Hair Rejuvenation – Take Care of Your Hair
Rejuvenating your hair
What is hair?
Hair forms part of the integumentary system of the body, consisting of hair, skin, nails and sweat and oil glands that act as a barrier to protect the body from the outside world.
Humans are covered all over in hair, except on the palms of the hands, the soles of the feet, and the lips. Hair is most obvious on the head and face (including the nose and ears in some people), the armpits, the groin, legs and in men, the chest.
Humans have much less visible hair than do other primates like apes and monkeys. Surprisingly, however, a square centimetre of human skin carries a greater number of hair-producing sites (called follicles) than the same area of the skin of other primates. We have lost the requirement for insulating our bodies, and presumably the hair which animals need for this.
How much hair?
How much hair do we have? On average, each person’s head carries about 100,000 hair follicles. Some people have as many as 150,000. On a baby’s head, there are about 1,100 follicles per square centimetre. By the age of 25, this number has fallen to about 600, but the number depends on the physical type of the individual. Between the ages of 30 and 50, the number drops further, to 250-300. There is only a slight further fall with age.
Each follicle grows about 20 new hairs in a lifetime. Each new hair grows for several years, and can reach over a metre in length. Each hair falls out eventually, and is replaced by a new one.
Hairs are important sense organs, particularly those on the eyelids and eyebrows, since they are involved in the sensation of touch. It has also been suggested that hairs carry an individual’s scent, by which he or she may be recognized and which may attract possible mates. Human hair almost certainly fulfils the same display functions as that of other animals.
Hair is tough, but…
Hair is a remarkably tough material. It can stand up to considerable abuse, but over time this can wreak havoc with its natural properties. In particular, its porosity can be badly affected, so that it breaks easily and cannot be styled satisfactorily.
On the other hand, we can recognize hair that is in good condition. It shines, it is easy to manage – it just looks good. Even though the hair shaft is technically ‘dead’, in that its cells are no longer dividing, we may describe it as ‘healthy’. So why can its properties change so much that the hair loses this ‘healthy’ appearance?
Sometimes this may be due to a medical condition such as poor nutrition: starvation or anaemia due to a lack of protein in the diet can damage the hair. In famine conditions, some people’s hair changes as it grows from black to gingery-red if they cannot get enough protein.
We have seen that in older people hair may not be able to grow as long as it used to, and may become thinner and lose its pigmentation. It might be thought to be less healthy. But it can still maintain its structure, and indeed many elderly people have beautiful hair.
Probably the most obvious aspect of healthy hair is its shine – its ability to reflect light. This property depends mainly on the cuticle of the hair shaft, and how intact it is.
The appearance of the hair is the one feature of the body over which humans, unlike other primates, can have direct control. You can change the length, shape, color and style of your hair (including, for men, facial hair) according to the age you wish to appear, and the economic and social status you want to claim.
The style, length and condition of hair all play a part in how we perceive the people we meet.
Hair care – Preventing damage
Hair is ‘dead’, and we cannot permanently repair any damage that happens to it. You only get one chance with your hair! This is why it is so important to treat your hair properly, so as to prevent damage. Adopt a good hair care routine. Keep chemical treatment like perming and bleaching to a minimum, as they can weaken the hair, thus causing damage. Bring out the highlights of your hair naturally with these at home hair coloring recipes.
If you are to get the best possible results from your hair care routine, you need to choose the correct shampoo and conditioner for your hair. These products should contain natural ingredients.