Hair shaft damage occurs when the outermost protective layer “cuticle” is altered due to an attack by aggressors’ e.g. environmental stress, excessive friction, or harsh chemical treatments. This can be reversible or irreversible depending on the level of detriment. However, it may not be possible to repair them completely. There are plenty of steps to regain lost glory to some extent and prevent future hair loss.
Know the structure and impairment caused to it
Hair structure has two basic parts, one underneath the skin called follicles; these cells are alive. Second, are the shafts that can be seen above the skin, they are made of dead cells.
Every strand has three parts: inner layer medulla, middle layer cortex. Both have pigmenting cells that are responsible for giving color. The outer layer is cuticles, it is formed by overlapping scales. When these strongly bonded scales fall apart, crack, or open up the damage is done. This structural change makes them more prone to breakage.
Different types of hair shaft damage
The determination of strands has various types. The strands look and feel;
· Dull and unruly
· Dry, brittle, and frizzy
· Thin, stiff, and fragile
· Color change
· Split ends
· Luster loss
All these conditions can occur on the full shaft or a part of it. They can make them look coarse and dull either at the end, on the crown area, or near the top of the head. PRP hair treatment is another popular option at our clinic in Lahore where we treat such conditions.
Impairment is experienced by all sorts of hair, straight, curly, thin, or thick. Many internal and external factors cause breakage some common causes are;
Many cosmetic treatments to change hair structure, color, or overall look require harsh, toxic chemical applications. These chemicals have adverse effects if added to routine or applied to weak fragile strands. There are different types of such treatments
· Permanent straightening
Colors and bleach
Permanent, semi-permanent, fashion color dyes and bleaching react against the protective layer of proteins and let the color toxins penetrate through deeper layers to change color. They contain hydrogen peroxide, P-phenylenediamine(PPD) that cause structural change that leads to many issues like,
· Reduce thickness
· Increase coarseness and dryness
· Intolerance for heat
Some protective measures to avoid these damages are, using ammonia-free dyes, limiting the use of heat tools, taking breaks between dyes, and considering natural colors to dye.
Perming, straightening, and relaxing
In all treatments, ammonium thioglycolate solution is applied to break the bond of shafts to recreate the desired structure. For perming rollers are used to create curls and for straightening hot iron help to lay flat the strands. After alteration oxidizing solution is applied for neutralization.
The bond-breaking treatment can raise breakage, split ends, and dryness. To avoid the side effects it’s better to use natural masks, serums, and oil after treatments.
Lack of moisture and heat
Excessive or prolonged exposure to sunlight, UV rays, dry humid, hot weather remove moisture from the strands and make them weaker, shine less, and rough. It can also cause a color change.
Frequent use of heating tools causes structural changes causing them to become dry and fade their natural color.
· Blow dryers
· Irons or straighteners
· Curling rods
When these thermal tools are used very often or high heat is applied, it causes a chemical reaction to the protein structure of the shafts. Heat exposure exaggerates split ends and dryness.
To avoid these problems use heating tools below 300 degrees and apply heat protectors before styling with heat.
Can Hair shaft damage be repaired?
Many products, serums, creams, lotions, shampoos, and conditioners promise to repair such damage, but in reality, no product can reverse it. The reason is the protective layer cells are not living and don’t possess the regenerating ability. But good products can help change bad conditions temporarily by altering appearance for some time. When they are washed out the original problems are visible again. Only new growth can revive lost perfection. The best hair clinic in Lahore will provide you the solution or remedy and repair treatments.
Hair shaft damage is possible at any age and to any kind of hair, due to many physical and chemical reasons. Minor deteriorations are temporary and can be repaired and restored by home remedies or minor medicated product treatments. For some, it’s important to consult a dermatologist for diagnosis and treatment.
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