Curls and waves are characteristic features of curly and wavy hair. A basic curl pattern is instilled in every strand of human hair and reaffirmed during each cycle of hair growth. This basic pattern can be further categorized into tight and loose curls. While a hair type is difficult to describe in simple terms, understanding the defining characteristics of your hair is essential to styling it and keeping it healthy. Here are some basic hair-care tips to keep your hair healthy and shiny.
The term “hair” refers to the hard filamentous part of a hair follicle above the surface of the skin. The hair shaft is divided into three zones: the upper layer, the middle layer, and the underlayer. Each zone has a different function, but each plays a critical role in protecting the human body. A coat that keeps the body warm helps to keep it warmer in cold weather and prevents the loss of heat during hot weather.
The outer root sheath extends from the epidermis to the hair bulb. This layer has a sebaceous gland at its base, which secretes lipid-rich sebum that protects the hair and helps moisturize the scalp. The follicle also has a “hair bulb” at its base, which contains blood vessels. Hair cells grow from the bulb, where they are supplied with nutrients. This growth cycle is repeated over again, and the hair shaft is the key to a full head of hair.
Interestingly, a common ancestor of mammals, called synapsids, retained hair on their shoulders and head. This juvenile trait was important for survival as it protected the scalp from UV rays. However, this is not conclusive. Some argue that a sexy, wavy-haired shoulder would benefit human evolution. In addition to protecting the head, hair also regulates body temperature and social interaction.
Various subcultures possessed different hair styles. Indian sadhus, hippies, metalheads, and older indie kids wore long hair. Similarly, punks had hairstyles similar to those of rockstars, such as the mohawk and spikes. In the early twentieth century, female art students and scene kids wore hairstyles with long stylized bangs. Some even shaved their heads completely.
Despite this fact, trichotillomania is a common problem. In addition to causing baldness, it can also cause hair loss in patches. Fortunately, hair usually returns after the person stops pulling. However, if the pulling continues for years, the hair loss may be permanent. In such cases, psychotherapy may be necessary. The doctor may refer the patient to a psychotherapist specializing in trichotillomania.
The growth cycle of hair includes three phases: anagen, catagen, and telogen. During the anagen phase, the hair bulb produces melanin. When the hair follicle reaches the catagen stage, the hair bulb begins to break down and new hair cells form at the base of the empty follicle. The final phase, the telogen, lasts for three to four months and is called the’resting’ phase.