THE WEATHERING OF THE HUMAN HAIR
Weathering is a term used to describe the “wear and tear” or hair aging to which the hair is subjected throughout its three to seven year life.
The hair that we have, is as a result of our genetic inheritance, over which we have no control. These genetic factors are hair colour, texture and degree of curl. Today, more than ever before, we can alter that genetically determined state temporarily. We can now straighten or curl it, and if it is a colour we don’t like we can alter it, by tinting or bleaching.
The hair grows, on average 1.25 cms per month or 15cms per year. This growth continues, on average, for three to seven years, and so this factor dictates the maximum length of hair that can be achieved. By the time the new hair appears at the surface of the scalp it is effectively dead, as it has no nerve supply or blood supply. It is only alive and growing under the scalp surface at the base of the hair bulb.
For most of us, hair is in good health as it grows, but as soon as it appears above the surface of the scalp, the trouble may start. As it is effectively dead once it is visible, it cannot repair itself if damaged. Regular care of the hair is needed to protect it from all the external assaults that await it.
This weathering can be caused by natural factors such as the sun and the wind and/or unnatural factors from the world we live in and the way we live our lives.
This list is long and includes harsh shampoos, combing, brushing, dirt in the air, swimming, (both in salt water and chlorinated swimming pool water), hot hair dryers, hot brushes and rollers, used incorrectly or to excess, central heating and air conditioning and also lack or absence of proper hair conditioning. Then there are the chemicals that we choose to use on our hair, bleaching, tinting, perming and straightening.
Pollution of the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels pumps both dirt and chemicals into the air. It attaches itself to the hair making it dirty. We are therefore bound to wash our hair very regularly to remove this. The longer the hair, the older it is at the hair tips, and the more weathering it has received. Therefore, if the hair is shoulder length, say 45 cms long, it will be 3 years old at the hair tips. If the hair is washed daily, that’s over 1000 times.
So you can keep youthful hair with regular care!