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Hair Chemistry and Hair Growth Essay example

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When approaching the topic of hair chemistry, one may think about the question, where does hair come from? Saclike holes called follicles are located all over the human body. At the bottom of these follicles are a cluster of papilla responsible for the growth of hair. As the papilla, otherwise known as hair bulbs reproduce to make new hair cells, the old ones are pushed up towards the surface of the skin causing the hair to grow longer. This may seem like a simple concept to grasp.
However, the process of hair growth is a little more in depth.
Hair growth takes place in three phases the anogen phase, the catagen phase, and the telogen phase. The first phase to take place, the anogen stage, can last anywhere from three to seven years. During this stage, hair grows at an average rate of 1 centimeter per month which adds up to around 12 centimeters or 1 inch per year. It is also during this stage that melanin, the pigment that gives hair color, is created. As people get older, follicles gradually give up producing thick, strong hair. As a result, hair becomes thinner and shorter; baldness may even occur.
The next phase in hair growth is the catagen phase which takes place anywhere from two to four weeks. During this stage, the base of the follicle moves from underneath the skin to the face and rests near the opening of the sebaceous duct until it is ready to begin growing. This growing takes place during the telogen phase which lasts anywhere from three to four months. During this stage, new hair begins to grow from the hair follicle. As it grows upwards, the old hair will be shed naturally or may be pulled out. This shedding of telogen hairs happens easily and painlessly; these are the hairs that fall out when a person is shampooi...


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... ranging anywhere between 3.5 to 6.0 and are used to restore the pH balance after an alkaline treatment. Conditioners also keep cuticle layers from getting caught which keeps hair from tangling and reduce static electricity in the hair by sealing in moisture. There are many different types of conditioners aimed toward people with different hair textures. For example, protein conditioners are designed to slightly increase the diameter of the hair by adding a special coating to it. These conditioners are deigned to pass through the cuticle, penetrate the cortex, and replace any keratin that has been lost from hair.
Chemistry is also beneficial in studying the chemical construction of hair dye and therefore learning how and why it works. The first safe commercial hair color was created in 1909 by French chemist Eugene Schuller, using the chemical paraphenylenediamine.


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