When we talk about beautiful hair, we often think of external factors, such as the right shampoos, conditioners and styling tools. But did you know that the key to beautiful hair is actually deeply rooted in the biology of your hair and scalp? In this blog, find out how.
The building blocks of your hair
First, a lesson on the anatomy of your hair. Hair is actually a protein fibre made up of three layers: the medulla, the cortex and the cuticle. The medulla is the inner part, the cortex is the middle part and the cuticle is the outer layer that serves as a protective cuticle. The quality and appearance of your hair depends a lot on the health of these three layers.
The most important element of your hair is keratin, a protein also found in your skin and nails. So for healthy hair, it is essential that you get enough protein through your food. Think of foods like eggs, meat, fish and dairy products, which are rich in protein and amino acids, the building blocks of keratin.
Hair growth: a complex process
Your hair grows in cycles and growth is highly dependent on your genes, hormones and health. There are three phases of hair growth:
- Anagen phase: This is the growth phase, when your hair actively grows. This phase can last for several years.
- Catagen phase: This is where your hair slowly stops growing and prepares to fall out. This phase lasts for several weeks.
- Telogen phase: During this resting phase, your hair falls out and makes way for new hair. Fortunately, not all your hairs have the same phase at the same time, otherwise you would get bald patches!
The rate of hair growth varies from person to person and can be affected by genes, hormonal fluctuations, diet and even stress.
The role of the scalp
A healthy scalp is the ideal environment for your hair to grow. So it is very important to keep your scalp clean to prevent hair follicle clogging and dandruff formation. So wash your hair regularly with a mild, nourishing shampoo. You can also stimulate the circulation of the scalp by a nice head massage. This provides enough oxygen and nutrients your hair needs to grow.
The danger of too much stress
You might not think it, but too much stress can also have a big impact on the condition of our hair. Stress can constrict blood vessels and reduce blood flow to the scalp, which is not good for the health of hair follicles. Stress can also cause or worsen hair loss. So try to reduce stress by building enough relaxation into your day.
What can you do yourself?
Of course, there are also things you can do yourself to increase your chances of having beautiful, healthy locks.
- Have your hair cut regularly. This will remove split ends and keep your hair looking healthier and fuller.
- Use hot styling tools like hairdryers, curling irons and straighteners as little as possible. Do you use them anyway? Then protect your hair in advance with a good heat protectant.
- Sleep is when your body repairs itself, including your hair. Make sure you get enough sleep to support the growth and health of your hair.
- And finally, choose the right hair care products that nourish and care for your hair.