HAIR CARE PRODUCTS
CHOOSING HAIR PRODUCTS
SHAMPOOS
CONDITIONERS
HAIR STYLING AGENTS
PERMANENT WAVING
STRAIGHTENERS
HAIR STYLING PRDUCTS FOR LONG-LASTING VOLUME
WATER-BASED POLYMERS
WAX-BASED POLYMERS
ALCOHOL-BASED POLYMERS
COLOUR
HOW HAIR COLOURING WORKS
WHAT HAPPENS TO HAIR WHEN ITS COLOUR IS CHANGED
COLOURING AGENTS
 
MEDICAL HAIR RESTORATION
INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF HAIR RESTORATION SURGERY
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HAIR CARE PRODUCTS
 
Hair damage caused by overly harsh shampoos, styling agents and hair straighteners is most commonly caused by the alkalinity of the agents. On the pH (alkaline/acidic) scale, hair is somewhat acidic with a pH of 4.4 to 5.5. When slightly acidic hair is bathed in an alkaline solution, the cuticle scales swell and lift away from the cortex core. The immediate effect is to give the hair a rough texture, rather dull in appearance. The lifting of the cuticle away from the cortex also opens the cortex to chemical attack. (This is a useful property when the purpose is to change hair colour; when the cuticle lifts away from the cortex, a hair colouring agent is able to penetrate the cortex and stain cortex keratins with the desired colour. When this is done too frequently, however, there can be an accumulation of damage to the cortex.)

The effect of an alkaline solution is immediately counteracted when the hair is bathed in a moderately weak acidic solution such as vinegar (a solution of acetic acid). The vinegar (or lemon juice) rinse was a normal procedure in past years when soap, which is slightly alkaline, was the only cleansing agent available for shampooing hair. The acidic bath heals the swollen cuticle and restores the smooth texture and sheen of hair.

Some alkaline styling agents are left in the hair for extended periods of time. This can cause cumulative hair damage.
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CHOOSING HAIR PRODUCTS
 
When you are deciding what hair care products to use you should first get advice from a qualified hair care professional. Good hairdressers who have been in the game for a long time can usually assess your hair and give you a suggestion as to the type of product that you should be using. Then, if you know a little bit more about the problems with your hair, you can read the labels on the various products and assess what will or won't work for you.

When all is said and done, no matter what the hairdresser says, and no matter what the labels on the bottle say, the final test will be to look at your hair and decide whether it looks better or not. Unless there is a specific problem with your hair, some hair professionals will suggest that you try a number of different products, to find out which one works best for you. How do you know which one works best for you? This is the easiest part... your hair looks good.
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SHAMPOOS
 
The purpose of a shampoo is to remove dirt, dead skin and excess oil from the scalp and hair, and leave the hair attractively pliant and glossy. Most shampoos today contain a detergent as the cleansing agent. Other ingredients commonly include chemicals added for specialty purposes a consumer may find attractive:

• Conditioners and softeners to make the hair pliant and glossy after the shampoo;
• Fragrances to leave the hair with an attractive aromatic quality;
• Sequestering agents to remove minerals from "hard" water that may make cleansing more difficult; and,
• Foaming agents which contribute little to a shampoo's cleansing power, but address the belief of consumers that "foam" or "lather" is necessary for effective cleansing.

A growing market for "organic" products is represented in shampoos that (1) use soap rather than detergent as the cleansing agent, and (2) add "herbal extracts" and vitamins to the list of ingredients.

A number of anti-dandruff shampoos are available. Anti-dandruff ingredients are zinc pyrithione (also called zinc omadine) and selenium sulphide. Which anti-dandruff shampoo will work best for any individual is difficult to predict; the consumer must usually decide on the basis of results obtained. Excessively oily, scaly or itchy dandruff that persists may need medical attention.

In choosing a shampoo based on objective criteria, remember that hair is slightly acidic. Most shampoos are acidic to a greater or lesser degree (pH of 5 is slightly acidic, pH of 3 is more acidic). The shampoo of greater acidity (lower pH) tends to have greater cleansing power - an attribute not needed by most people whose hair is not especially dirty or oily.

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CONDITIONERS
 
The purpose of a conditioner is to make hair easy to comb, easy to style and have an attractive gloss after shampooing. Some shampoos have an added conditioner, or a conditioner may be applied separately following the shampoo. Conditioners can be categorised in several ways:

• Cationic detergents - most commonly quaternary ammonium compounds. These are found in both shampoos and hair conditioners. They effectively restore roughened cuticles and decrease static electricity in newly shampooed hair. Cationic detergents are a good choice in shampoos and conditioners for persons with dyed or permanent-waved hair.

