Your hair is predominantly made up of three main parts: the medulla, the cortex and the cuticle. Within these parts lies a complex structure of protein called keratin. We won’t go into the medulla or the cortex but let’s talk a little about the cuticle.
The cuticle of your hair looks a lot like little the shingles on the roof of a house.
shingles cuticles are raised, it’s virtually impossible for your hair to maintain it’s moisture levels. Certainly there are times when you want your cuticles to be lifted but most of the time, you want them as smooth (closed) as possible.
Why Smooth Your Hair’s Cuticle?
The main reason for having your cuticles as smooth as possible is that moisture is held into the hair much better. A head of hair that has really smooth cuticles from day to day can often retain moisture for 3-5 days on end. Secondary to nicely moisturized hair is shine. When your hair’s cuticles are smooth, your hair is MUCH shinier.
How To Smooth Your Hair’s Cuticle
During the wash and conditioning process of hair care, your cuticles are lifted. You actually want that so that the beneficial ingredients in your cleansers and conditioners can penetrate the hair shaft and do the job they are paid (for) to do. Once that has occurred, you then want to make sure you close those cuticles.
Getting your hair’s cuticle to close can occur in several ways. You can finish off your wash/conditioning session by:
- Rinsing your hair with cold water
- Rinsing your hair with a diluted solution of apple cider vinegar
- Rinsing your hair with warm water followed by applying a refrigerated leave in conditioner (my preference)
Applying a leave in conditioner followed by a natural oil helps to smooth the hair’s surface and locks in the moisture.
Which method do you prefer for smoothing your hair’s cuticle layer?