Phenomenal . . .

Phenomenal . . .
Life, Growth, and Connection (This sunflower was nourished by my hands.) 2010; Photography by Benita Blocker. Please become a follower of this blog.

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Sunday, July 6, 2014

Hair Cuticle Erosion and Scalp Abrasion

Have you noticed that your hairstylist wears vinyl gloves when applying chemicals such as relaxers, perms, haircolor, smoothing treatments, etc?

When you are doing serious household cleaning, do you put on gloves?

The answers to both of these questions is probably - YES!

So what protects your scalp which is a living organ?  The "Vaseline" based protectant?

Hmm, got you thinking?

FACT:  If your scalp is exposed to chemicals on a regular basis, then it will eventually increase sensitivity to the chemical causing temporary abrasions and possibly even permanent scalp scarring.

So if you start relaxing a child's hair at age five, then if she gets scarring in her scalp in the form of bald spots by age 16 - then who is to blame?

FACT:  Some people's hair buckles up at the root, and others' hair grows away from the root.  Hair that buckles at the root typically forces the relaxer chemical to come in direct contact with the scalp.  Whereas people with less resistant hair typically get minimal exposure of the relaxer coming in extended contact with the scalp.

So if your aunts and female ancestors have a lot of  "resistant kinky" hair, then you may see some hair thinning or hair loss in your blood line.  It is NOT because of "bad blood!"  It is solely because the buckling of kinky, resistant hair requires relaxer touch-ups more often for control, but this increased frequency also increases the scalp's exposure to the chemicals.  Over time this vicious cycle would cause hair loss in anyone regardless of race.

Now, lets tackle "Hair Cuticle Erosion."  What is hair cuticle erosion?  Well, similar to land erosion, the hair shaft is being "chipped" away or damaged.  Eventually, damaged hair needs to be cut off if it does not break off first.

So what causes the erosion of the hair cuticle?

  1. Hot irons at too hot of a temperature for fine or medium hair.
  2. Lightener/Hair Bleach and Color Remover to correct color.
  3. Overlapping Permanent Haircolor too many times.
  4. Using the wrong hairbrush to blow-dry hair.
  5. Using a pure protein treatment on the same day as a relaxer. (Remember damaged hair can be soft hair.)
  6. Byproducts left in the hair from "No lye" relaxers.
  7. Double processing hair.  (relaxer plus permanent haircolor or perm plus permanent haircolor)
As far as smoothing treatments go, the flat ironing of the hair can cause more cuticle erosion than the actual "smoothing solution" being applied.

Hair cuticle erosion is not the "end of the world."  All hair is DEAD that is why you do not feel it when the scissors cut it, but cut into your scalp - it's living - you will feel that.

FACT: Hair will grow back as long as the scalp is healthy.  So damage your scalp, and you are DOOMED!

Damage your hair - just trim away and discontinue anything that caused the previous damage.

Well, it's just as simple as that!

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