Human hair, as scientists recently found out, contains some genes that appeared in mammals as early as 300 million years ago – it turns out that this is one of the “oldest” parts of our body. While the rest of the owners of the same set of genes absolutely need hair to this day, homo sapiens could do without them.
The entire visible part of the hair consists of dead cells, only the hair follicle located under the skin is alive. That’s what we have to take care of! However, in the course of evolution, we did not part with them, and none of the hypotheses that exist today are able to explain why this is so.
But every human civilization developed its own attitude towards a useless mane. Grow and anoint with precious oils; dye or bleach in the sun; shaving – as a punishment in some cultures or as a badge of honor – in others; to braid in braids or dreadlocks that are deadly for hair (they cannot be untangled, only cut off) – this is a far from complete list of what a person has done with hair since ancient times.
Dyed or cut hair in a certain way at different times expressed social status.
For example, among the ancient Romans, prostitutes were distinguished exclusively by red manes: they either dyed their hair or wore wigs. When the Manchu dynasty came to power in China in the 17th century, their traditional hairstyle was legally introduced as the only correct one throughout China: men had to shave their hair in front of their heads, while growing a long braid at the back. Tonsure – a circle shaved on the head – is a characteristic sign of some European monastic orders, as well as ministers of Buddhist and Hindu cults.
Of the current social trends, it is worth noting the movement of punks, with their “combs” standing on their heads, or emo, whose hair is traditionally dyed black.
I love my hair!
Today, like five thousand years ago, hair care products solve the same problems: they strengthen, protect against breakage and double ends, nourish, and also make them beautiful and shiny. Luckily, 21st century technology allows us to get more out of the same olive oil or chamomile that was used in ancient Egypt.
To understand how best to care for hair, you need to know the main thing about them: the entire visible part of the hair consists of dead cells, only the hair follicle located under the skin is alive. In a sense, this gives us carte blanche: we can safely do a perm or dye our hair pink – in any case, the cycle of each individual hair lasts 3-4 years, after which it falls out and is replaced by a new one.
All procedures and preparations for hair care are needed in order to give them the appearance of being alive and healthy: you must admit that talking about the health of dead cells is absurd. Another thing is the bulb: we must take care of it extremely delicately!
Hence the ideology of hair care: the right lifestyle, without stress and with a healthy diet is the basic part of care, which is complemented by salon procedures. The reverse approach achieves only short-term results.
It’s all up to us
So, first of all, about nutrition: hair (like the whole body) needs a balanced diet. A sufficient amount of proteins (meat, fish, legumes) is required, as their amino acids allow the bulb to grow strong hair. Fats, especially those that we get from olive oil and fish, are useful in creating sebum that envelops growing hair.
Two minerals important for proper hair growth are selenium (found in whole grain flour and products from it, egg yolk, tuna, seafood, garlic, celery, broccoli) and zinc (fish, meat – beef, turkey, lamb, dried fruits, sunflower seeds, legumes).
Stress, alcohol, Ideology of hair care: the right lifestyle, without stress and with a healthy diet – the basic part of care, which is complemented by salon procedures – smoking negatively affects the functions of all organs, so you should not expect that their effect on hair will be different. You should also not dye your hair more than once every four weeks: this is not necessary, since even non-permanent dyeing products retain color perfectly for at least five weeks. The right decision is to protect your hair from negative influences.
Hair is also harmed by: ultraviolet sunlight, salty, chlorinated and too hard water. If possible, minimize the impact of these factors and use adequate means. There are special hair care lines with sunscreens – choose the right one for your hair type. To protect against chlorinated or salt water, it would be good to make masks (based on vegetable oils, especially olive or shea butter), and it is enough to boil excessively hard water before use, “soften” it with lemon juice, or use special shampoos.
Let’s turn to specialists
After doing your best for your hair yourself, you can go to a salon or even go to a spa for a special program of treatments. A professional, having assessed the condition of the hair and scalp, determines the tasks and offers a choice of procedures to solve them.
To reduce oil production for oily hair, you may be offered to make a mask based on sesame and juniper oils: by cleansing the pores, the mask helps to optimize oil production.
Long hair often has an uneven oil content along its length: at the roots it is too oily and easily soiled, while along the entire length it becomes brittle and dry. You may be asked to use sweet almond oil before every hair wash.
A lot of problems are caused by hair that, while not being wavy, at the same time never wants to be straight: in this case, lamination or elution of the hair is carried out. A special professional product allows you to achieve smoothness and mirror shine even the most unruly hair.
It is always a good idea to do a strengthening mask a day or two before a particularly traumatic procedure, such as a perm or a complete bleaching of the hair. Of course, the master will make a strengthening mask after curling or dyeing, but the best effect is achieved on well-groomed and prepared hair.
To always be confident in the beauty of your hair, take care of them every day, and not just during visits to the salon. And then every day you will look great!