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Understanding Your Hair Structure and Composition

August 6, 2021

8 Min read

What is hair made of? In order to best support your hair, it’s helpful to understand its detailed structure and composition. Just like your skin, your hair has multiple facets that need attention.

At Prose, we believe it’s valuable to understand the science underlying your hair in order to properly care for it. It’s our main mission to bring products to you through in-depth research. We are able to provide natural ingredients because we are constantly researching and sourcing the best ones for your hair. That’s why we’re here to explain what hair is, how it grows, how to look after it, and more.

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Hair anatomy

Learning about your hair could mean understanding what it is made up of, or how your hair stands alone with no product or styling. If you begin to look at the anatomy of hair, you could learn that fibrous protein makes up the majority of hair (65-95%, to be exact). 

This important protein is keratin. Here are some quick facts about keratin:

  • Keratin helps give hair structure and strength.
  • Keratin can also be found in your skin and nails.
  • The amount of keratin in the body at any one moment determines the health of the fingernails, hair, and skin.
  • Keratin is a protein that forms intermediate filaments and serves as a protective barrier

Wondering what hair structure is? Here are three key parts of your hair:

  • The cuticle: the protective layer surrounding your hair
  • The cortex: the inner layer of the hair shaft that gives a hair fiber its strength, color, and texture
  • The medulla: the deepest layer of your hair, found exclusively in thicker hair types

 

The hair follicle, which is found beneath the skin, and the hair shaft, which is visible, are two distinct components that make up your hair. We’ve touched on what makes up your hair, but, you may be wondering, how does hair keep growing? Here are the three phases of hair development:

  • Anagen: The majority of your hair is growing. This stage lasts several years for each hair. This could also be called the growth phase.
  • Catagen: Hair development decreases and the hair follicle diminishes after a few weeks. This is a phase where the hair is changing. 
  • Telogen: Hair development slows down over time, as the old hair falls out of the follicle. The growth phase of new hair begins as it pushes out the old hair. This is also a transformative phase for your hair.

 

Hair grows at various rates for different people; the average monthly growth rate is around a half-inch. Some have slower hair growth, while others’ hair grows rapidly. 

Pigment cells in the hair follicle produce melanin, which gives hair its color. Pigment cells die as we age, and our hair begins to gray. Your hair can go through numerous changes throughout your life, and can even change week by week. Your hair structure and composition stand out, and we make products that help set your hair apart.

Some curly, some straight

You may be wondering why some people have straighter hair, and others have curly hair. Many of us know that we could get our hair shape and texture from our genetics, but how is it that some hair grows one way and others grow differently? 

Taking a closer look at hair patterns can help you identify the differences in your hair growth. The form of the follicle plays a role in deciding whether your hair is curly or straight. Hair will grow straight if the follicle is round, wavy if the follicle is oval, and curly if the follicle is hooked or elliptical.

Looking closer at your hair type

Your hair may be straight, wavy, or curly. Your specific hair could also feel like it falls outside these categories, or it could fall within multiple. And your hair, just like your skin, may display a variety of characteristics. Identifying your hair type is a great way to understand its structure and composition. 

After taking time to look into and identify your hair type, you can start to understand which products are best for styling your hair.

Type one

If your hair is straight or fine, you may want to look for volumizing products to give your hair a boost. Dry shampoo can also give your hair more texture and body.

Type two

If your hair is wavy, look into styling creams or hair oils. Using these products could help smooth away unwanted frizz for a more controlled texture. You can also use a wave or curl spray to intensify the natural movement in your hair.

Type three

If your hair is curly, go for products that provide moisture. We recommend trying our leave-in conditioner, hair oil, or curl cream to help keep your curls bouncy and moisturized. With curly hair, you may not want to brush your curls out, but instead, use a wide-tooth comb. Or, you could also run your fingers through your curls as a brushing method.

Type four

Lastly, if your hair has much tighter curls, similar information for type three hair applies. You’ll want to use products that keep your hair full of moisture. Butters, oils, curl creams, and thick leave-in conditioners can help seal in moisture. We help by providing ingredients that can give more moisture and bounce to your hair. 

These hair tips are all suggestions, as there are so many types of hair. There are also subcategories to each hair type. You can start by looking at your unique hair, and choosing the hair texture that is most abundant throughout your strands. 

The hair type chart can be a good place to start. You may have parts of your hair that are wavy and parts that are straight. Hair structure and composition can look vastly different for each person. 

Your hair is unique to you, and here at Prose, we are in the business of supplying the most personalized products for your individual hair journey so you can achieve your personal hair goals for your specific hair. 

Your hair structure may not feel simple to you, but we help by simplifying your hair care. Knowing your hair type can help you determine your hair needs, and our products go the extra mile to take care of your hair.

Better ingredients to take care of your hair

Whether you are looking to moisturize, promote hair growth, or tame frizz, we have a custom hair formula for you. Our ingredients stand out because they are chosen to help support your hair in the most gentle way.

Every product we create is cruelty-free and devoid of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, mineral oils, and GMOs. We can make your formula vegan, gluten-free, silicone-free, dye-free, or fragrance-free according to your requirements.

Not sure where to start? You can begin by trying out our shampoo and conditioner. These products consist of custom formulas made specifically for you. You can help your hair from the beginning when you use products with natural ingredients, whether you are cleansing or conditioning. 

Our custom pre-shampoo scalp mask is fantastic for hair and scalp health. Whether you need soothing repair or a mild detox, this intense pre-wash treatment helps bring balance to your scalp.

Another custom product is our pre-shampoo hair mask. This differs from our scalp mask in that it helps to restore moisture in your hair and can help to add smoothness throughout. Your hair structure can improve significantly with the help of additional moisture.

Natural ingredients bring strength to the structure and composition of your hair. All you have to do is tell us about your hair, and we provide the rest.

Loving your unique hair

Now that you have learned more about how to determine your hair structure and composition, you can understand how to care for your specific hair type. Thankfully, here at Prose, we make it easier to find products that support your hair’s natural structure, composition, and texture.  

We don’t leave you wondering which products you should try for your hair; we look at the natural composition of your hair and make suggestions based on your environment, styling, and your hair’s health. 

We constantly push for better ingredients, and make sure our products have been made with your hair in mind. Not only are these ingredients backed by science, but they are special to you. Finding out how to support your hair has never been so easy. Start your consultation, and see what we are all about.

In conclusion

There are many aspects of your hair. Whether you look at the protein that makes up your hair or the phases it goes through, your hair is always evolving and changing. We are in your corner, and always ready to bring your hair to the next level. No one knows your hair the way you do, and we take the time to meet your hair needs directly. We can show you how to best take care of your hair. 

Our ingredients can help make your hair the healthiest it can be. You can learn more about your hair’s composition, but we will always be here, ready to simplify your search for products.

ONLY GOOD HAIR DAYS—

Think of us as your partner in haircare. Start with our innovative consultation.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

The Prose Staff is here to share the best hair tips and tricks to help you achieve all your hair goals with custom hair care, breakthrough innovation and more

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