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All you ever wanted to know about hair (and more)!

In my time I’ve had so many questions about hair. Friends, family and clients all asking me things like:

How fast does hair grow? / What makes it grow? / Why does hair colour go brassy? etc, etc, etc

In today’s blog I’m going to answer some of these questions and even throw in a few other fun hair facts for you.

|Did you know?

A human will lose between 40 and 100 strands of hair per day on average, so if you don’t brush or comb your hair everyday it will feel like your losing more when you do brush. This is especially true if you have long hair as the loose hair will often be caught by the rest of your hair.


Your hair has a life cycle that is made of 3 stages;

* Anagen – this is the active growth stage and can be anywhere from 2 – 6 years (occasionally longer; genetics dependent)

* Catagen – this is the regressive stage when the hair follicle will detach from the blood supply. This is a short transition stage of approximately 2 weeks.

* Telogen – this is the resting phase where the club hair becomes fully keratinised and works it’s way from the root and is shed. This stage can take up to 3 months.

And then the cycle starts all over again.

hair-growth-cycle

Each individual hair will be at a different point in this life cycle which explains why:

1. We malt. / 2. We don’t go completely bald through this process. / 3. We often have (or notice) short growth.

Hormonal changes or stress can increase the catagen and telogen stages to result in more hair shed.


The only part of your hair that is alive is the hair inside your scalp.

This is why it doesn’t bleed or hurt when you cut your hair.


Massaging your scalp stimulates blood flow, which feeds the hair follicle and helps your hair grow.

(Now there’s a good excuse to treat yourself to a scalp massage!)

Hairdresser washing woman's hair after coloring

Once a hair has split the only way to repair it is to trim it off, otherwise it will keep splitting up the hair shaft and you will need more taken off. This is why we recommend haircuts every 6 – 8 weeks.

It is possible for hair to split further up the hair strand and in a similar way to a weathered piece of rope. It can then weaken at that point spray apart and break.

Never brush your hair when it’s wet as it can stretch and break it, use a wide tooth comb instead.

Here is a microscopic image of a split hair:

split hair


550px-Read-a-Ruler-Step-3-preview

Hair grows approximately 1/2 an inch every month!


|Composition

Hair is made up of approximately 88% keratin protein and the rest is moisture, lipids (oils) and amino acids.

The key to healthy hair is to maintain a balance between protein and moisture.

Chemical services such as bleaching, colouring, perming, relaxing etc can deplete the hair structure of protein which causes hair to weaken and lose essential moisture. Regular protein and moisture treatments help replenish the hair fiber and will also improve the texture and appearance of your hair.


Structure

Your hair consists of 3 layers;

1. The cuticle – this is the outermost layer of your hair, the protective layer that is composed of millions of tiny overlapping cells similar to fish scales.

2. The cortex – this is the thickest layer and where all the action happens in your hair! This layer houses your colour pigment (melanin) and is also responsible for unique qualities like texture, elasticity and curl.

3. The medulla – is the innermost layer of the hair or ‘core’ layer. The medulla plays a simple support role and in some instances of people with very fine textured hair; the medulla can be absent altogether.

hairstrand_diagram

The cuticle layer can be damaged by chemical treatments, heated styling, sun, wind and general mistreatment. This damage can then lead to colour fade, drab colour tones, frizziness and even breakage.

Healthy hair has a cuticle layer that is packed firmly together creating a smooth finish and reflects light creating a beautiful shine to the hair.


Artificial colour pigment can fade to a warm or brassy colour if left too long between touch ups. Your hair colourist can prevent this from happening by using moisturising colour formulas and post colour treatments to smooth down your cuticle and help it do it’s job of protecting the cortex. So keep your colour and cut appointments to a regular 6 – 8 week schedule to prevent brassy, split hair.


Healthy hair


Hair loss or male pattern balding is a common symptom of ageing in men.

For the most part, hair loss is genetic, but this doesn’t mean you’re likely to lose hair as quickly as your parents did. Other factors like stress levels, taking certain types of medications or poor lifestyle choices can all impact and accelerate male pattern baldness.


The best foods for healthy hair are:

salmon (oily fish), greens, legumes and eggs.

Protein, biotin, B vitamins, niacin, iron, folic acid and zinc are essential for healthy hair growth.

Food to help your hair grow

I hope this answers any questions you may have about your hair. If you do have any other questions, please feel free to email at reception@marsandvenus.com.au. Remember that healthy hair is happy hair and we’re here to help!

Enjoy your follicles & protect your cuticle!

Julie x

About the author

Click here to book an appointment with one of our hair styling specialists and check out our Pinterest boards for of our favourite hair styles and tips to use at home.

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