Understanding Hair

healthy hair, cheynes hair salons, edinburghHair, the stuff we work with every day is a complex structure that has some amazing and unique properties to it. Basically, hair is made up of three specific areas:

The Cuticle: this is the outside layer that protects the inner components. Healthy cuticle layers are flat, like roof tiles, and when light hits the surface it bounces off and makes the hair shine. Unhealthy cuticle layers make the hair look frizzy and dull. These ‘tiles’ can be 7 to 13 layers deep depending on the texture of the hair and need constant moisturising to maintain a healthy state.

The Cortex: This is the inner part of the hair, and for us the most important part. Natural hair colour is found here, as is the natural moisture of the hair, which gives it its bounce and fluidity. Proteins are also found here, these give hair its natural strength.

Did you know that hair has a greater tensile strength that the huge suspension cables that support the Forth Road Bridge. If we could increase the individual diameter of each hair it would be one of the strongest structural elements in the world. The Cortex is prone to damage from heat, chemicals and natural day-to-day wear and tear. If the outer structure is damaged chances are the inner will become so too. That’s why the correct products are vital for the care of your hair.

The Medulla: This is an unusual part of the hair, almost like an air pocket in the middle of the hair shaft. Not much is known about it, but theories suggest it was relevant in stone age times as it acted as a barrier against cold (Sheep and other animals tend to have masses of Medulla layers). The medulla doesn’t play any part in hairdressing and isn’t present in all hair types.

As well as the intricacies of the individual layers of hair we also love the fact that, as hairdressers we can manipulate and alter the structure and colour. We can only achieve this because of the products that are available for us to use. Maintaining the health of hair is of major importance to us and the ranges we carry ensure that your hair stays in tip-top condition.

If you want to know more about looking after the structure of your hair then speak to any of our teams.