Hair under the magnifying glass

Hair is protein. More precisely, keratinized protein - keratin, whose individual fibers adhere tightly to each other. They owe their viscosity to the sulfur they contain. The smallest constituent particles of proteins are called amino acids. There are different types of amino acids in keratin: cystine, arginine, glycine, tyrosine, phenylalanine, lysine and others. Additionally, the hair cortex contains water and fats, and also melanin, that is, the pigment that gives the color. It is produced by melanocytes in the hair bulb.

To look at hair growth, you need to look under the skin to the hair follicle, that is, recesses, where it all starts. Because this is where the hair root is. Its bulbous ending called a bulb or colloquially an onion is a factory that produces. stem cells. Of course, that would not be possible, if not for the blood vessels, which bring nutrients to each nipple, on which the onion is embedded. As a result, the cells that multiply push upwards and become keratinized, creating in it, what we see outside - the hair shaft.

The hair consists of:

* stems,
* the root,
* bulb (bulbs),
* the mouth of the hair capsule (skin pore),
* the sebaceous gland,
* the areola of the hair,
* the paranasal muscle,
* connective-tissue part of the hair capsule,
* hair warts.

Hair color depends on:

* hereditary factors,
* dye,
* climate,
* race.

The shape of the hair

We distinguish the hair:

* simple,
* wavy
* twisted,
* very twisted,
* curls,
* curly,
* spiral.

Hair growth rate

* ok. 0,35 mm per day
* ok. 1 cm per month
* ok. 12 cm per year

The hair cycle

a) Katagen - period lasting from 2 do 3 weeks in which the hair dies.
b) Telogen - lasts several months, during it, the dead hair is pushed out by the new-growing one, the callous bulb, rising towards the epidermis surface, leaves behind a strand of cells in the hair follicle, which connects it with a vanishing nipple.
c) Anagen - lasts for several years, at this time, new hair grows.

Physical properties of the hair

a) Durability - is related to resistance to mechanical factors, biological and chemical.

* sour – the hair reacts favorably, shows resistance
* basic and oxidizing – are very harmful to the hair, damage its structure, durability and flexibility, and the degree of damage depends on the concentration of the substance.

b) Flexibility and elasticity - the hair loses its elasticity and changes shape due to heat. Elongation, hair shrinkage or swelling depends on the amount of water it has absorbed from the environment.
c) Water absorption capacity
d) The ability to conduct electricity

From a biological point of view, their task is to protect the brain from the sun and frost. However, first of all, the cultural importance of hair is important. At first glance, they can tell a lot about a person. Not only about his health, but also personality or belonging to a given social group, religious or subculture. About that, how important they are in our lives, a fact may prove, that often, when we want to change, we start with cutting or growing hair or dyeing it. That's why, when something bad happens to them: they lose their shine, fall out, dandruff appears, we feel discomfort, który w konsekwencji może przerodzić się nawet w trwałe obniżenie poczucia własnej wartości. Czy zawsze włosy miały aż tak wielkie znaczenie?
Seems, yes. Already in tribal communities, the head, and with it, and the hair, were considered the abode of spirits. And cutting hair was often treated as a ritual act related to crossing the threshold of adulthood.
For centuries, shaving the heads of prisoners of war symbolized their submission to the victor. It was also a cruel punishment used, for example, in. towards women associating with the enemy during World War II. And vice versa - wearing gigantic, the double-decker wigs in the court of the Sun King was a manifestation of power and authority. The bare head in the religious sense was and is to testify to the resignation from bodily pleasures.
Hairstyles are not only a specific code, information about a given person, but also a very important element of the chronology. Since the times of ancient Rome, we can recognize certain epochs by hairstyle, what was in fashion at the time. Trends changed with the hairstyle of the current empress. Nowadays, also looking at archival photographs, we can very quickly determine whether these are "inspired" years 50. or maybe "overgrown" 70. Today, there is a great deal of freedom in this regard, and most importantly, modern solutions allow everyone to enjoy lush hair.

Hair in numbers

100-150 thousands - this is how many hair follicles nature has endowed with each of us

20-30 - Hair will grow out of everyone's lives throughout our lives

300 - hair should grow on average 1 square cm of our head

50-100 - we lose hair in a natural way every day

1 - centimeter per month - this is the average pace, in which the hair grows

0,08 mm - this is the diameter of the hair shaft

The number 3 is very important for a hair…
…because we divide the hair into three basic parts:

  • root, which is in the hair follicle and nourishes the hair
  • a hair shaft that protrudes above the surface of the skin
  • the tip of the hair

The hair shaft consists of three layers: transparent and thin cover, the inner cortex of the hair and the core hidden in its center. At a very high magnification, the hair looks like an electric wire, containing thousands of thinner wires in it, which in turn are even thinner.

And the next three are associated with hair loss and the regrowth of new hair. The natural life cycle of a hair is divided into three periods:

  1. Anagen - time, as the hair grows (it takes from 2 do 6 years)
  2. Catagen - a transitional phase, at this time the pad (bulb) the hair gets smaller and smaller, (3 weeks)
  3. Theogen - the dormant period (do 6 months). At the end the hair falls out, and a new bulb is formed in the hair follicle, from which new hair will grow.

