Men's Hair Anatomy & Structure
What is HAIR Anatomy?
We all have preconceived notions of how our hair should look. Amplified by media and our expectations, our hair is embedded into our identity. But what exactly is hair? Hair is just one part of our complex biological framework, which is why it's unsettling when we start losing it. At Daniel Alain Life Sciences, we understand the importance of hair health, and the role hair plays in masculinity and self-esteem.
Millions of men experience some form of hair loss in their lifetime, and it's inevitable to feel anger, guilt, and even shame. We're here to equip you with the right tools, resources, and solutions.
First, it's important to understand the complexities of your hair, how it grows, and why for many men, it falls out.
When we talk about hair loss, we're addressing an entire bioactive ecosystem involving the scalp, hair follicles, cells within the follicles, hair growth cycle, and strands. There are steps we can take to preserve our hair follicles, stimulate growth, and prevent hair loss. Still, real-life challenges can disrupt the hair growth cycle and result in hair loss.
To fully understand the complexities of men's hair loss, we need to look at hair anatomically, as well as factors that influence hair health.
HOW HAIR WORKS
Given the emphasis on full, voluminous hair, it might come as a shock that hair strands are dead. The opposite is true for the hair follicles, which contain a cycle of active cellular life. These cells conduct vital biochemical activity that regulates the hair growth cycle.
Within the hair growth cycle are four phases: Anagen, Catagen, Telogen and Exogen. At any given point in time, each hair is in a different phase. Multiple factors can disrupt the hair growth cycle, including genetics, medical illness, diet, stress, and environment. When one or more triggers occur, hair can shed excessively, thin, or fall out.
WHAT IS HAIR STRUCTURE?
Hair is made of protein cells called keratin and grows from the follicles on the scalp. While a strand of hair might seem thin in your hand, it has three layers:
This is the outer layer of the hair strand, which protects the cortex.
The thickest layer of hair is the inner layer, which is responsible for hair strength, color and pigment, and hair texture. For example, the cortex is the reason why you have brown, thin hair or blonde, thick hair, or any combination of hair thickness and color.
The third and innermost layer is extremely thin and fragile. In fact, it’s nearly invisible and is generally only prevalent in thick, coarse hair. For example, naturally blonde and thin hair do not tend to have the medulla.
How Hair Structure Impacts Men's Hair Health
The three layers of hair strands dictate your hair type. The cuticle is the cortex's bodyguard, acting as a shield against the elements and interactions between your hair and the surrounding atmosphere. In other words, the cuticle plays a significant role in your hair's health and appearance. The ability to have healthy and resilient hair requires healthy cuticles.
There are protein scales within the cuticle that overlap to lock in moisture. The healthiest hair repels water because it has a hydrophobic outer lipid layer. This thin layer is vital to the cuticle's ability to lock in nutrient-rich moisture. A closed cuticle keeps moisture in and reflects light, creating strong, shiny hair. All that moisture helps to minimize breakage and shedding.
Porosity & Hair Beauty
We often hear the term, “damaged hair,” but what does that mean exactly? When hair has damage, it happens to the outside cuticle layer. The result is a lifted cuticle with holes, scaling and cracks. These symptoms often accompany the term, “porous hair.”
When hair looks dry or dull, it’s likely due to high hair porosity. When cuticles have trouble retaining moisture, it creates “weathered” hair, meaning it isn’t reflecting light, lacks shine, and may have split ends and breakage. Ready to close the cuticle, lock in moisture and obtain soft, shiny hair? We thought so!
Porosity & Hair Beauty
What about damaged hair that easily breaks? Any damage or breakage is the result of a lifted cuticle containing holes, scaling, and cracks. These symptoms typically mean the hair is porous and looks flat, dull, and dry. Ultimately, the cuticle isn't receiving enough moisture. Hair looks weathered because it's unable to retain moisture, and reflect light. The solution? The cuticles need to lock in moisture to look healthy, full, and shiny.
Moisture & Hair Beauty
Shiny hair isn't exclusive to women. We all want healthy-looking hair, and shine is a reflection of a moisturized cuticle. Is the solution as simple as using moisturizing products to restore the cuticle's ability to repel water and retain moisture? That depends: a moisturizer must either improve or maintain hydration. With this in mind, moisturizers fall into three categories:
Products that act as a seal to prevent water loss so the cuticle can retain moisture.
Moisturizers that attract moisture to the hair and result in softer, more elastic, less brittle hair.
Provide a protective shield that smooths the cuticle and repels moisture. Too much can weigh hair down and make it look thinner, while too little creates dehydration, static, and increased frizz.
HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR HAIR
Is your hair dry, brittle, or lacking volume and fullness? Your hair's cuticles might be open, meaning your hair is losing valuable moisture. It's vital to achieve the right moisture balance, which is why Daniel Alain created INTACT, a root securing blend of emollients (the protective shield), and humectants (the moisture-attractor).
INTACT Anti Hair Shedding Treatment includes rich coconut fatty acids that help the cuticle lay flat, reflect light, and enhance shine. And you won't have to worry about it weighing your hair down; coconut fatty acids retain moisture and nourish the hair thanks to their low molecular weight.
Hair is more than part of your appearance; it's the glue that solidifies the relationship between self-image and internal strength.