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What is a hair and how do you take care of it?

What is a hair and how do you take care of it?

What is a hair and how do you take care of it?

To take good care of your hair, you must first understand the nature of hair itself, its components and how it reacts to the environment. In this blog, you will have all the elements necessary to fully understand what a hair is as well as all the information necessary to take good care of it and have healthy hair that is radiant with youth.

The composition and source of hair color

Hair is hair. As with the nails, its visible part is made up of dead cells. It is therefore not this part that grows and lengthens, but the internal part. It is mainly composed of a particular protein called keratin, lipids from the sebaceous glands and ensuring its protection, and finally melanin, the pigment responsible for natural color.

Key figures

  • The diameter of a hair varies between 50 and 100 micrometers;
  • Number of hairs that make up the hair: from 120 to 000;
  • The weight of a head of hair: 5 to 200 grams;
  • The record for hair length is 4,2 meters;
  • 50 to 100 is the number of hairs that we naturally lose per day;
  • The average mass that a hair can support is 100 grams;
  • The hair grows one centimeter per month, or 12 centimeters per year.

The hair structure

Each hair of human hair has the structural shape of a plant, with root and stem. We distinguish: the stem, the follicle, the sebaceous gland and the arrector muscle.

  • The rod

It is the visible part of the hair. It is composed of keratin, which gives it a smooth, curly or wavy, thin or thick appearance and whose characteristics are transmitted genetically, as well as melanin pigments which give it color.

The stem is made up of dead cells. A healthy hair, magnified under a microscope, looks like an ear of wheat, with scales stacked on top of each other like the tiles on a roof. 

  • The follicle or root

Hair forms and grows inside a bulb called a follicle. The hair follicle is located in the dermis, 5 mm below the epidermis. In the papilla which is in the center of the follicle are the extremely fine nourishing vessels which carry all the nutrients necessary for the development of the hair. This is where the hair is formed and pigmented.

  • The sebaceous gland

It is located just above the bulb. It is this which produces the sebum, essential for the protection of the hair shaft and the skin of the scalp. The sebum greases the hair, makes it more resistant and protects it against aggressions (rain, sun, pollution). The quality and quantity of sebum therefore interfere with the hair and the scalp.

  • Melanin

It is a dark pigment (from black to reddish brown) found in hair.

Melanin exists in two forms of pigment: eumelanin, which is rather dark, and pheomelanin, which is rather light.

Melanin is responsible for the natural color of the hair. Produced at the bottom of the root by the melanocytes (cells of the epidermis, located in the bulb), it is then transmitted to the keratinocytes while the hair is being formed. This is why the hair is colored from birth.

The three main types of hair

  • Normal hair

They are light, supple, shiny, easy to comb, soft to the touch and can be satisfied with a weekly shampoo to stay clean.

This hair does not need special care.

  • Greasy hair

They are flat, lacking in volume, difficult to style, have an oily, dull appearance, and stick to the scalp.

This type of hair requires special care such as the use of a mild shampoo with neutral pH.

In Belgium and France, almost 40% of the population has oily hair.

  • Dry hair 

They are brittle, dull, lacking in flexibility, get tangled easily and catch on when brushing. The scalp of this type of hair is very sensitive.

Special care is therefore necessary for this type of hair.

Stages of hair development 

The nature of our hair can vary over the course of our life: oily hair in adolescence, then dry as an adult and again oily while waiting for the first baby. This is the case for many women since the nature of our hair depends on several factors, namely:

  • Hygiene of life
  • Good general health
  • A balanced diet
  • Sufficient sleep
  • Hereditary factors
  • The care we bring to the hair

Internal and external factors of graying

The most recent scientific studies have determined that gray hair is strongly linked to external factors that have nothing to do with aging. Here are some of the most important:

  • Pollution

Pollutants can cause premature graying. Studies suggest that chemical agents generate free radicals, also known as oxidative stress, which interfere with melanin production and accelerate the aging of the hair system. As soon as hair and hairs come out of the follicle, they die. It is therefore what happens at the level of the follicle that will have the greatest impact. Environmental factors therefore matter. 

