Often when hair care professionals talk about protecting hair from damage, they refer to the hair cuticle. But what is our hair cuticle and what does it do? At the center of our hair strand there is something called the medulla, which surrounds the cortex. The cortex is made up of mostly keratin and lipids, which is essentially what keeps our hair strands strong and structured. When we talk about the cuticle which is the final layer of our hair that protects everything inside. When we have a healthy cuticle, it will lay flat, but when we compromise the integrity, we leave the inner layers of our hair strand exposed to damage. This can leave our hair frizzy, dry, and ready to break easily.
So how can we protect our cuticle? First it starts with knowing the causes of damage. Heat exposer, bleach, hair color, and harsh hair styles can all lead to damage to our hair. Whenever exposing your hair to high heat from straighteners, curlers, blow dryers and more, always use heat protectant. Almost all professional hair care companies have created their own heat protectant products. It is extremely important to invest in these products if you are going to use heat tools on your hair.
Next, understand the realities of bleach and hair color. If you are desiring a hair color that is distant from your natural color, find a stylist who will take you to those colors as safely as possible. Understand if you are a natural brunette who wants to be a platinum blonde, you will need to invest in some nice products that heal and protect you from further damage.
Lastly, go easy on your hair. Over washing, using too high of heat, or simply just not using the right products will not help you get to your dream hair goals. When styling your hair, be mindful and opt in for something gentler on your stands. The better care you take of your hair the better it will truly look.