I haven't covered this part yet, which is very important. At first I figured that most naturals were already informed of this information, but then I learned that many are not which is okay. Learning time!
Underneath your scalp is the hair follicle. It is said that our hair, African American hair,has a curved hair follicle instead of a straight one because of our curly texture. This texture causes us to replenish our hair with moisture often because the oil that is produced on the scalp surface doesn't get a chance to make its way to the actual strands of hair.
Structure of hair
- Medulla- The innermost layer of the hair and is made of protein. Since it is the innermost layer, it is not effected by hair products and daily manipulation. This layer plays a key role in growth and development.
- Cortex- The middle layer of the hair shaft. Hair texture, elasticity, strength and color are determined by this layer. (This is the layer effected by relaxers)
- Cuticle- The outermost layer of the hair and is made up of many overlapping cells. (This layer is also effected by relaxers) The cuticle helps lock in moisture when the layer is laid flat.
The cuticle is most effected by daily use including styling tools,shampoos, conditioners and gels. This is why it is very important to rinse with cool water after using a conditioner because it helps lock in the moisture that was just put into it.
The oldest of your hair strands are the ends which is helpful to remember when retaining length. They must be conditioned often.
At the base of the hair is called the dermal papilla which is fed by the bloodstream and carries nourishment so that new hair can be produced.
As time goes on,your hair goes through a growth phase and some hairs my shed. This is when the hair from the base is pushed out my a new hair growing in it's place. You may see the hair attached to a white bulb. Don't worry, we all shed about 50-150 hairs per day, which is very different from breakage.