Want Beautiful Hair? Never do these two things.

6a00e55255b4628834019103098d3e970c-200wiI want to tell you about some of the fascinating things about hair care I learned as I review my notes from the American Academy of Dermatology Conference recently.

At a really interesting seminar on hair disorders, speakers covered basic biology, rare disorders, and common conditions affecting the hair.  The hair shaft, made up of strands of protein, is covered by a “cuticle” of overlapping scales which protect and hold together the shaft.


Activities such as over-brushing removes the scales making up the cuticle and allows the shaft to come apart, making the shaft frizz and become weak.  Scratching the scalp or hair has the same effect.  The result is broken hairs and the impression that hair is not growing.  Some conditioners and combing products are available with special lubricants
which reduce friction and reduce the removal of the cuticle scale.

Heating Wet Hair
Another way to damage the cuticle layer is to wet the hair and then heat it with a curling iron or a hair dryer that
is too close.  The overheated water turns to steam inside of the hair shaft, forming tiny gas bubbles which cause the “cuticle” to burst off.  It was really fascinating to see this close up with a scanning electron photograph showing a lot of bulges from the gas bubbles forming in a wet, heated hair.  Hair treated this way looks frizzy, smells burned,
and breaks easily.
Be gentle with your hair and it will look good and serve you well.

To your health,

-Dr. Alan M. Dattner, MD

Holistic Dermatology & Integrative Medicine


As always, the content of this blog is for information and education purposes only, and should not be used to prevent, diagnose or treat illness; please see your physician for care.