Hair Information

What do you know about hair?

Hair Facts

Hair growth: hair grows approx 1/2 inch per month, may grow slightly quicker in summer due to the sun and our body producing more vitamins and hormones.

Hair is made up of a type of protein called Keratin it contains sulphur normally hair contains between 4-5 % sulphur natural red hair may contain up to 8% sulphur which makes it more resistant to perming, once the hair comes out of the follicle its is dead, hardened Keratin.

Structure of hair: Outer layer is known as Cuticle – it is the hairs protective layer, it can be several layers deep 7 for european up to 11 in chinesse hair! then you have the Cortex – this is the part where most of the hairdressers work is done using chemicals for colouring, perming, bleaching etc the Cortex is a bundle of fibres held together by bonds, human hair possesses an exceptional number of cross-bonds or linkages which is why we need to use chemicals to break them down.  This is also where you find the granules of colour pigment either Melanin or Pheomelanin. The centre of the hair is known as the Medulla – it serves no purpose!

How much hair do you lose? you can lose between 50 and 200 hairs a day, if you are under alot of stress hair can thin more than normal this is called Telogen effuvium once the stress is gone hair will grow back.

Other types of alopecia: Anagen effuvium is caused from radiotherapy or chemotherapy, hair will grow back 6months after treatment is stopped.

Traction alopecia is caused by the hair being pulled back or braided too often, if the hair is pulled too tight at the root for serious lengths of time the follicle can become damaged leading to permanent hair loss, it is always best to give hair a break between braiding or wearing hair up.

Androgenetic Alopecia is male pattern baldness, a hereditary condition and a permanent one.

Does changing your shampoo make a difference? Your hair does not know or get used to a particular shampoo BUT in varying climates and having chemical processed hair will make a difference.  You should Always use a shampoo with a PH or 4.5 – 5.5 this makes the cuticles stay closed – thus protecting the hair.

What is a Conditioner? It is a sophisticated chemical that is attracted to hair to restore strength and protect it against damage. The science:  because keratin has more negative charges than positive ones, and the conditioner has a positive charge – Charges attract and the positive conditioner is attracted to the negative charges (like opposite poles of a magnet)

How can you fix split ends? The only way to fix split ends is to cut them.

What you should expect from a consultation? A consultation is THE most important part of the hairdressing service, every head of hair is different, everyone has different lifestyles.   The stylist should listen and ask questions to establish exactly what you and the client are working towards.  The stylist should offer alternatives with regards to cutting, styling or colouring.  A client should feel comfortable with the stylist suggestions before proceeding with the appointment. Stylists should agree a course of action, do you continue with the service now or postpone it? how long it will take, cost of the service and the after care a client needs.

Things a stylist MUST consider prior to a service:

They may be contra-indications such as scalp or hair conditions they prevent a service being done.  It is important to check for infections and infestations, clients may not realise if they have anything wrong with their scalp and it is important the stylist knows how to deal with these things.  Some conditions may need treatment from the doctor (infectious conditions) others may just need a dose of specialist shampoo (non-infectious conditions). Then we have to deal with the Hair shaft, which range from split ends, swellings on the hair (trichorrhexis nodosa), beaded hair which breaks quite easily (Monilethrix) it is a fairly rare condition, Knotting hair ( Trichonodosis) may be caused by harsh treatment and generally does not effect whole head. Then you have Grey hair (which is actually white hair), hair goes white when the melanocytes which produce the pigments do not function properly.

We then have to find out ‘What the client wants’, to suit them and their lifestyle.  It is important at this point to find out how much time they have to do their hair, if they use products, if they have a particular style in mind.  Using Visual aids such as magazines or photos helps the process.  They are instances where a particular look a client may like may not suit, It is best to recommend a style that is a variation of that look to flatter the client, such as a softer/sweeping fringe if the client has a high forehead.  It is also important that if the hair is in a poor state ie. over processed with chemicals you may have to work on the hair with treatments before any further service can take place.

NEVER to proceed with a chemical service if you feel the hair won’t take it.  We determine this from a series of tests. Porosity test is where the cuticle is damaged and will result in patchy and uneven colour or possible breakage, it allows rapid chemical processing. Elasticity test is how we can tell how strong the bonds within the cortex are, hair in good condition not chemically damaged can stretch up to an extra third of its length and the return to its original length.  FACT: Hair in good condition (bonds intact) is as strong as copper wire of the same diameter! Incompatibility test indicates whether any products previously used on the hair will react unfavourably with the products they you are thinking of using.  It is hard to tell but you may see a greenish tinge to hair or the hair will feel unnatural when you touch it, if in doubt Do A Test! using ammonia (0.880 ammonium hydroxide)  and hydrogen peroxide (6%) immerse hair sample (cut from an unnoticeable area) for 30mins in this solutions if hair bubbles do not use any further chemicals on the rest of the hair and you will have to let it grow out. There are further test but these are the most important within the consultation process to establish the nature of the hair. f you are considering Colour always make sure your stylist preforms a Skin test 24-48hrs prior to the appointment, this makes sure you do not have any allergic reaction. If you are unsure of an intended colour result ALWAYS take a Test cutting prior to the colouring process.

When looking at the Face shape of a client, whatever face shape they have (Oblong, Square, Triangle, Diamond, Round or inverted triangle),  we aim to create an Oval face by balancing the hair to form this shape.  Oval faces have no irregular contours or proportions.  (this rule does not always apply).

Next you have to look at body shapes, necks, ears noses and head shapes.  This establishes parts clients may want to hide or parts to accentuate.  Then one of the most important things a lot of hairdressers forget is to look at Growth patterns Cowslick, Widows Peak, Double crowns and which way the hair grows.  There are many people who’s hair is  thicker in certain areas so you may have to thin the hair to balance it with another part.  This is where the stylist needs to visualise what you are working towards.