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About hair background and theory

ABOUT HAIR BACKGROUND AND THEORY

HAIR STRUCTURE
Human hair is made up as follows:

 



CUTICLE (LAYER OF SCALES)
The hair’s outer layer consists of overlapping flat cells or scales. These scales, arranged like roof tiles, provide a protective layer around the hair. A healthy hair has a smooth, continuous layer of scales. The hair shines and is easy to brush.

 

CORTEX (LAYER OF FIBERS)
The middle layer of the hair is made up of elongated, spiral-shaped cells. These cells give the hair its elasticity and strength. The cortex has a natural balance between moisture and proteins. When this balance - which is different from one person to the next - is offset (for example, due to exposure to heat or chemical processes such as perming or colouring), the hair will lose its elasticity and will be harder to style. 


MEDULLA (MARROW OR AIR CHANNEL)

This inner layer in the hair does not serve a cosmetic purpose. The hollow medulla does, however, serve as a kind of ‘drain pipe’ of the body. Waste from the body gathers here; if too much waste mounts up here, the medulla will discharge the waste into the cortex. These waste substances will then settle among the keratin in the hair.

Note: this can affect the effectiveness of chemical processes on the hair, such as perming and colouring!!

THERE ARE AS MANY HAIR TYPES AS THERE ARE PEOPLE

Hair’s original purpose was to protect the skin. The degree of protection required depends on the climate. And seeing as climates differ greatly on our earth, we can fnd different hair types in different geographical regions. In a multicultural society like ours, this means you can have any of these hair types walk into your hair salon. And seeing as you want to provide your customers with quality, it is important that you can give every customer, regardless of their hair type, personal and tailored hair advice.

European, Asian and African hair types are very different. The following chart shows that this difference is mainly determined by the balance between protein and moisture in the hair.

  Europa Azië Afrika
Proteïn: 89% 94% 85%
Moisture: 10% 5% 14%
Minerals: 1% 1% 1%

 

COSMETIC VERSUS ACTUAL HAIR REPAIR: ’THE DIFFERENCE’

KIS products contain hair keratin proteins that are the same as those in human hair. This means that these proteins are the same as our hair where the structure is concerned. Thanks to their low molecular weight (of MW 150) they can be absorbed by the hair in their entirety. Scientifc research has shown that only molecules with a weight of up to mw 300 can penetrate the hair. Larger molecules merely attach a cosmetic layer around the hair, without actually repairing it. These therefore do not help the elasticity and strength of the hair. European hair care products work this way. The layer around the hair might make the hair look better, but it also makes the hair heavier and weaker.

The following chart shows where some of the types of protein that are used in cosmetic products come from, and what their molecular weight is:

THE EFFECT OF PROTEIN ON HAIR

Protein type Origin average mw
Hydrolyzed animal skin waste 5.000 - 10.000
Hydrolyzed keratin cow’s horn, feathers, beaks, hoofs 2.000
Collagen animal flesh, skins 2.000
Vegetable soy, corn, wheat 100.000
Hydrolyzed hair keratin protein haven New-Zeeland wool 150 - 300

 
THIS IS HOW PROTEIN WORKS IN TRADITIONAL PRODUCTS:

Proteins that are added to the hair through a traditional hair care product have a positive charge. Damaged parts of the hair, on the other hand, have a negative charge. They therefore attract the protein molecules like a magnet. Their heavy molecular weight, however, impedes them from penetrating into the hair. They attach themselves to the outer layer of the hair shaft, and fll any porous areas there. This makes it easier to comb the hair, gives a temporary gloss, and makes it look healthier. The drawback is that the hair becomes heavier, which weakens it and reduces the volume. This superfcial, cosmetic coating is, however, removed as soon as the hair is washed using shampoo.

 

THIS IS HOW PROTEIN WORKS IN KIS PRODUCTS

KIS products are based on hydrolyzed hair keratin protein. These have a very low molecular weight of 150 MW (compare: oxygen has a molecular weight of 16 and vegetable oil of 100,000 MW). This allows these proteins to actually penetrate the hair, and rebuild it using natural hair materials. Apart from making the hair healthier and stronger, it also lays a perfect foundation for possible subsequent treatments: perms will have better elasticity and tensile strength, colours will be brighter, cover better and last longer. Also the result of the treatments is retained for longer.

 

PH VALUE

Another decisive aspect for hair’s health is the pH value. The pH value identifes the degree of acidity or alkalinity. The pH scale runs from 0 to 14, with pH 7 being pH neutral.

The natural pH value of hair is between 4.5 and 5.5. At this value, hair is at its strongest and has optimum elasticity, shine and flexibility. Skin is at its softest and smoothest with this pH value. KIS products have been composed in such a way that they tie in with the natural pH value of hair and skin. This way KIS will have the maximum caring effect.