The word “HAIR” in the African-American community is so important that many women are developing what we call hair anxiety. Our hair is our glory, our hair is a conversation topic, our hair is a social status, our hair can cause division, our hair can cause arguments, and our hair can stress us out! African-American women are so particular about their hair, but we fail to educate ourselves when it come to our hair. In order to keep our hair healthy we must first understand our hair and what it needs in order to keep it at a healthy state.
What is Hair?
Hair grows everywhere on the external body except for mucus membranes and glabrous skin, such as that found on the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, and on the lips.Hair follows a specific growth cycle with three distinct and concurrent phases: anagen, catagen, and telogen phases. Each has specific characteristics that determine the length of the hair. All three occur simultaneously; one strand of hair may be in the anagen phase, while another is in the telogen phase.The body has different types of hair, including vellus hair and androgenic hair, each with its own type of cellular construction. The different construction gives the hair unique characteristics, serving specific purposes, mainly warmth and protection. Hair comes in all types of textures and curl patterns. Today scientists are still working to find out what exactly causes hair texture. Everyone’s hair is made of keratin, so composition of hair follicles is not the source of varying hair patterns. The hair shaft shape has been known to affect the curliness of the individual’s hair. “A very round shaft allows less disulfide bonds, and those that are present are in line with one another, resulting in straight hair. The flatter the hair shaft becomes, the curlier hair gets, because the shape allows more cysteines to come in contact with one another and form the necessary disfulfide bridges.” As the hair follicle size determines curl pattern, the hair follicle size determines thickness.There are various systems that people use to classify there curl patterns. Being knowledgeable of an individual’s hair type is a good start to knowing how to take care of one’s hair. Each strand of hair is made up of the medulla, cortex, and cuticle. The innermost region, the medulla, is not always present and is an open, unstructured region. The highly structural and organized cortex, or middle layer of the hair, is the primary source of mechanical strength and water uptake. The cortex contains melanin, which colors the fiber based on the number, distribution and types of melanin granules. The shape of the follicle determines the shape of the cortex, and the shape of the fiber is related to how straight or curly the hair is. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hair)
With the new war that’s going on now “Natural hair versus Relaxed hair” there are a lot debates going around and it is causing division among African-American women. Everyone can’t wear their hair natural and everyone can’t wear their hair relaxed, but what we do know is everyone can have healthy hair (unless they have an internal illness). If you are going to wear your hair natural or relaxed you should educate yourself on your hair texture and on the growth cycle of hair. We get calls all the time from women who think that their hair is shedding too much, but the reality is the hair is in the catagen phase of the hair growth stages. In the catagen phase, “also known as the transitional phase, allows the follicle to, in a sense, renew itself. During this time, which lasts about two weeks, the hair follicle shrinks due to disintegration and the papilla detaches and “rests,” cutting the hair strand off from its nourishing blood supply. Ultimately, the follicle is 1/6 its original length, causing the hair shaft to be pushed upward. While hair is not growing during this phase, the length of the terminal fibers increase when the follicle pushes them upward”. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_hair_grow)
African-American women often stress over their hair (which can also cause hair loss) but having a good understanding about hair can ease some of the stress. The photo that is attached to this blog post is an excellent demonstration on the hair growth cycle and understanding how the hair grows is a great start on your journey to having and keeping healthy hair. NouriTress Perfect Hair Products truly understands the chemistry makeup of hair as well as the growth cycle of hair and that is why our products work! Healthy hair begins on the inside is our motto and what we stand on. NouriTress Perfect Hair Vitamins Plus have more ingredients than other hair vitamins which equals better and faster results. Check the back, you’ll find the facts! http://www.nouritress.com
~Growing Hair Since 1998~