Hair is not just cosmetically significant; it also affects our quality of life. Every day we comb and style our hair before we go to work or go on an errand or head out to some activity. During the day, we look at our hair whenever we’re near a mirror, making sure that it looks good. Why do we do these things? Because hair—its color, style, and health—is reflective of our personalities.
Good Looking Hair gives anyone a great boost in morale. We feel happy, even joyful if our hair looks Good.
Global Hair Care Market in 2016 is estimated to be 83.1 Billion
What is Hair?
Hair is primarily comprised of the protein keratin, and it is composed of three layers: the Cuticle, the Cortex, and the Medulla.
The Cuticle is the outer layer, consisting of over-overlapping layers of flat cells (usually 8-10), arranged in such a way that they look like shingles on a roof. An intact and smooth Cuticle handles the light reflection and the shine of our hair.
The Cortex is the middle layer: it is the area in which the hair’s moisture is stored; it is also the layer that determines the color of our hair and its bulk. It is primarily comprised of the protein keratin. Keratin forms itself into long, helical, thin strands. Groups of these thin strands form filaments. These groups of filaments form the hair Cortex.
The inner layer is the Medulla: it is comprised of transparent cells and air spaces.
5 Properties of Hair
- Hair Resiliency
When new hair first grows up from the scalp, the cuticle consists of up to 10 layers of “scales,” like roof shingles.
It is incredibly thin—only 3 or 4 micrometers—and with good care, it lasts for more than six years.
- Hair Strength
The keratin structure within its cortex allows one hair to resist strain on it of up to 100 grams. 100 hairs can bear a weight of 10 kilograms. The average full head of hair can hold more than 10 tons of weight.
Hygroscopy refers to the ability to attract and hold water. Healthy hair has an average 10% moisture level.
Hair has hygroscopic properties that allow it to attract and retain water. During extreme humidity, healthy hair can absorb water up to 30% of its weight, and its diameter can increase by up to 15%. Excess moisture alters the hair’s keratin structure, making the hair fragile.
- Hair Elasticity
Because of keratin’s helical structure, hair behaves like a piece of elastic: after extending by up to 5%, it returns to its original length. Stretching changes Keratin-A to Keratin-B, which allows hair to achieve a condition known as “flowing,” in which, almost without effort, it can elongate by 25%. If it is elongated by more than 25%, it will be met with resistance; if elongated by 50%, it will break.
- Hair Plasticity
The plastic property of hair allows it to maintain a new, given shape—for example when it is curled around rollers. When, after several hours, the rollers are removed, the hair retains its curled shape. This phenomenon is known as the “plasticity of hair.”