Hair cortex

The hair cortex, or cortex, is the main part of the hair shaft and lies between the outer layer, the Cuticle, and the inner core, the Medulla (if available). The cortex makes up the majority of hair volume and is responsible for the hair's strength, color and texture. It consists mainly of long ones keratin-Protein fibers that are arranged parallel to the growth direction of the hair and is interspersed with Melanin, the pigment that gives hair its color.

Functions of the hair cortex

  • Strength and Elasticity : The cortex gives the hair its structural integrity through the keratin protein fibers, which provide both the strength and flexibility of the hair.
  • Hair color : The color of hair is determined by the type and amount of melanin in the cortex. There are two types of melanin: eumelanin (responsible for black and brown tones) and pheomelanin (responsible for red and blonde tones).
  • Moisture regulation : The cortex also plays a role in regulating moisture in the hair, which affects the elasticity and overall appearance of the hair.

Damage to the hair cortex

The cortex can be damaged by a variety of external influences, including:

  • Chemical treatments : Coloring, bleaching, and perming can alter the keratin structure of the cortex and weaken the hair.
  • Heat styling : Using blow dryers, flat irons, and curling irons at high temperatures can damage the protein fibers in the cortex and cause moisture loss.
  • Environmental influences : UV radiation, salt water and chlorine can also damage the cortex and cause hair to fade or become brittle.

Care of the hair cortex

To keep the hair cortex healthy, it is important to minimize damaging treatments and care for the hair appropriately:

  • Moisturizing products : Use shampoos, conditioners and masks specifically designed to moisturize and nourish hair.
  • Heat protection : Use heat protection products to protect hair from damage caused by styling tools.
  • Gentle treatment : Avoid aggressive brushing techniques and do not pull the hair unnecessarily tight to avoid mechanical damage.
  • Regular haircut : Remove split ends regularly to prevent the damage from rising higher up the hair shaft .

With proper care and protection, the cortex can be strengthened, resulting in healthier, more resilient and shinier hair.

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