How to Manage Any Hair Type
The Structure of Hair
Hair's structure is composed of multiple layers of the same fibrous protein as skin, fingernails, and toenails are made of. It is also found within organs and glads. This protein is called keratin. Keratin is also the protein that protects epithelial cells from damage or stress. As our hair grows on the outside of the scalp, new growth actually starts on the inside of the scalp.
A single hair strand has multiple layers which consist of the cuticle, cortex, and medulla. The cuticle is the outer layer of hair and is where shine can be seen. The cortex is where strength, color, and texture of hair begins. The medulla is the innermost structure and is only present in large, thick strands of hair. A hair follicle anchors each hair into the scalp, where the hair bulb forms the base of the hair follicle within the dermis.
A Look Inside
Texture Vs Types
There is a difference between the different textures of hair and the different types of hair. The texture of hair refers to the circumference of hair which is simply fine, medium, and thick. Think about when hair is pulled back all together, how thick is it in your hand?
The different types of hair are how hair looks. Some of the most common types of hair are curly, wavy, or straight. A person's hair consists of a combination of texture and type.
What Kind of Hair Do You Have?
What is Your Hair Texture?
Manageable Hair is Possible
As time passes, hair changes its texture, appearance, fullness, and even durability. Years of sun damage, hard water, products, and heat styling begin to show on the outside layers of hair. The cuticle may become frizzy and dry, kind of like hay. Hair also may begin to stop growing because of the extended use of hair color. perms, styling products, and heat styling. When hair is not properly maintained and cared for, this causes other problems with hair besides damage like unmanageability. Hair loss may also be linked to improper care of hair or maybe even over caring for hair.
Having manageable, healthy hair is possible for any hair type with proper and consistent care and maintenance for hair. When hair is neglected and not cared for no matter what type, this could lead to certain ailments like scalp fungus, head lice, and or other scalp diseases. Healthy hair starts from the inside then grows and shows on the outside. Managing hair regularly will also encourage growth and even increase the shine and durability of hair, for a more radiant appearance as well as texture.
It Takes Effort
How to Manage Any Hair Type
There are some facts and tips about hair care that are necessary to manage and to maintain hair for healthy new growth with added shine and strength. Often times, many people take the time to style their hair, but never actually take care of it. Caring for and maintaining hair should be part of everyone's regular routine, just as brushing their teeth and bathing are. Hair care is important for a neat, clean, and well-groomed appearance and also for overall, general health.
Managing hair is easy and will have noticeable effects, but it must be consistent and regular. Over-caring for hair is also possible by overdoing certain things. This article will help to explain and illustrate how to manage any hair type for natural and healthy new growth, as well as added shine and durability.
1. Eat Your Way to Manageable Hair.
A healthy daily diet added with plenty of water is always the foundation for having healthy, shiny, and manageable hair. Water is the best and most natural way to add moisture back into hair. About 8 [8 ounces] cups of water is the daily recommended serving for everyone, which may include flavored water. Water is healthy for hair to have increased body and shine from proper hydration. Hair will become dull and lifeless, and hard to manage when lacking water.
Eating foods that are high in protein, antioxidants, nutrients, and vitamins are best for making hair shiny and strong, along with encouraging natural, healthy growth starting from the inside. Foods to avoid are sugar, black tea, alcohol, and coffee. Some of the best foods to eat regularly for healthy hair include:
- Protein - fish, eggs, and chicken
- Brazilian Nuts
- Fresh Fruit - with the skin left on
- Fresh Vegetables - green and leafy
- Dairy - milk, yogurt, and cheese
2. Regular Trimmings Can Make a Difference.
As hair gets longer, the natural oil that is produced by the hair and scalp cannot reach the ends properly. The tips of hair may become split, dry, and even frayed looking from the lack of natural moisturizing. Damaged ends take away nutrients and vitamins from healthy hair. Unhealthy ends of hair may become damaged by sun exposure or from styling with heat. Trimming hair monthly will help to remove the unhealthy and damaged hair so the healthy hair can absorb all of the nutrients and vitamins that are necessary for new growth. Trimming the hair opens the cuticle for a smoother texture with added volume and shine. Trimming hair is much different than a haircut, which involves changing the style of hair. Having hair trimmed usually requires cutting only 1/2 to 1 inch off the bottom of hair only. Maintain monthly hair trims to keep hair easy to manage, maintained, well-groomed, and healthy looking. Keeping your hair trimmed is also a great way to help increase hair growth.
3. Properly Wash and Dry Hair.
Knots and tangles in the hair after washing is a nuisance but also cause breakage. Even with a detangler, there are always knots and tangles to comb out. I have learned that if you brush your hair before you wash it, there is a drastic reduction in the number of knots and tangles afterward. Also brushing before washing can help to properly disburse shampoo and conditioner, instead of just washing one big tangle. The strands of hair are neater and less jumbled up. Never pile hair on top of head to wash because this will cause deep tangles in the hair. Instead, it is best to wash from the scalp down to the tips. The same applies when conditioning, however, do not apply conditioner directly on to the scalp because hair tends to look more oily even after just being washed. Pat and squeeze hair dry with a soft cloth or even a t-shirt. This reduces knots and tangles, but can also reduce static, breakage, and frizz.
4. Rock That Day After Look.
Washing hair is good to remove styling products, dirt, and build-up but it also washes away precious oils that help hair to stay manageable, shiny, and healthy. There are many times when hair always looks better the next day, the day after washing. That's because there are natural oils that have accumulated that naturally maintain frizz, dryness, and even static. I recommend washing hair every other day if very oily hair and every 3-4 days if obtainable, however the longer the time without washing is better. This is the best and most natural way to have manageable hair with the least amount of work. The new dry shampoos are intended for days when hair is unwashed, but those dry out hair and cause more harm to hair than benefits. That day after look is a fairly new trend but now many people are hitting the once a week mark. I have also read people going as long as 2 years or more without washing their hair.
5. Always Close Those Cuticles.
A hair's outer layers are called the cuticle, which can close and open, just like flowers can. Certain elements and conditions can change the hair cuticle's movement. When heat is applied to hair, like hot water or heat from the blow dryer, the cuticle opens which makes hair appear frizzy and untamed. When coldness is applied, like cool water or a cold shot of the blow dryer, the hair cuticle closes which makes hair more manageable and smoother. Rinsing hair with warm water during washing and conditioning will open the cuticle for proper cleansing and moisturizing. Finishing with a quick rinse of cool water will close the cuticle for a healthier appearance. A cool shot of air following the completion of blow drying hair will allow for a closed cuticle with a smoother finish. Never blow dry hair with hot air to reduce damage, use only warm air just until hair is dry.
6. Do Not Over-Use Harsh Styling Products.
Styling products are not the same as thermal protectors or oils. Many styling products contain alcohol in some form, which is very damaging and drying to the hair cuticle. Harsh styling products such as pastes and waxes will strip hair and the scalp of natural oil and moisture, along with shine and health. Plus these are very difficult to remove from the hair unless there are multiple washes, The alcohol contained in many styling products is usually the first ingredient listed and will build up onto the scalp and onto hair. This build-up will weigh hair down, eventually depleting natural body and volume of hair. Sleeping with any type of styling product left in hair is not advised because the hair follicles will remain covered up to reduce natural hair growth. Styling products are optional and should always contain natural ingredients. So while hair may look and feel great immediately after styling, the end result is more damage.
Busted Hair Care Myths
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2012 Cristale Adams