What Does It Mean to Have Beautiful Hair?

Hair Beauty 101

Understanding hair structure and what impacts hair health and beauty is essential in learning how to care for your hair.

Hair Structure

Hair grows from the hair follicle and is made of protein called keratin. Hair consists of three layers:

Cuticle – Outer layer, protects the cortex.

Cortex – Inner layer responsible for hair strength, color/pigment and texture of hair.

Medulla – third layer, generally only found in thick, coarse hair. Naturally blonde and thin hair does not tend to have the medulla.

The cuticle is the first line of defense as the outer layer of the hair shaft and protects the cortex. It is essential to have a strong and healthy cuticle for strong and healthy hair. The cuticle is made of protein scales that overlap and lock in moisture. Healthy hair has a thin, outer lipid layer that is hydrophobic – meaning it repels water.

Condition of the Cuticle = Condition of the Hair

A closed cuticle keeps moisture in and reflects light for shine. A closed cuticle also reduces breakage and friction. Dry brittle hair means the cuticle is more open and the hair is losing moisture. Soft and shiny hair means the cuticle is closed and keeping moisture in.

Porosity & Hair Beauty

Damaged hair with the cuticle lifted may have holes, scaling and cracks and is often referred to as porous hair. High porosity hair may look dry and dull due to open cuticles. This type of “weathered” hair does not reflect light well and may have split ends and breakage. More porous hair has a difficult time retaining moisture.

Moisture & Hair Beauty 

Maintaining a healthy moisture balance is essential to having healthy-looking hair and protecting the integrity of the cuticle. A moisturizer must improve or maintain hydration. There are three categories of moisturizers.

Occlusive – Acts like a seal and physically prevents water loss.

Humectants – Attract moisture to the hair and make the hair softer, more elastic and less brittle.

Emollients – Smooth the cuticle and repel moisture, provided a protective shield. Too much emollients can weigh hair down. Too little emollients cause dehydration, static, and increased frizz.

INTACT & Hair Beauty

INTACT features a unique blend of emollients and humectants that help maintain the moisture balance of hair without weighing hair down or creating buildup. The characteristics of the blend, high in coconut fatty acids, helps the cuticle lay flat, reflecting light for enhanced shine. Coconut fatty acids also help retain moisture and can penetrate and nourish the hair due to its low molecular weight. Hair is left feeling light, full of body, bounce and shine.