• Film-forming conditioning agents - also called "hair thickeners", they are polymer agents such as polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP). The polymer fills defects in the hair shaft, enhances hair gloss and reduces static electricity. The polymer coating thickens the hair shaft; for this reason, film-forming conditioners are not appropriate for fine hair because the added thickness and weight makes the hair difficult to style.

• Protein conditioning agents - contain animal protein that is able to enter the hair shaft. This provides a temporary strengthening of hair shafts that have been damaged or "weathered". Conditioners are further identified as (1) "instant" that are applied immediately after shampooing and then rinsed out, (2) "deep conditioning" that are left in the hair for up to 30 minutes after shampooing to enhance hair shaft repair (protein conditioning agents are often ingredients in "deep" conditioners), and (3) "leave-in" conditioners that are left in the hair until the next shampoo. Leave-in conditioners may be especially useful for kinky hair to aid in hair styling.
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HAIR STYLING AGENTS
 
Hair styling agents are used to create the styling "look" preferred by the individual. Leave-in conditioners (pomades or glycerine-based products) are common styling agents for kinky hair. Common styling aids for straight hair are products that increase the appearance of volume (body, fullness and shape).

All of the styling agents contain polymers to enhance the sheen of hair and the "hold" of the style through every day events. The polymers are (1) alcohol-based, (2) wax-based, and (3) water-based, each with properties that may make the product optimal for the individual.
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PERMANENT WAVING
 
Permanent waving uses complex chemical interactions between styling chemicals and hair to alter the structure of hair and render it pliable for converting straight hair into wavy or curly hair. The procedure is performed more quickly and efficiently by a licensed beautician or cosmetologist in a salon. Failure to perform the procedure carefully, for example, to neutralise the chemicals that alter hair structure, can result in cumulative damage to hair.
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Hair straightening is accomplished by three types of procedures:

• Mechanical, which uses heavy pomades to hold the hair in a minimally kinked form. While this method causes least hair damage, it is also the least effective in straightening hair.

• Heat, which uses hot-combing and hair "ironing" to alter the chemical structure of hair so it can be combed out straight. The application of high heat and hard combing can cause hair loss in some individuals.

• Chemical, which uses alkaline chemicals to alter the structure of hair keratins and render the hair easier to be moulded into a straighter form. The most potent chemical hair straightener is a lye solution, which is also dangerous to use and is little used today. Ammonium bisulphite creams are milder than lye solutions, but also less effective. Overall, chemical hair straightening is most likely to cause permanent damage to hair.
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HAIR STYLING PRODUCTS FOR LONG-LASTING VOLUME
 
Hair styling products for volume can be generally categorised into three categories by their key holding polymers.
All three have different unique benefits in the styling process.
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WATER-BASED POLYMERS
 

Water-based hair styling polymers are delivered to the hair as a film that dries relatively slowly. As the film dries it becomes sticky and forms bonds between hair strands, making the desired style easier to achieve and maintain. As with gels, this stickiness leads to a positive end result - a smooth style that lasts. After the hair is dry, the polymer forms a hard film that bonds the hair into place. Combing or disrupting the hair can break the bond, but even the broken pieces provide some friction, which provides some hold benefits by helping to prevent hair strands from sliding across each other.

Hair Gels

Hair gels are water-based products that use water-based polymers with a variety of thickeners to achieve the desired product consistency and texture. Because of their thickness they are particularly good for creating seam welds that increase apparent hair stiffness and give a texturised look and great root lift.

Hair Mouses & Foams

Hair mousses and foams make it easy to apply the styling polymers to your hair because in the foaming state it can be spread very thinly. Mousses and foams are great for long hair that would otherwise be weighed down by large clumps of polymer. Another benefit of mousse is that its foamy state is not runny and thus will stay where you put it - making it another good alternative for adding root lift to a straight style.

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WAX-BASED POLYMERS
 
They primarily hold hair through seam welds creating large locks of many hairs bonded together. The result is hair that stands up from the scalp in large chunks, creating a chunky, texturised look. The holding power is created by the waxy material's internal stickiness or cohesiveness. The waxy materials do not "dry" because they are not water-soluble. Thus these bonds don't become rigid over time. The positive benefits of not drying mean that the bonds can be easily remoulded by running your hands through your hair over time.

