Does your hair tend to fall flat? There are a number of factors that can be the cause of your flat hair, such as low humidity, having naturally fine hair texture, having a straighter hair type, or even having a lower hair density. Your hair cuticle integrity can also be the culprit behind limp hair, which is typically caused when cuticles becomes stripped from damaging treatments.
Having hair that is overly voluminous has been found to stem from hair texture, hair type (curvatures), and even environmental factors. These impacts can lead to static charge build up and uncontrolled volume.
A healthy cuticle with level, flat scales creates a smooth surface off of which light reflects. Healthy cuticles mean beautiful, shiny hair! However, as the cuticle scales become frayed through harsh chemical and physical treatments or environmental exposure, light is reflected at various angles, resulting in a scattered reflection pattern and decreased shine associated with dull, damaged hair. In addition, hair water and air pollution deposits on the hair can also have a significant impact on dullness.
Unmanageable and tangled hair is a cumbersome problem to have but one of the most common issues that people experience. Wet hair can become tangled easily because the cuticle lifts and the hair shaft forms a small charge that causes the hair to interlock with itself more readily. Dry hair becomes tangled due to high cuticle lift which roughens the hair surface and increases inter-fiber friction. People with curlier hair types, and/or with higher levels of damage could also experience tangling more often.
Missing MEA Layer
Healthy MEA Layer
Most people who suffer from dryness experience it at the ends of the hair. The reason why your ends tend to get dry more often is because this is usually the most weathered region of the hair. The naturally occurring layer called 18-Methyl Eicosanoic Acid (or MEA for short), is the first line of defense against moisture loss. The MEA layer helps lock in moisture, however over time this layer begins to degrade leaving hair feeling brittle and dry.
Suffering from an oily scalp can be very frustrating because the root cause can be difficult to nail down. Having overproduction of scalp sebum, which is what the oil actually is, could stem from diet, environmental changes, hormonal changes, as well as misuse of products.
We naturally lose 50-150 hair fibers per day, but people who lose more than this may be experiencing breakage. There are a few reasons for excessive breakage. If you have fine hair, you naturally experience breakage simply because your hair is thinner and can break under normal stress from grooming. Otherwise, many people experience breakage because of damage from harsh treatments and improper styling.
What happens from harsh treatments? It weakens the cuticle and the bonds in the cortex that give hair its strength. Your hair cannot repair itself, and once these bonds are broken, it becomes weaker and breaks.
True hair damage is more rare than most people recognize. At Strands we look directly at your hair cuticle integrity to understand your true hair damage level. Most people experience some aspects of cuticle lift and fragmentation, while a very small segment experiences total cuticle loss. Many people confuse damage with other contributing factors (like the environment) to their hair concerns. This is why it is important to understand if your hair is truly damaged before addressing what products to use or ingredients to prescribe.
Split ends are a result of the hair being exposed to the environment and harsh styling products and treatments. When the cuticle is removed, leaving the cortex exposed, hair has a much higher chance of forming split ends as the cuticle is no longer intact to hold the keratin fibers within the cortex together.
Frizz is a term that means different things to different people. For some, it means that your hair cannot stay aligned in the style you want because each fiber has its own shape. For others, frizz means hair that stands up at the parting line and moves away from the main body of hair.
Most problems with frizz stem from the humidity of the environment. Since hair is naturally porous, it allows water to pass through the cuticle into the cortex of the hair. However, damaged hair that has a raised, fractured, or non-existent cuticle allows water to pass through too easily. This results in excess water forming new bonds in the cortex and breaking the bonds that allow hair to hold its style. This leads to a loss of fiber control, otherwise known as frizz.
Porosity has become a more mainstream term that people look at when self-diagnosing their hair condition. Typically, porosity is associated with the level of water uptake the hair can handle. At Strands we think of porosity a little differently and focus on the cuticle integrity which reveals more information about your hair porosity. Lifted, fragmented, stripped, and/or any damage to the cuticle layer will result in increased swelling of the fibers when exposed to water. In addition, the presence of the hydrophobic MEA layer will greatly impact hair porosity.