Hair Strength Improvement Plan
What really is the strength of hair? Hair scientists have discovered over time that human hair is surprisingly strong. In fact, a single hair can support a load of about 100 grams before breaking.
Some hair experts content you could even spin rope out of hair!
This information about the strength of hair may have been what inspired the writers of TV's Grimm to create a Rapunzel-like character who used her hair as a type of whip to strangle one of the bad guys.
What Makes Hair So Strong?
What makes hair so strong? The keratin protein of the cortex is responsible. The long keratin molecules in the cortex are compressed to form a regular structure, which is not only strong but also flexible. Hair is 97 percent protein and 3 percent moisture.
Unfortunately in the name of beauty humans undercut the natural strength of their hair with improper care of the scalp, excessive or improper use of shampoos and styling products, hair dyes, chemicals and hot tools. Over time the hair will start to degrade and become damaged.
When hair becomes damaged it will weaken causing it to shed, break, split or rip. Also, the scalp may start to flake and the strands can become brittle, dry or even feel spongy.
If you have suffered through hair damage how do you get your natural hair strength back? There are a variety of methods which can help. Of course it can take some time to destroy your hair so be prepared for it to take some time for the damage to be repaired.
Unfortunately when hair is over-processed or mishandled it can become so damaged that the only option is to have the damaged areas removed to help the rest of the hair recover.
Two key components are important to maintain natural hair strength:
A. Protein which strengthens and fortifies the hair both internally and externallyB. Moisture taken internally (water) and applied externally (to hydrate)
Listed below are the options for an ideal hair strength improvement plan:
1. Review your dietary program. Are you eating a protein rich food plan? Hair needs protein to maintain it's strength and that means lean meats, fish, eggs or similar healthy proteins.
If you aren't eating as well as you should opt for a vitamin specifically formulated to help make your hair healthy and strong and provide all nutrients your hair needs.
2. Amp up the protein treatments. Apply deep conditioners or similar to help repair the surface damage. The appropriate hair care formulas with proteins, vitamins and moisturizers can actually strengthen vulnerable weak spots which may be prone to breakage.
Look for products advertised to help repair hair damaged. Products which contain hydrolysed proteins or hydrolysed proteins with keratin are generally best able to penetrate into the body of the hair providing nourishment and recovery. Schedule a deep conditioning treatment every four weeks, to help maintain healthy and flexible hair.
3. Hydrate. Remember that hair needs both internal and external moisture for strength. Keep hair hydrated internally by drinking the proper amount of water and similar liquids throughout the day. Always use moisture enhancing pre-shampoo, rinse-out, leave-in and deep conditioners. When appropriate you may also wish to do a pre-cleanse moisturizing treatment.
4. Minimize cleansing sessions. If you are currently shampooing your hair every day experiment with only cleansing every other day or just 3 times a week. If you must shampoo every day then experiment with alternative cleansing formulas such as Diluted Shampoo (DS), Conditioner Only Wash (CoWash), Water Only, Low Poo or a combination.
5. Cut the heat. Never cleanse hair in scalping hot water. Lukewarm is ideal. Skip the blow dryer and hot styling tools when possible. If you can wet bun and air dry that is ideal. If not, use a blow dryer set on the slowest and coolest speeds. Minimize the use of your hot tools, especially hot irons which can cause substantial hair damage over time.
6. Break with chemicals. Although vibrantly healthy strong hair can handle some chemical processing, if your hair is damaged it's best to take a break from chemical processing whenever possible. Regardless of public opinion when hair is first chemically colored and then relaxed, permed or straightened it can destroy the natural strength of the hair. If you must use chemical processing try to stick with just one at a time.
7. Consult a professional. If your hair is extremely damaged and you aren't achieving noticeable improvement results through your own efforts it might be wise to consult a hair expert who specializes in damaged hair treatments. They can work out a long term plan for you to follow which will help you recover the strength of your hair.
8. Have damaged areas removed. Although it's often hard to say good-bye to hair you've been growing for awhile, if it's beyond repair, have it removed so that the rest of your hair can start to recover.
Other Possible Hair Strength Destruction Factors
The environment can also play a part in causing damaging. Allowing hair to be exposed to wind, sun, surf or excessive temperatures can weaken it. Always apply appropriate sunscreens or other protective products.
As you embark on your hair strengthening program take the time to evaluate the styling tools you use. Some types of combs and brushes will rip and damage hair. Finishing any cleansing regime with a cool or cold water rinse will close the cuticle and help retain the necessary moisture needed by hair.If you have additional questions about your own hair please email me at AskKaren.com.