Healthy hair, do you have it? Want it? Not sure how to get it? For those on the quest of nurturing your tresses, it’s important to understand what healthy hair has that damaged hair doesn’t. I certainly can’t repair my car engine if I’m not even sure what’s supposed to be under the hood to begin with.
Healthy hair is made up of a few simple components in the following ratios:
- Protein 80%
- Moisture 10-15%
- Lipids 6% (Lipids are fatty oils on the surface of hair)
- Pigment 1%
When hair is damaged, it is missing one or more of these components in some manner. Protein is the number one key to healthy hair. This is what bonds together to form hair fiber. Damaged hair has broken protein bonds causing your hair to be fragile, lack shine and cause color fadage. Protein comes in many forms and some are more effective than others to repair hair. I mean, in theory steak is a protein, but I’m certainly not going to expect that to sit on my hair and repair it. Just like cell phones, science has been able to make proteins smaller and smaller over the years. The smaller the protein the more effectively it can be delivered to the cortex, or center, of the hair strand giving it strength. Have you ever sat under a salon dryer with a treatment on your hair? That is the equivalent of a brick shaped cell phone–old school. Now protein can be delivered at the shampoo bowl in about five minutes and last much longer than a heated mask treatment.
Obviously hair needs moisture. Lipids coat and protect the hair from outside aggressors. They are also what give the hair reflect. When hair is lacking or needing these components, it becomes fragile and dull.
When repairing hair it is important to know when to add these components, particularly if repair is needed during a color service. Protein should always be added before color. Remember, it’s proteins that reinforce the hair fiber and give the color molecules something in which to embed. On the other hand, moisture and lipids should be applied after a color service. If applied before, they will make it hard for the color molecules to embed themselves in the hair strand. Applied after a service they will encourage color longevity by sealing the color in and giving the hair a reflective finish.
Damaged hair comes from two sources: mechanical and chemical. Mechanical damage comes from everyday styling, brushing, flat ironing, and curling. Chemical damage comes from, well, chemicals. Treatments such as color, highlighting, perms, and straightening all create chemical damage. Mechanical damage can cause the cuticle to be raised or melted, dry and weakened. Hair that is chemically damaged includes the effects of mechanical damage on a deeper level including excessively weakened protein bonds.
Want to test your hair to see if it’s damaged. It’s easy! Gently pull a strand of hair from your head and place it in a glass of water. If it floats, congratulations! You have healthy hair! If it sinks it means your hair is weakened and damaged. Time to see your stylist for a treatment.
Protein and moisture, in many forms, are options available for repair. At Fix Salon we depend on Redken’s Chemistry System to repair our clients’ hair. This is a professional salon treatment system that works in under 10 minutes. A stylist can create a personalized mix based on your needs. The results of the treatment last longer and are more effective than home treatments because it has the ability to penetrate deep into the cortex of the hair strand rather than simply coating the surface. If your hair could use a healthy boost, we’ve got the fix for you.