Hair constitute an essential part of our look, and with the substantial development of the beauty & cosmetics industry we witness a blooming variety of hair care products for cleansing, conditioning and nourishing, but also dyeing, styling and even permanent re -texturizing the hair.
Although hair fiber basic structure is the same, hair exists in a variety of textures. Three main aspects of hair texture are the curl pattern, volume, and consistency. The cuticle is the hair’s outer most layer which has scale like cells, layered one over the other.
This thin protective outer layer is highly keratinized and contains the nourishing portion essential to hair growth. The cuticle layer cells defend the hair’s inner structure and control water content of hair fiber. The middle structure includes the cortex, main component of the hair, containing long keratin chains, which provides its strength, elasticity, color and texture. The medulla layer, found only in large thick hair type, is the innermost structure. The scale like cells of the cuticle layer point towards the ends of the hair. A healthy cuticle is when the keratin lies flat. Each scale is closed and lies over the other and the edges are smooth. This type of cuticle retains the moisture and hair looks shiny and healthy.
Exposure of the hair to elevated pH, chemical treatment and even environmental factors, raises the cuticle layer, causing hair to be swollen and frizzy. When cuticle cells are raised and open, hair fibers are vulnerable, and solutions are able to enter into the cortex layer.
A repeated exposure to chemicals, damaging elements and even (too) frequent shampooing, may lead to damaging hair inner layer, the cortex.
Hair shampoo is anionic, in other words, more negatively charged. Applying hair conditioner, a cationic type formula, more positively charged, after shampooing, will quench the negatively charge of anionic shampoo, balance hair acidity level and will help to close cuticle scales.
When is comes to preservation, global regulations allow more freedom in choosing a system for rinse-off application vs leave-on. However, other aspects such as compatibility, pH, and cost can be as critical.
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