The human hair is stronger than nylon, aluminum, or copper fiber of the same size, yet it often behaves as a fussy, ill-tempered toddler after too much chocolate. The manes of many of us seem to live lives of their own, and it’s now our turn to teach our locks the benefits of green living.
Our hair has structure similar to skin, but unlike skin, all the layers of hair follicles are dead. Outside, the hair is composed of thick, horny cells known as cuticle. These cells are made of keratin, a protein held together by amino acids, most importantly cysteine and methionine.
Keratin fibers shield medulla, an inner layer of cells containing fat granules, oxygen, and pigments. One end of the hair reaches the sky, or at least peaks some place where our hairstyle allows it; another end roots in the skin. There, a small onion-shaped hair papilla is producing new keratin cells while being continuously nourished by blood vessels.
Each follicle can only grow about twenty hairs in a person’s lifetime. Separate sebum glands running along the hair follicle provide shine and protection to the new cuticle cells of the hair. This is why it’s vitally important to feed your hair with sufficient amounts of good proteins and essential fatty acids.
The average human head has about 100,000 hair follicles, and blonds definitely have more fun, at least when it comes to hair. Scientists meticulously calculated that people with blond hair have almost 50 percent more hairs than those with red or dark hair. But, no matter what the color is, our hair, this incredible living fabric, requires much gentler handling than most couture textiles. That’s why the words “natural” and “organic” that so commonly adorn bottles and tubes of various hair treatments often mean very little. Follow this guide to truly natural hair products.