Gaining control of your cuticle layer is akin to mastering the condition of your hair!
The two ways in which to manipulate your cuticle layers and get them to react are as follows:
Mild heat – Good for closing hair cuticle scales - head-dryers (15-20 minutes), wrapping hair with drying towel after shampooing (45 minutes). Mild heat is NOT obtainable from sunlight, curling irons, plastic caps or sweat.
PH of hair products – The PH measures how acid or alkaline a substance is and the scale ranges from 0 to 14 (0= a very strong acid & 14 = a very strong alkali). Highly acidic substances force cuticle scales shut and strong alkalines force them open
Cuticle scales can be lifted/become excessively porous
from friction, poor diet, genetics, over-processing and environmental stress. When your hair is too porous, your hair ends up losing moisture just as quickly as it takes it in. Unless we learn how to keep our cuticles closed, excessive lifting will result in very dry, brittle and damaged hair. Oils and waxes are not
moisturisers. Moisture is a property of water and water increases elasticity in hair. In order to effectively moisturise your hair water is necessary. But because water is absorbed so quickly by hair and evaporates just as fast, it isdifficult for hair to remain moisturised for long periods of time. This is where sealants & conditioners
become essential. We all know that deep conditioning treatments are great for hair but few people know how or why. The reason we deep condition after washing is because we want to get moisture in our hair first to increase elasticity and minimize breakage but we also want to seal it in with emolients. The process itself is called ‘deep conditioning’ because it allows the beneficial ingredients to literally penetrate your hair shaft deposit lost lipids, nourish and seal in moisture. For the best deep conditioning results apply mild heat on washed hair that has had conditioner in it for at least 20 minutes (the longer the better).
Good conditioners contain proteins vitamins and oils that work on multiple levels to add strength and shine. Hug My Hair uses ingredients such as extra virgin avocado oil, coconut oil, wheat germ oil and beeswax. All these provide an abundance of nutirents and a coating to retard water evaporation. The coat makes the hair look shiny and smooth because it fills the gaps that lifted cuticle scales reveal and gives the appearance of a flattened cuticl and therefore healthy looking hair. This is why hair needs a routine. A regular hair care regime allows you to balance styling with maintenance ensuring your hair cuticle stays protected and enabling you to retain length. If you do use moisturisers then the PH of them is important. You can measure the PH level of anything that is water soluble. The best PH level for products that you place on your hair should be within an acidic PH level of 4.5 – 5.5 which is similar to the body’s natural moisturiser sebum. If your hair products are the wrong PH then they cannot effectively close the cuticle scales meaning any deposited ‘good stuff’ isn’t locked in and can therefore be easily lost. A sign of this is experiencing dry hair shortly after applying a moisturiser. PH strips are cheap if you can bebothered to test your products. I bought mine from Ebay here Have you mastered your cuticle layer? Tell us your thoughts.