The cuticle is the outer layer of the hair shaft and plays a crucial role in protecting the inner part of the hair, the cortex, from damage. It consists of several layers of flat, overlapping cells arranged similar to the shingles on a roof. This configuration helps protect the hair from the penetration of pollutants and retains moisture in the hair, which is essential for maintaining its strength and elasticity.

Functions of the cuticle

  • Protection : The main function of the cuticle is to protect the internal structure of the hair, the cortex, from external influences such as UV rays, heat, chemical treatments and mechanical damage.
  • Moisture Retention : The cuticle helps retain moisture in the hair, which is essential for preventing dryness and brittleness.
  • Light Reflection : A healthy, intact cuticle layer reflects light, giving hair its shine.

Damage to the cuticle

The cuticle can be damaged by a variety of factors, including:

  • Chemical treatments : Coloring, bleaching, and perming can weaken the cuticle and cause porosity and breakage.
  • Heat : Regular use of heat styling tools such as flat irons, curling irons, and blow drying at high temperatures can damage the cuticle.
  • Mechanical influences : Rough brushing, combing and styling can break down the cuticle cells.
  • Environmental factors : Strong sunlight and salt water can also contribute to cuticle erosion.

Care of the cuticle

In order to maintain the health of the cuticle and therefore the entire hair, the following measures are recommended:

  • Gentle styling : Use a wide-toothed comb and avoid brushing the hair while wet to minimize mechanical damage.
  • Heat protection : Use heat protection products before using styling tools and try to limit the use of heat.
  • Moisturize : Use moisturizing hair care products to retain moisture in the hair.
  • Limit chemical treatments : Try to reduce the frequency of chemical treatments and have them performed by professionals to minimize damage.
  • Environmental protection : Wear a hat or use hair products with UV protection to protect your hair from the sun.

Maintaining cuticle health is crucial for strong, shiny and healthy hair. By preventing damage and providing proper care, the integrity of the cuticle can be preserved and the appearance of the hair improved.

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