Your hair contains nearly eighty percent protein and ten to fifteen percent water and the remaining ten percent is made up of pigments, minerals, and lipids. The proteins convert into keratin and that is responsible for the strength and elasticity of hair.
These cells have a very short life span. Your hair is divided into the roots: the part that’s under the skin and the hair shaft: which is outside the skin. The hair shaft comprises of three concentric layers namely medulla, cortex, and cuticle.
This is the innermost layer of the hair shaft and in some cases may not even be present. It is made up of round cells. For fine hair, the medulla may not be present and can be found mostly in coarse hair. The various hair treatments and hair care products do not affect the medulla.
The middle layer is called the cortex, and consists of long rectangular shaped cells and makes up about eighty percent of your hair. This layer contains the pigments that are responsible for hair color, stability, and strength. There are two types of melanin present in the cortex, pheomelanin, and eulamin.
The pheomelanin makes hair look lighter and is predominant in blonde hair while eulamin makes hair look darker as in the case of brunettes. The number of cells present in each cell, in addition to its shape and size helps to determine the hair color. So when you bleach, dye, straighten, or perm your hair you are dealing with the cortex.
This is the outermost layer of the hair shaft and the one that you deal with everyday. The cuticle determines how your hair looks and you should focus on taking good care of the cuticle. It comprises of overlapping scales that focus on protecting the cortex.
When these layers are broken it makes your hair look bad and results in split ends, hair loss, and other problems and when the cuticle is flat your hair looks glossy and shiny. All hair care products focus on caring for the cuticles and keeping it moisturized.