Hair on a diet

We want, to be lush, shiny, nice to touch. We are looking for suitable shampoos for them, we keep trying new conditioners and masks. We subject the hair to beautifying treatments, but that's what they look like, depends largely on it, how we eat. If we take care of you, that they get the right amount of nutrients, one odwdzięczą się nam swoim pięknym i zdrowym wyglądem. Co włosy lubią najbardziej?

First: protein
It is a basic substance, from which hair is made. Proteins obtained from food travel to the stomach where they are broken down into the smallest components - amino acids. These, in turn, enter the hair root through the circulatory system. The most valuable are the sulfuric amino acids - cystine and methionine - the internal binders of the hair. Their presence makes, that the hair is strong and bouncy. They can be found in products, we eat every day: meat, eggs, fish. And also in soybeans, wheat germ, oat flakes and wheat bran. Protein our body cannot store, therefore it has to be delivered regularly.

Po drugie: vitamins
B vitamins are the most needed for hair, A i E. Thanks to them, the hair is stronger, better protected and grow faster. Vitamin B1, B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 and A are involved in cell division in the hair follicle, are responsible for the proper hair growth and structure. B vitamins also prevent seborrhea. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant, which fights destructive free radicals. They contain the greatest amounts of all these vitamins: sunflower seeds, nuts, wheat germ, sesame seeds. Fruits and vegetables, such as: lettuce, broccoli, tomatoes, pepper, parsley, dill, peaches are rich sources of beta-carotene, which in the body transforms into vitamin A.. Vitamin B5 is most commonly found in combination with other substances as coenzyme A. Where is the most of it? In the liver, milk, egg yolks, yeast, rice bran, honey.

Thirdly: minerals
Hair needs iron, zinc and copper. Iron ions are involved in providing energy to stem cells, from which hair is made. Iron deficiency mainly affects women, and it is caused by heavy periods, pregnancy, childbirth. Effect? Hair breaks, are weakened, fall out excessively.
The second important element - zinc - participates in the formation of keratin and is needed for the proper functioning of the enzymes responsible for protein metabolism, the main component of the hair. Regulates the work of the sebaceous glands of the skin. A lack of zinc in the diet can slow down hair growth, cause their thinning, and sometimes even lead to baldness.
Copper strengthens the hair, because it determines the number of "disulfide bridges", giving strength and elasticity. The lack of copper may also cause disturbances in the iron economy, which will further weaken the hair.
All these elements can be found in meat, poultry, seafood, fish, eggs, oat flakes and wheat bran.

This is better avoided
An excess of sweets and flour products harms not only the figure, but also hair. It is believed, that too much carbohydrate causes hair to become oily and dandruff, and even disrupts the work of the hair follicles.

Dietary supplements
Sometimes we can't compose the right menu, which our hair would benefit from. If they don't look the best or we want to lose some weight, it is worth reaching for a vitamin preparation with cystine and methionine available at the pharmacy. However, you have to remember, that very damaged hair, no diet will miraculously restore your good looks. We will only see the results of our efforts, when we cut the damaged ends and wait, until new strands grow up.

Beautiful and tidy

In everyday efforts for the beauty of our hair, we must remember about its delicate structure. A sheath that wraps every hair, that is, the outer protective layer is transparent and very delicate. It consists of scaly overlapping cells. If they are tight, perform their function well and protect against UV radiation, dirt, recently, frost. Our hair is then smooth and shiny. Worse, when the scales do not fit tightly together, because they were damaged due to the excess of sunbathing, poorly conducted hairdressing treatments or the use of inappropriate cosmetics. Casing, which has lost its tightness causes, that the hair is dry, rough, matte, difficult to arrange. As a consequence, the inner cortex may be damaged, które objawia się łamliwością włosów. What to do, so as not to damage your hair, but cherish them well?

1. Gentle washing
It's best to use mild shampoos, which do not contain aggressive cleaning agents. Try not to use two different shampoos at the same time, because their ingredients can react with each other harmful to the hair. There are no hard and fast rules as to the frequency of washing. It is generally recommended to do this once a week for dry to normal hair and two, three times a week for oily hair.

2. A well-chosen conditioner
After washing, it is worth using an appropriate conditioner, which makes it easier to detangle the hair and gives it a nicer look. But be careful! You always have to choose the right one for your hair type.

3. Stress-free combing
Too tight buns and ponytails are a hair nightmare. They can damage not only their stems, but also cause drastic plucking. Use a natural hair brush or a comb with rounded teeth for combing. These utensils must be cleaned regularly.

4. Modeling in moderation
Our hair would benefit a lot, if we could get rid of appliances such as a dryer or a straightener from the house. Unfortunately, without them, we will not be able to create an effective hairstyle. Before we reach for these "torture tools", it is worth rubbing a cosmetic with silk and oils into the hair, which will smooth the ends and protect them from damaging heat.

