The Anatomy of the Scalp & Hair
The scalp consists of five layers. The top layer the skin, contains numerous hair follicles and sebaceous glands. Scalp skin can be viewed as a variant of normal skin in that it has an epidermis and dermis, but it also has a greater concentration of terminal hair follicles. The hair follicle has a growth cycle that can be affected by hormones, medications, diet, illness and many other factors. The scalp has a pH of around 5.5 and maintaining a normal healthy scalp is critical to ensuring excess sweat, oils, dead skin cells and dirt do not become a breeding ground for microbes that are causal to scalp disorders such as dandruff and seborrheic dermatitis. Scalp disorders can trigger an array of unpleasant symptoms on the scalp such as inflammation, redness and itch.
Chemical Composition of Hair
The overall chemical composition of hair is 45 % carbon, 28 % oxygen, 15 % nitrogen, 7 % hydrogen and 5 % sulphur. The hair shaft is essentially composed of keratin. Hair keratin is hard, compact and strong. This fibrous protein is gradually formed inside cells from the germinal layer.
The cuticle is your hair’s protective layer, composed of overlapping cells — like roof tiles, but facing downwards.
The cortex forms the main bulk and pigment (colour) of your hair. It consists of long keratin filaments, which are held together by disulphide and hydrogen bonds. The health of your cortex depends largely on the integrity of the cuticle protecting it.
The medulla, only present in thicker hair types, is the innermost layer of your hair. It consists of a soft, thin core of transparent cells and air spaces.
The hair bulb is situated at the base of each hair follicle, and contains your growing hair cells. These continually divide and push upwards, gradually hardening.
Hair Growth Cycle
The three stages of hair growth are the anagen, catagen, and telogen phases. Each strand of hair on the scalp is at its own stage of development. Once the cycle is complete, it restarts and a new strand of hair begins to form.
Why are Shampoos so important?
Holistic Hair shampoos are designed with anionic surfactant technology to gently remove sweat, excess oils, dead skin cells and dirt. The shampoos are designed to be mild, leaving the scalp clean but also soothed and protected from the microbes that can cause inflammation, scalp disorders, seborrheic dermatitis and dandruff. Water alone cannot efficiently remove this build up.
Why are Conditioners so Important?
The cuticle layer of our hair (outer layer of the hair shaft) is affected over time by washing, chemical treatments, styling tools, sun, wind etc. A Holistic Hair conditioner uses electrostatic positive charge to adsorb antioxidant-rich botanical extracts & oils to the hair, improving the condition of the hair and keeping the cuticles closed for greater shine & protection to the hair.
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If you suffer from Psoriasis or Eczema you may be looking for a shampoo or treatment products that your scalp can tolerate or better still will soothe your scalp. Holistic Hair ingredients are chosen for their mildness and healing properties. This article offers practical advice and recommendations on products that could make the difference for you!