Are you constantly wondering what you need to know about the structure and composition of your hair to care for it properly? The answer is simple. Your knowledge doesn’t need to be extremely extensive, but if you want to properly take care for your hair, you definitely need to know the most important facts; e.g. what your hair is made up of. Only then you will be able to adjust your diet so that it’s rich in the substances that compose your hair, as well as purchase cosmetics that will strengthen your hair rightly. So the question remains, what is the hair’s chemical composition?
The cosmetics that are designed for hair washing and hair care are usually rich in substances that are supposed to strengthen strands from follicles, all the way to roots and ends. The condition of our hair will often depend largely on the state of the aforementioned follicles, that produce the hair strands. However, if the appearance of our hair would solely depend on the follicles, then the shelves in the drugstores would merely be filled with a couple of hair products. Instead we are exposed to products that take into consideration the follicles, hair strands and ends.
Keratin is the basic building component of our hair, which is why conditioners and keratin masks are very popular. Without the right amount of keratin, our hair will become brittle and faint. In recent years, even procedures such as keratin hair straightening have become popular (it’s a treatment performed in a professional hairdressing salon).
But hair’s chemical composition does not just rely on keratin. If we anatomically dissect a hair strand, we’ll notice that it’s largely made of water, fat, amino acids, carbohydrates, ceramides and a number of traces of other inorganic substances, such as: sulphur, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, copper, iron, calcium and magnesium. Our hair also contains melanin, which is responsible for their colour.
You may be wondering though, where the aforementioned substances are focused; is it the scalp? Or perhaps the root of the hair? The answer doesn’t really matter, although if this knowledge is relevant to you, then definitely get familiar with the specific composition of your hair. What you do need to remember is that the hair-ends are exposed to the greatest amount of damage, therefore they must often be secured, and cut every couple of months.
Now let’s discuss the construction of a hair. In short, it can be said that hair consists of the root and the stem. The hair grows out of the hair follicle which is under the skin, and it’s there that the growth begins and extends. As for the body of the hair, we can distinguish the core, the cortex and the epidermis.
Under the skin, we can also find a small muscle that lifts the hair and sebaceous gland. In fact, it’s peculiar that not every gland works the same way, which is why some people complain about excessive greasing of hair, while others do not have this problem.
Indeed, we could argue that every hair has the same chemical composition, i.e. it contains the same substances. But the tricky part here is that this isn’t exactly correct. Our hair can be very different – either thin, thick, straight, curly, very light and very dark. The point is that hair varies dramatically, even on our own heads. So a cosmetic that has great effects on one person’s hair strands, does not necessarily mean that these effects will work for the condition of your hair. Therefore, hair products should always be selected carefully. And if we’re not sure which cosmetics work best for us, it’s actually worth to use a professional elemental analysis, which will tell us precisely what our hair is made up of, and what it lacks.