Under the Microscope

Hair is Amazing!

Article courtesy of UKHairdressers.com
with some modifications as these issue pertain to nappy hair
It can tell us our diet, state of health and our genetic makeup. It can betray us at the scene of a crime, its stronger than steel and more flexible. The average diameter of a human hair is 0.1mm thick. There are on average 100,000 of them on our heads which will live for 3-7 years on average.
Male hair is more dense and grows faster than female hair! Typical!!Whatever our hair type we need to keep it in good condition. But how? What makes healthy shiny hair? Looking under a microscope we can see why our hair shines or doesn’t as the case may be, what happens when we overuse products or over brush our hair.  

Good Condition This Hair is in good condtion.The cuticle is the outer layer of the shaft and is the first layer to show any type of damage.You can see that the cutilce is closed, the hair would feel smooth and because of this would reflect light easily causing shiny healthy looking hair.

Raised Cuticle
The cuticle on this hair is slightly raised.
This hair would feel rougher to the touch and be less inclined to reflect light.
Hair would appear dull or matt.

Cause: Can be caused by towel drying hair and/or hairdrying. Cure: It is ok to towel dry hair as long as you do not over do it. Rubbing hard with a towel can cause hair to tangle and stretch and snap. Rub hair gently in the direction of growth.When using a hair dryer maintain a good distance from the hair keeping the heat low.

Raised Cuticle (Extreme) The cuticle on this hair is raised in the extreme.

This hair is typical of damage caused by the hair being over processed when relaxing. Hair would reflect little light causing it to look limp and lifeless

Leaving relaxer cream long, relaxing too often or using the wrong strength.



Stripped Cuticle The cuticle on this hair has been completely stripped away revealing the cortex layer underneath.This type of damage is caused by the over possessed color.Hair would appear very dull and lifeless and break very easily.

Shattered Hairshaft  This hair shaft has been shattered right through.

This breakage can be caused by relaxers and other chemical applications.

Damaged Hair Shaft This hair shaft has been damaged by excessive combing or brushing too hard when the hair is tangled causing the hair shaft to stretch and snap.

Never force a brush or comb through your hair.

Split Ends  This hair has spilt ends. Usually caused by normal wear and tear on hair as well as excessive manipulation and heat appliances.No real cure except cutting the hair and snipping off the split ends.

Single strand knots Typical problem for kinky african hair that can curl in on itself and can make your ends feel like sand paper. Hard to prevent when wearing hair in its natural state. Protective styles such a twists, braids etc., can minimize the hair’s tendency to knot. Wearing out styles such as puffs and fros tend to promote single strand knots.Hair prone to single strand knots tend to tangle easily near the ends where they most likely occur. If you can ignore them great. If not, the worse thing you can do would be to break them off, which would damage your ends further. If you’ve got to many to ignore…then it’s time for a good trim.


2 Responses to “Under the Microscope”
  1. avvonda Parker says:

    This was some VERY good information. Under a microscope it really brought it home for me to see how the hair really looks when certain treatments and care are done the wrong way. Thank you.

  2. Taylorrr . says:

    My friend saw I had split ends, I never knew since that day. She only found one but I think I’ve more than one peice of hair. What if you condition your hair/rap it with your towel/brush it/and then blow dry it. Does that make you hair go into split ends? OUCH. Help?

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