Hair Waxs & pomades

Hair waxes and pomades are the ultimate flexible hair styling products and can give great root lift. But be careful - they are potentially heavy and greasy if not used in the proper quantity. They are typically water and oil emulsions that combine water-soluble polymers with waxy ingredients. They are best used on very short hairstyles and create texture for a chunky look. If they are not formulated well, they can be difficult to wash out of hair since they repel water. Use of a clarifying or purifying shampoo is recommended with waxes.
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ALCOHOL-BASED POLYMERS
 
Alcohol-based styling polymers are delivered to the hair in a solution of polymer and alcohol that dries very quickly. The rate of drying is much faster than that for water-based styling products because alcohol evaporates much faster than water. As the alcohol evaporates the film dries, forming bonds between hair strands, welding the hairs together in the desired style. A fast drying rate makes alcohol-based stylers perfect for locking in finished styles because they do not rewet the hair.

Alcohol-based polymers are typically much more humidity resistant than water-based polymers. That is because alcohol-based polymers require surfactant, like shampoo, to make them soluble in water. Thus the water available through high humidity does not soften or loosen hairspray bonds.

Hair spray is the most common alcohol-based styler. Hair spray is a solution of polymer in a mixture of alcohol and water that is sprayed on the hair in small droplets. It's a myth that alcohol in hair spray dries out your hair. First, you don't soak your hair in hair spray; you only apply a very small amount. Second, the alcohol evaporates away very quickly, without getting a chance to penetrate your hair or pulling out any water.
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COLOUR
 
Millions of people change hair colour every year, using home hair-colouring kits or using the services of a hair-care professional in a salon.
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HOW HAIR COLOURING WORKS
 
Changing the colour of hair is a chemical process. The simplest change is to remove all colour with a bleaching agent leaving the hair a featureless white or yellowish white, and then adding a colour of your choice. All other changes of hair colour are complex reactions of chemicals in the hair-colouring product with chemicals and biochemicals in hair.

The chemicals in the hair-colouring product have functions in (1) preparing hair to accept the hair dye, (2) altering hair shaft biology to maximise colour change, (3) minimising chemical damage to the hair shaft, and (4) "setting" the dye to make the colour change permanent until the dyed hair is shed in the normal cycling of hair growth.
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WHAT HAPPENS TO HAIR WHEN ITS COLOUR CHANGED
 
The hair shaft is a biologic fibre consisting of layers of structured proteins (keratins) and protective oils. In order for hair colour to be changed, the oils have to be partially removed and the keratins that make up the structure of the cortex and the outer protective armour have to be "softened" in order for them to accept the hair dye. The natural oils of the hair shaft are altered or removed by a bleaching agent. These changes in the structural keratins and protective oils make the hair shaft "dryer" and more brittle than it is naturally. While a single hair colour change may not result in irreversible damage, more frequent hair colour changes (e.g., weekly to monthly) may result in irreversible damage such as split-ends and dry, hard-to-comb "weathering".

Hair can also be damaged by using harsh cheap shampoos. Damage to dy ed hair can be minimized by using conditioning shampoos, or using silicone-containing conditioners after shampooing.

Hair that has been coloured can also be damaged by exposure during swimming or frequently washing hair in plain tap water; the protective layers in hair that have been damaged in the process of hair colouring do not protect hair from being "dried out" by excessive exposure to water. Furthermore, excessive exposure to ultraviolet light (sunlight) can cause further weathering and cause hair colour to fade.

Allergic reactions to hair dyes are rare, but they do occur in some people. Hair-colouring kits usually recommend testing the product on forearm skin before applying it to the scalp. Products for colouring scalp hair should never be used on eyebrows, eyelashes or beards. Questions have been raised regarding the carcinogenic (cancer-causing) potential of hair dyes. Analysis of a large number of studies concluded that there is no evidence of increased risk for cancer associated with use of hair dyes.
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COLOURING AGENTS
 
Four types of hair colouring agents are available:

• Gradual, a type commonly used by men who want to inconspicuously change gray hair back to its original colour. The colouring agent is an aqueous solution of a metal salt such as lead acetate. The coloured hair may be rendered dry and brittle.

• Temporary hair colours are added after one shampoo and removed with the next. The colouring agents are actually dyes adapted from the textile industry.

• Semi-permanent are also adapted textile dyes, polymers or vegetable dyes that will stay in the hair through multiple shampoos.

• Permanent colouring agents do not require re-dyeing until the coloured hair grows out and "shows roots". While these are the most popular of all hair colouring agents, they are also the most damaging to hair. The dye is permanent because it chemically alters and binds to the keratins; this alteration of keratins decreases the strength of their chemical bonds and this decreases the strength of the hair shaft.


Frequent use of hair colouring increases the probability for permanent hair damage.
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