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Hairshaft Disorders

Updated: Jul 6, 2022

We talk a lot about scalp disorders but we never speak about the hairshaft we think the hair shaft is dead so we just layer it with products and that's what we call hair care. When the hair shaft breaks through the skin the nerves must be treated with the same care as our scalp. there are a few hair shaft disorders and their causes and treatments.

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Trichothidystrophy: This disorder can not be seen by the naked eye. You must test hair under a microscope to confirm. this disorder is caused by the hair shaft becoming deficit in sulfur resulting in transverse fractures.

Transverse: Extended or situated across something. In this case, the transverse fracture is across the hair shaft.

The hair shaft is made of a protein called Keratin which has a high sulfur content.

Sulfur gives hair elasticity and strength. Without sulfur, the hair shaft is broken easily dry, and brittle.

What damages Keratin? over styling, wetting the hair too much (hydral fatigue) overuse of head tools, and chemical damage You break down the Keratin proteins in your hair faster than your body is able to replace them.

Protein in hair is broken by three types of damage.

Heat Damage- Mechanical Damage - Chemical damage.

The sulfur in the hair shaft is very low as these forms of damage set in.

Trichorrhexis nodosa: This is a very common hair shaft disorder. This disorder is expressed as a weak hair shaft that fractures at different points on the hair shaft resulting in cortical cells breaking. The hair shaft will have many different lengths and points of breakage.

Common causes:

over styling with heat tools, over manipulation, while hair is wet, tight braids/ styles, and excessive exposure to chlorinated water.

Avoid aggressive manipulation of the hair shaft.

Easy fix, Change your Patterns to cure this disorder.

Trichoptilosis(split ends): Caused by heat, chemical, or mechanical damage. Overuse of heat tools breaks the disulfide bond.

Overuse of highly acidic products or mixing products calls for an imbalance in product formulation leading to a ph level that is off balance causing the ends to weaken and break.

Over processing the hairshaft with the chemical weakens the hair protective barrier ( cuticle) which leaves the cortex of the airshaft exposed.

Think of your cuticle as your skin and the cortex and medulla as your organs. Your cuticle protects the most important part of your hair shaft. If the cuticle isn't protected the organs are exposed and the hair shaft gets weaker from the inside out until it breaks.

How to cure it? There is no cure. Once Trichoptilosis sets in the hairshaft can only be sealed temporarily. You must cut the broken ends and begin new. Leaving split ends is like leaving the body open after surgery. If the body is open, broken, and exposed it cannot heal itself and repair.

Trim every 8-10 weeks (8 weeks if your heat styling) (10 weeks when protective styling)) After all traces of Trichoptilosis (split ends) are gone, trims should be for maintenance only. You don't remove length we prevent the ends from splitting. Scientific brushing keeps your cuticle engaged and natural sebum moving down the hair shaft which strengthens the hair shaft. Sebum coats the hair with free fatty acids, squalene, free fatty acids, wax, sterol esters, and free sterols.

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