The Basics of The Hair Life Cycle
To kick off my new blog series, I felt it was important to review the basics. After all, our industry is all about fundamentals, right? And to that point - when is the last time you thought about the hair life cycle?
As I briefly discussed in my previous blog, there are many different factors that contribute to your client’s hair thinning and loss. But, to really understand the triggers for hair loss, let’s first take a look at how our hair grows normally so that we can understand the non-growth more comprehensively.
A lot of your clients may think hair is dead. They wonder why we need to consume certain vitamins said to have a profound effects on the health of our hair, or they come to terms with solutions that have an effect on the appearance of our dead hair, so that is looks alive and beautiful.
In fact, most of our hair IS dead, but regardless of that fact, it also has the personality of what I call a ‘ghost with feelings.’ We have to treat it as though it is alive and take care of it; so later it doesn’t ‘haunt’ us.
Here’s a quick refresher on the hair life cycle, so you can better explain the causes and effect of hair loss to your clients.
Just as a tree trunk has three main layers, so does your hair. There’s the medulla, which is the innermost lifeline that feeds the hair, the cortex, which gives the hair shaft its width and color, and the cuticle, which like bark, acts as the outer protective barrier. All of which grow out of a hair follicle that nourishes the hair shaft, but thrives beneath the scalp’s skin.
Trees also have hard-working roots that do two things. They anchor the tree into the earth and they reach out into the surrounding soil and absorb the water and nutrients that the tree needs in order to grow. In place of roots, hair has hard-working papillae. They help anchor the hair shaft firmly into the head and provide nourishment to the hair shaft through the tiny blood vessels and capillaries that are loosely connected to it.
Finally, trees need to be pruned and timed to keep them looking their best. So does hair (as we all know – and love to do!).
I tell attendees of the conferences, workshops and symposiums where I teach that hair, much like a tree, is not dead. It’s constantly growing, reacting to the environment and changing on us. Since we don’t know of anything dead that does all that, we should consider hair to be full of life.
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Jeffrey Paul is an author, nonprofit founder, international Hair replacement and Restoration expert and educator that brings an expansive vault of experience, compassion and inspiration to areas the hair thinning and loss industry. His mission is to restore beauty inside and out, so that a person can live their life looking themselves with total confidence.