends. Mechanical stresses include pulling a comb forcefully through tangled hair and repeated combing. Split ends can be seen as a symptom of copper transport disorders such as Menkes disease and occipital horn syndrome.
What are the Effects of Chlorine on Your Hair?
It rarely occurs to us that our shower water is wreaking havoc on our hair. That hot, refreshing, shower is supposed to be cleansing, even relaxing…yet chances are that the water we use to shower is inundating us with, among other toxins, chlorine. This chlorine in our shower water is the prime cause of frizzy, dried out, lusterless hair. Chlorine even dries out the scalp, leading to unsightly dandruff. Most municipalities today add chlorine to the tap water supply in an effort to disinfect our water, to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. In large measure, this is done because much of the water we use today is actually treated and recycled sewer water. As well, bacteria may be growing in the water distribution system, including water mains, and even the tap at your kitchen sink. Chlorine is added to eliminate these bacteria from the water supply. When we shower, obviously we’re using the same water that we use for cooking and drinking, and washing clothes. This tap water, therefore, contains chlorine. Though effective in killing bacteria, chlorine is, because of its poisonous nature, harmful to our bodies, which obviously includes our hair. Chlorine vaporizes faster than water so when we see steam in the shower; a harmful chlorine gas is actually enveloping us. Our hair is especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of this chlorine gas. Each of our hair strands is composed of a cuticle surrounding and protecting a cortex. A natural lubricant called sebum protects and moistens hair cuticles, giving the delicate cortex an added layer of protection. The chlorine in our shower water, especially in its more concentrated, vaporized form, actually draws the lubricating sebum from the hair follicles, leaving it dry and lifeless. Actually, “left lifeless” may not be quite the correct term because hair is already lifeless. Hair strands are actually dead cells from the body. Thus these lifeless cells, when damaged by chlorine or other chemicals, such as those used in coloring agents, styling agents, and perms, cannot be regenerated, only grown out. Chlorine is far more damaging to hair that has been colored, permed, or otherwise chemically treated. The ammonia used in many coloring and styling products lifts the hair cuticles, allowing the treatment chemicals to enter the cortex. Thioglycolates used in perms and styling treatments penetrate the cortex and break down the bonds of the cortex that give the hair its shape, thus allowing the hair to be re-shaped. When this already damaged hair is exposed to the chlorine in shower water, the effect is devastating. There are measures that can be taken to minimize hair damaged from exposure to chlorine: • Wash hair with moisturizing shampoos and conditioners, • Wear a shower cap, • Blow-dry hair gently at cool, or medium temperatures, • and finally, use a wide-tooth comb instead of a brush to untangle wet hair. All of these measures, however, while helpful, are utilized only after the damage has been done. Using a shower filter with a Vitamin C cartridge is proven to be the most effective way to minimize, even reverse, as much as possible, the damage done to our hair from the chlorine in the tap water. Our Vitamin C shower filters have been shown to eliminate the chlorine from our water before it leaves the shower head, thus the hair is not subjected to this harmful element. Vitamin C is also an anti-oxidant that will counteract much of the damage already done by not only chlorine, but the chemicals used to color and perm the hair. Also, the acidity of Vitamin C will actually help to prevent the growth of algae and bacteria in our shower heads and tubs. The use of a Vitamin C shower filter, then, will not only eliminate further chlorine damage to our hair, it will help revitalize the hair, adding luster an body while keeping our tubs and taps bacteria free. Hair is still a part of our skin, but the major difference from our skin is that hair is not curable once it is damaged. Chlorine residue oxidizes protein and cuticle causing dull and clumsy looking hair as well as dandruff.