  • The stress

President Obama entered the White House with black hair. Five years later, people were worried: he was completely gray. However, the link between stress and graying is the subject of much debate. For many scientists, there is no doubt that stress stimulates genetic makeup.

Which means if you're not programmed to go gray prematurely, stress won't change your hair color. But if early graying is in your genes, then stress will cause you to whiten faster and sooner.

  • Smoking

Exposure to cigarette smoke can alter the color of your hair, whether it is you or someone in your home who is addicted to cigarettes. Research published in 2013 indicates that smokers are 2,5 times more likely to become graying prematurely - no doubt due to the astronomical amounts of free radicals produced by burning tobacco. Gray hair is just one more reason to stop!

  • Hormones

A simple glance at a photo of you dating back ten years will confront you with this observation: your hair is no longer the same. Due to hormones, your hair can change in texture, density and color over time. This phenomenon becomes more evident after the thirties. It is around this age that people start to consult and complain about these problems. And of course there are women in their fifties going through menopause who don't have a single gray hair. We assume here the conjunction of three factors: genetics, environment and hormonal changes. Experts are still trying to figure out how hormones (estrogen, progesterone, cortisol, etc.) influence graying.

  • Melanin production (which decreases over time)

You might not be ready to go gray, but your hair is. The production of melanin - which gives your hair its pigment - decreases with age. After your 10s, each decade increases your chances of going gray by 20-XNUMX%. Even though some of us keep our natural color for longer, there is something inevitable: sooner or later your hair will turn white. This obviously, if we do not provide any external help to the melanocytes. This is the whole point of the anti gray hair lotion from Hauliga®.

  • Natural aging

With age, the body produces less melanin. Hair follicles, which produce hair and body hair, contain cells filled with melanin (called melanocytes). Over time, the hair follicles produce less melanin, and the new hairs and hairs that grow are paler.

  • Genetic

This also plays a role in the graying of hair. If your parents had gray hair early on, there's a good chance you did too. Premature discoloration in adolescence has also been associated with obesity, smoking, and rare genetic syndromes.

However, the most recent studies on the subject have shown that the endogenous factors of aging are less important than the factors developed in the previous chapter.

The good news is therefore that you can fight graying through natural and healthy actions. Hauliga® Anti Gray Hair lotion is part of this logic since it allows your hair to better cope with external factors. Indeed, its antioxidant action has the direct effect that the melanocytes produce 364% more melanin than before using the lotion. The lotion fights the daily attacks of pollution and other oxidizing factors on the membranes of melanocytes. Thus, nature can take back its rights and work efficiently.

The direct consequence? Younger, healthier hair for longer! 

The different types of hair

The shape of the bulb determines the natural shape of the hair: if the bulb is straight, the hair is straight and if the bulb is curved, the hair is either curly or curly. There are therefore three main types of hair, namely:

  • Asian hair

They have a very high growth rate: 1,3 cm per month. However, Asian type hair has less hair than other types.

Asian hair grows straight, perpendicular to the scalp.

  • African hair

They grow less than 0,9 cm per month and grow more slowly. The density of African hair is slightly higher than that of Asian hair.

An African hair grows almost parallel to the scalp, twisting on itself.

  • Caucasian hair (or European hair)

They have a growth rate of 1,2 cm per month and have the highest density.

A Caucasian hair grows obliquely with a certain curve.

Hair classification by waving

Hair is also classified by its level of ripple, from no ripple with straight hair to extreme ripple with frizzy hair. Here is the classification:

  • Straight hair without any ripples.
  • Wavy hair (with a wave shape).