5. Home treatment
It is a good idea to apply a nourishing mask to your hair once a week. There is no shortage of ready-made products in stores, but you can also prepare it yourself, using the recipe, as our grandmothers knew. The yolk is enough, a few drops of lemon and castor oil or olive oil. Wrap the hair covered with such a natural cosmetic and keep it covered for approx. 15 minutes, then rinse thoroughly. As a result, the hair is instantly shiny, soft and pleasant to the touch.

Truths and myths about hair

There are many theories about hair care and that, what serves them, and what does not. But are they all true?…

Cutting my hair, they can be strengthened
Not true. Hair cannot be compared to plants, which have to be trimmed sometimes, to grow better. In the hair follicle, specifically, in its part called the matrix, cells are multiplying all the time. The old ones are pushed out and they die, creating a stem deprived of vital functions. Her subjection, will not strengthen the hair. Another thing, that shorter hair requires less grooming and less brushing, which can weaken them.

Frequent washing makes the hair greasy
With. There is no relationship between washing your hair, and the secretion of sebum. Oily hair does not look aesthetically pleasing, so wash them with a mild shampoo as often as necessary.

Dark hair is stronger
Truth. A large amount of pigment protects the hair, absorbing UV rays and neutralizing free radicals. Hence, in the hot climate, the black race with jet black hair arose. And vice versa, people with fair skin and fair hair should protect their hair from excessive sunlight with a suitable headgear.

Daily washing is harmful to the hair
Not true. We can wash our hair as often, as we need it. Especially, when we feel itchy scalp. Itching and dandruff are signs of seborrheic dermatitis. Recent studies show, that this disease may contribute to hair loss.

The gel can cause hair loss
No. The gel remains on the surface of the hair, it does not penetrate inside, therefore in no way can it cause them to fall out. The same goes for shampoo, lotion or hairspray.

The balm is beneficial for the hair
Truth. Its use causes, that the hair is soft and shiny. The cosmetic creates a layer of protection against harmful external factors and makes detangling very easy. However, it cannot prevent excessive hair loss.

2w1” – marketing sell

Using a balm after washing your hair has become a common activity. The main task of this cosmetic is to facilitate hair detangling, giving them more volume and a nice glow. 2-in-1 products, that is, the combination of shampoo and balm are theoretically good, because they shorten the time for both actions, that is, washing and caring for the hair. However, we should not listen to the ads. Why?

"2in1 will make your life easier", „2×1 i… ready", "2in1 you don't need anything more" - we are convinced by advertising spots. Shampoo alone will never give you this effect, like the lotion used after it. However, the functions of these two cosmetics are completely different from each other. In simple terms, the shampoo is supposed to remove, lotion - add. The first one was designed to wash your hair (it should stay that way), the other is supposed to work on clean hair, nourishing them and making them easier to arrange. The combination of these two tasks is therefore backbreaking and not very beneficial for the hair.

Natural lotions
In the past, hair was washed with ordinary soap. It is not difficult to guess the effect: the hair was tangled after such a bath, difficult to comb and dull. To make them soft, cope with combing and get a nice shine, they started to acidify – rinse them with lemon juice or fruit vinegar.
With the invention of soap-free cleaning substances, acid rinses were no longer needed. However, the habit of leaving an acid reaction still remained (pH 3-5) in hair lotions, and many people still rinse their hair with lemon juice.

There were also new problems. Ingredients for shampoos (mainly sulphites) cause, among others. excessive static in the hair (keratin itself has a large electrical charge, which is further enhanced by the sulfur ions present in each detergent). Therefore, cationic active substances are added to lotions, which adhere to the hair shaft. Thanks to them, hair is arranged better, they become softer and fluffy.

remember, that a good balm should give an immediate effect of beautiful hair, without overburdening them.


Only myths

1.Shaving your face and legs makes, that the stubble grows back faster in these areas. Many boys postponed the first shave because of this superstition. It has also spread fear of shaving legs among many women.
2.Brushing frequently is good for your hair. In fact, excessive brushing can damage them.
3.Combing will make, that people who start going bald will lose their hair faster. The main factor here is age and genetic disposition.
4.Hair can fall out by wearing a hat. In some situations it is even advisable to wear a hat, for example on the beach. Sunburn on the head can contribute to hair loss.
5.Frequent washing causes baldness.
6.Traumatic experiences can make you, that a man will go gray during the night.
7.Dandruff is contagious. Not true. However, you can get infected with other diseases as well as parasites by using a borrowed comb.
8.Split ends can be "repaired" without cutting them.
9.Daily washing can damage your hair.
10.Alopecia is hereditary from the maternal family.
11.Coloring your hair while pregnant is harmful. Some specialists say, that dyeing the hair does not affect the fetus in any way. Some of them, however, do not agree. It's best to ask your doctor.
12.Straightening your hair can lead to breast cancer.
13.Sleeping with wet hair can result in a scalp infection.
14.You shouldn't brush your hair, when they are wet.
15.The best way to stay strong, shiny hair is a diet rich in protein and iron.

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