We usually talk cuticle when involving human hair
You may be very professional to know the cuticle looks like fish scale, and hair with cuticle intact facing same direction behave better but more expensive.
Except for the above, do you know more about the hair? Are you curious about what is behind when saying hair damaged? Why does blonde hair getting dry more easily?
Let’s have a deep look together.
When cross cutting the hair shaft, there are 3 parts: the cuticle, cortex, and medulla, which likes a tree trunk. The outermost is the cuticle, protecting the fragile cortex inside. Under the cortex, it’s the innermost part, called medulla.
1. Outermost: The Cuticle
The cuticle looks transparent, is composed of cells formed like fish scales overlapping one against another, around five to ten layers deep, growing facing down, containing the nutritious portion essential to hair growth.
The cuticle holds each of your hairs together, shields the fragile center of each hair and balance moisture in and out the center. When the cuticle is damaged or destroyed, the scales are roughed up and torn off, the hair center quickly follows, which could not be repaired and this is permanent.
The cuticle facing down makes it feels unpleasant to run your hand up your hair, and this is a way to check the status of cuticle.
The overlapping one against another reflects light like a sheet of glass, which makes your hair look natural gloss. Like glass that has been ground down, scratched, and chipped, the cuticle becomes dull and lose natural gloss .
2. Middle: The Cortex
The cortex is composed of coiled keratin 铿乥ers twisted together like a rope, then bundled to make thicker 铿乥er, which are 铿乶ally bundled together. Approximately 90 percent of hair’s total weight lies within the cortex layer.
It is like your hair’s database, determining the hair strength, hair elasticity and hair texture (curl or straight), housing a mixture of pigment, which creates your unique hair color.
There are two types of melanin that can be found in the cortex: eumelanin and pheomelanin. Eumelanin produces brown and black color, and is the most prevalent type of melanin. Pheomelanin imparts yellow, blonde, red and auburn hues. Natural hair color derives from a peomelanin and eumelanin ratio combined with the size and number of pigment granules. When hair is gray, there is an absence of melanin pigment in the cortex.
The cortex is spongy. Once the cuticle is gone or destroyed, the cortex is left exposed and defenseless. it’s permanent until the damaged part is cut off or replaced by fresh new hair.
3. Innermost: The Medulla
The medulla is mostly filled with air held in a honeycomb pattern of keratin.
Your hair strand might contain a medulla. It is often present only in people with thick and/or coarser hair, and sometimes it doesn’t even run the entire length of each hair. Naturally blonde and fine hair generally does not have a medulla.
The function of the medulla does not affect the hair care services conducted by salon professionals.
After knowing the hair structure, you may have more idea to communicate with your customer about hair care, and be more professional to communicate with your suppliers. For example, you will understand better why some special colors fade so quickly why other colors insist for longer time.