 This group of hair is divided into three subgroups:

  1. Fine hair with rather weak waves.
  2. Medium hair with more pronounced, wave-like waves.
  3. Thick hair with more and more pronounced waves. This type of hair is easy to style.
  • Curly hair

They comb easily if they are healthy, curl up when the cut is too short, and never lie flat. This group of hair concentrates three subgroups:

  1. Big, wide curls that are well defined throughout the length of the hair
  2. Hair comprising a mixture of medium and tight curls in the shape of springs.
  3. The curls are small, very tight and in the shape of spirals.
  • Frizzy hair

They are very curly and are five times longer than they appear.

There are two subgroups:

  1. Very curly, thick, tough hair that forms curls that look like an S when stretched.
  2. Medium thick hair, also named 4z because the stretched 4b looks like a z.

The role of melanin and the different natural hair colors

Melanin is a coloring pigment in both the skin and the hair. The more melanin the hair shaft contains, the darker it will be, but the difference in color that we can see with the naked eye does not stop with the amount of melanin in our hair. There are two main kinds of melanin:

  • Pheomelanin

She is responsible for the colors on a scale from blonde to red

  • Eumelanin

It gives tints of colors ranging from black to red.

There are 8 natural colors, the others are produced thanks to more or less important amounts of melanin: black (the most common color in the world), brown (the second most common color in the world), auburn, chestnut, red , blond, gray and finally white.

The different types of melanin have a slightly different chemical makeup. These pigments are formed by polymerization of molecules synthesized from the amino acid tyrosine. They are both organic molecules.

The role of melanin

Melanin is responsible for coloring the hair.

Gray hair is sometimes misleadingly described as the simultaneous presence of white and brown hair giving an impression of gray. Another equally widespread and more accurate expression is salt and pepper.

Melanin is therefore the natural hair dye. The higher the concentration of melanin in the hair, the more colored the hair will be.

Therefore, the objective of Anti Gray Hair lotion from Hauliga® is to allow the melanocytes to produce a maximum of melanin and therefore to color the hair as well as possible naturally.

The reaction to white hair in Europe

For us Westerners, white hair is the natural mark of age: from the age of 50, it appears, and it seems normal to us. However, it must be admitted that some of us whiten earlier or faster than in some countries, white hair is reserved for very old people, their appearance from the age of 50 being an exception and a sign of health. failing. In our countries, therefore, white hair appears early and is poorly accepted while being considered a fatality that we circumvent by resorting to colorations. However, there is nothing fatal in their appearance. And solutions exist to prevent them from invading your head!

Catalase, at the heart of depigmentation

For their activity, cells use oxygen, a small fraction of which releases derivatives that are very aggressive for them: the famous free radicals also called oxidative stress, infamous for their responsibility for cell, tissue and genetic damage resulting in especially the slowing down of melanin production and therefore white and gray hair.

In a healthy body, free radicals are neutralized by enzymes made by cells. Among these enzymes, one plays a particularly important role in hair pigmentation: catalase. This enzyme acts as an antioxidant. When it is lacking, a little outside help is not refused! This is where comes in Anti Gray Hair lotion ! It is a natural antioxidant that helps catalase to neutralize free radicals as much as possible.

When all is well, this antioxidant enzyme is produced by cells and protects them against a toxic derivative of oxygen, hydrogen peroxide, by turning it into water.

At all times, catalase and hydrogen peroxide are engaged in a merciless fight to ensure the functioning of the body. Hauliga Anti Gray Hair Lotion®, therefore comes to play the role of reinforcements on the battlefield to give much needed help to Catalase.

When hydrogen peroxide wins the fight, the hair loses color and turns white. This free radical inhibits or destroys catalase. When the protective enzyme is absent, hydrogen peroxide thus blocks all production of melanin, the pigment responsible for the color of the skin and hair. This is why it is very interesting to help catalase by providing it with natural antioxidants in a targeted manner! And guess what? This is exactly what Hauliga® Anti Gray Hair lotion.

Note that free radicals are part of a normal process. As such, their presence in healthy amounts has protective effects as they destroy pathogens and potentially cancerous defective cells. Care must therefore be taken to promote the body's balance between enzymes and free radicals.

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