A magnificent alopecia (accelerated hair loss) after uncontrolled straightening too. Since I leave my hair natural but quickly I let myself be invaded by the length of my Afro crown. The social pressure around women’s hair is so strong that it is difficult to get away from the ideal long hair. Can you really grow your hair faster? The answer is no! On the other hand, one can better know its nature hair and take better care. Here are my stuff:
1. Knowing what the structure and anatomy are about
« Education is the most powerful weapon to use to change the world » – Nelson Mandela
Yes, the quotation is grandiloquent while we talk about hair care but I think it applies to all aspects of his life. We are less influenced by the ditakts of beauty if we know a minimum of things about physical and mental health. We make mistakes less often, our choices are also more judicious and we are more indulgent towards his reflection in the mirror. Understanding the functioning of the scalp and hair shaft is a strength as a woman but also as a consumer! Below is a somewhat long but essential description.
– The scalp –
The hair grows from the follicle. It is housed at the junction of the deep dermis and the hypodermis and takes the name of bulb. The blood supply is ensured by a small vessel which penetrates inside the capillary stem thus bringing to the hair all the vital elements that it needs to be in good health such as the amino acids, the mineral salts or the vitamins . Glands surround the capillary stem, the most important of these glands is the sebaceous gland that produces the sebum, natural lubricant of the hair. On the surface of the scalp, the pores evacuate the sweat produced by the sweat glands.
– The structure of the hair –
The hair is composed of 95% keratin, fibrous protein and helical (in the form of a helix), entering into the composition of the skin and all the integuments (hairs, nails …). Synthesized by keratinocytes, keratin is insoluble in water thus ensuring impermeability and protection to the hair. The structure of the hair is divided into three distinct parts:
– the marrow (or medula): central part of the stem, it is composed of an amorphous substance, soft and greasy.
– the cuticle: a thin outer protective layer which contains the nourishing part essential to the development of hair, very keratinized, composed of cells in the form of scales which overlap one another, these are about 60 micrometers, and a width of about 6 micrometers.
– the cortex: the main component of the hair, where long chains of keratin are found which give the hair its elasticity, suppleness and resistance. The cells of the cortex are united by an intercellular cement rich in lipids and proteins. Each cell is formed of beams oriented in the direction of the length of the hair: they are the macrofibrils, themselves composed of microfibrils, in turn constituted by protofibrils.
– The role of melanocytes and keratinocytes –
The hair cortex also contains melanin. Produced by specialized cells called melanocytes, melanin is the pigment responsible for hair color. Located near the hair bulb, the melanocytes will inject their pigments into the keratinocytes of the emergent hair shaft. The color thus lasts all the time from the hair cycle of its genesis to its end, when the hair falls.
– The specificities of afro hair –
The Afro hair has a helical shape, in the form of a whirl. It is because the Afro hair is twisted that the sebum has difficulty slipping along the capillary stem. This makes it more susceptible to dehydration and therefore to dryness and breakage. Besides this, the length of a hair is determined genetically. During its life cycle (from 2 to 4 years), Afro hair will grow by 0.8 cm per month or about 10 cm per year. And with variants more or less important according to the individuals.
In the end, to grow well the hair needs to be well nourished and hydrated with the right gestures. To naturally produce the nutrients our hair needs, no secret « Eat well and move! »)
2. Eat well and move
– Omegas 3 –
They are not just right for your heart, they are good for your metabolism, digestion, skin and hair too. Omega 3 (found in flax seeds, chia seeds, nuts and basil yes yes you have read the basil) are particularly good for keeping hair strong, shiny and promotes growth.
– Vitamin D –
Lack of vitamin D is one of the main causes of lack of hair growth, so ensure you expose yourself enough to sunlight (basically go out for a walk). For example, in winter when the sun appears only between 8am and 5:30 pm eat mushrooms, cereals and fruit juices (the classic orange juice).
– Spices –
Capsaicin, the component that gives the sensation of pungent hot heat, has antioxidant properties but also promotes hair growth.
– Vitamin B8 –
Keratin is a protein that covers skin, hair, nails and vitamin B8 (or biotin) can help in its production. If you know of hair breaks, a slowing down of the shoot or hair loss biotin is a good supplement to try. I have taken many supplements in recent months and I have noticed the difference. You will find biotin in nuts and chocolate.
For those still alive at the end of this post, we meet next week for episode 2 « Hydrating and maintaining hydration. » 🙂