The Science of Good Hair

As a cosmetic chemist who has developed products for major brands, I have seen a lot of different types of hair and hair issues. My job is to develop innovative and quality products that address the needs and desires of these consumers. It’s funny to me when people claim that they don’t have “good hair” because it is difficult to manage or style. I’m tickled because too many times the clients who claim to have “bad hair” have some of the healthiest hair compared to the “good hair” clients they compare themselves to. We live in a society where we our constantly comparing ourselves to each other and trying to keep up with the Jones’. This type of mentality is corruptive and delusional, often preventing us from seeing the true beauty of what God has given us.

My definition of what constitutes Good vs. Bad hair is not defined by texture, color, curl type or length, but rather by the health and integrity of the hair itself. Just like people, hair comes in all shapes, sizes and colors. And just like people, we have to stop classifying and discriminating against hair because it doesn’t meet some societal standard that was created before the Civil War. Instead, we need to look at what really matters.

As a scientist, I would like to think that what really matters is the biological integrity of hair. This means forget what your hair looks like, and let’s focus on whether your hair is at its optimal health level. Healthy hair is strong, has good elasticity, great body and shine and is growing at a steady pace.

Healthy hair starts with a healthy scalp. Your scalp has thousands of hair follicles that are located in the dermis layer of skin.  Hair grows from the follicle, which determines the hair’s thickness, curl pattern and tactile properties. Follicles are connected to blood vessels that deliver vital nutrients and oxygen needed for the hair to grow. To ensure that you are maximizing the potential of your hair, you have to make sure that you are maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle because what you put in in the body, is the same stuff that comes out.

After the hair has grown out of the scalp and is now visible to the eye, this is the start of a ticking clock because hair is dead and cannot biologically change or repair itself. Therefore, everything you do to your hair will have a permanent and lasting impact. Any type of manipulation of the hair can cause damage. This is why it’s important to ensure that your hair grows out of the scalp as healthy as possible, so that it can withstand a higher threshold of the common and inevitable damage we subject our hair to every day.

The cuticle is the outer most layer of the hair and its first barrier of protection. It kind of looks like the shingles on the roof of a house. Much like a roof, the cuticle layer is exposed to the environmental dangers and protects the cortex (the core layer) of the hair, which determines its strength.   We have to protect to the cuticle through practicing healthy grooming habits to ensure that the hair is not susceptible to premature breakage. Damage to the cuticle layer also leads to dull, weak, dry and brittle hair.

Maintaining healthy hair includes a combination of healthy, at-home practices and professional expertise and consultations. This is why I am an advocate of the GoodHair salon. They are taking the guesswork out of healthy hair care to ensure high quality services, products and education for your specific hair needs. Their expert-approved, innovative practices/techniques and high standards for quality products take healthy hair care to the next level, making Good Hair possible for everyone.

By: Sister Scientist

Image credit: Bing images

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