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Want Thicker Hair? - Part 2

July 05, 2019

Want Thicker Hair? - Part 2

We all want our hair to look its gorgeous best, right now. But understanding how some things harm hair and what you can do to avoid them, or minimise the damage, will lead to much better hair quality naturally. It doesn’t meaning giving up on fun or living like a nun.

First it helps to understand how simple hair is. Once the hair follicle leaves the scalp it’s no longer connected to the metabolism so, unlike skin, cannot repair itself. The hairshaft is essentially made of 97% proteins and 3% water. The protein gives it the strength and structure, the water, its flexibility and shine. Take away the water and the hair no longer flexes and bends without breaking some of the internal bonds - which thins down the protein hairshaft, or completely snapping - which thins out the whole head.

It’s the same with a broken tree branch that bends when supple, but a year later when dried out will just crack under pressure. Keeping hair properly hydrated is important. The more damaged the hairshaft the less water it can hold. The less water it can hold the quicker it decays and thins further.

Michael Van Clarke 3’’’More Inches

Damage usually starts with dehydration which leads to a brittle fragile hair shaft which then leads to loss of protein structure and thinner hair strands. That loss is cumulative and permanent once it starts, until new hair replaces it. On long hair that can be 3-5 years.

Michael Van Clarke 3’’’More Inches
So these gorgeously supple sexy strands that dance suggestively around our head (if long enough) are protein and water. No silicone, argan oil, plasticides, polymers, avocado oil, olive oil, nor engine oil! Whilst a few additives may give temporary cosmetic assistance, none of these offer long term health benefits and some, like the most common inert silicones are hydrophobic, so can thin hair over time; both via emaciating the hair shaft through dehydration, and by loss of hair follicles through a clogged scalp.

Beautiful hair survives perfectly well with its protein and water structure, just needing some support and protection from modern living.

1. UV Light
When UV rays penetrate the hair’s outer cuticle, they create highly reactive free radicals which damage the melanin pigment causing colour changes, and attack the protein structure of the hair, leading to thinning, breakage, and split ends. So stay indoors, wear a hat – a sombrero even, or use an effective treatment with sunscreen.

Michael Van Clarke 3’’’More Inches

LifeSaver and LifeSaver UV help protect the structure and the colour of hair from sun. Even on cloudy days when up to 80% of the UV rays still get through.

2. Poor Quality Shampoos
Cheap harsh cleansers strip the hair leaving it vulnerable. Hydrophobic silicones leave the hairshaft dehydrated and fragile. Choose quality shampoos and conditioners. Our range of Cashmere Protein Shampoos and Conditioners is designed to suit all hair types.

3. Conditioners
Some people don’t use conditioners because they’ve experienced heaviness particularly on fine hair. This would certainly have been the wrong kind of conditioner and most probably laced with silicones and heavy oils to give shine. None of our Cashmere Protein Conditioners use silicone, and our Cashmere Protein Volumising Conditioner is the lightest. It gives protection and body without weighing the hair down. Shampooing lifts the cuticle and the conditioner is important to reseal and protect the hairshaft.

3b. Cowash (2 in 1 – shampoo and conditioner combined)
I’ll go into these fad products and their various law suits in a later blog but for now I recommend always using separate shampoo and conditioner.

4. Surf sprays and sea water

Can give lovely textural effects like the sun-kissed air dried look after stepping out of the sea, but salt is corrosive to hair, so you may look a like a Bond girl today but probably won’t by next week. Rinse hair after swimming. Our LifeSaver UV gives the same beachy styling effects whilst actually treating the hair with goodness and protection.

5. Chlorinated Pool Water

The bleaching effect of chlorine changes the structure of the hair making it vulnerable to further damage and less stable for further colouring. Protect with a hat and/or LifeSaver UV.

6. Destructive Styling Products
Silicones and plasticizers.
If hair looks rough and frizzy, and by wrapping each strand in a cling-film mask it can look silky and shiny, who would say no to that? Not enough people yet understand that this Faustian pact creates an addiction to chemical additives that whilst making the hair look lovely today, damages it further so necessitating more of the cosmetic product next time. It’s why most silicones are like cocaine for hair. The can provide a happy glossy veneer today while rotting the hair from the inside. Follow our silicone free LifeSaver system and your hair will recover to its natural shiny best.

Michael Van Clarke 3’’’More Inches

All our styling products are designed with Healthcare for Hair™ as a priority and are thoroughly tested in the demanding environment of our Michael Van Clarke salon and on the catwalk, before launch. Silicone-free Magic Oil & Ten Second Transformation are two international favourites.

7. Aggressive Hairdryer Techniques
These can go way beyond just dehydration to actually melting the hair. There is no recovery from that until it has grown out or been cut out. Throw away your nozzle, keep a one inch distance from the hair and stop drying once that section is dry. See: ‘Dryer Danger’ blog coming soon.

8. Tints and semi-permanents
Permanent tints, or semi-permanent tints that mix two parts together, alter the structure of the hairshaft by replacing some of the hairs own molecules with tint molecules. The name semi-permanent is often attached as a marketing tool to make you feel it’s less committal. It may be a weak tint where the colour only lasts 6-12 washes but the altering of the hairshaft structure is permanent until new hair grows through to replace it. This coloured hair will no longer be virgin hair and will bleach quicker in daylight and pool/seawater. It will fade and change colour more than the purely virgin hair would have. Bear this in mind if your hair is three years long. The structural effect on the hair will last three years even if the colour faded after 6-12 washes.

Vegetable Colours: One part colours that just sit on the surface of the hairshaft do not alter the structure and wash off over time leaving pure virgin hair again.

9. Combs
Cheaper plastic combs often have burrs and other imperfections which can lacerate the hair cuticle leading to further decay. Our vulcanized rubber combs are handmade by artisans through more than 30 production stages. Saw cut from one piece, the combs are then hand polished to eliminate imperfections. They glide gently through hair and over the scalp, thanks to manually rounded tips and burr-free teeth. This helps protect the hair from splitting and tearing, so your hair stays healthier and grows longer.

Michael Van Clarke 3’’’More Inches

10. Brushes
Michael Van Clarke 3’’’More Inches
A poor quality brush won’t provide the correct tension or control to smooth and style properly so you will tend to overwork and overdry the hair. Or it will grip the hair too much and snag. Some people end up cutting the brush out of their hair. The correct hair brush and technique will make drying so much quicker and easier. The results will also be amazing and will last much longer.

Michael Van Clarke

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