Monday, December 29, 2008

Braiding and “up-dos”

Tight or frequent braiding may pull at the hair roots and cause traction alopecia. Rubber bands with metal clasps or tight clips, which bend the hair shaft at extreme angles, can also have the same effect.

Headaches can occur when there is stress on the hair follicle. For example, hair drawn in a direction other than its natural growth pattern (hair types come out of the hair follicle in particular patterns for curly, body, straight; and also, hair grows in a pattern about the head so that it hangs or forms the way it does for humans). If hair, like braiding, is pinned too tightly, or the whole up do slips causing pulling on the hair in the follicle at the hair root are other scenarios that can cause aggravation to the hair follicle and result in headaches. This is because there is a system of capillaries and even veins that feed into the hair follicle, which is what nourishes the follicle to grow hair. If the hair follicle is aggravated, the capillaries are in turn aggravated and in this way a headache can arise.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Detangling: brushing and combing

The point of detangling is to organize hair, usually in the same direction, and eliminate knots, snarls, tangles, and any hairs that have shed naturally.

There are all manner of detangling tools from very fine toothed combs to very wide toothed combs and picks, and available in a wide variety of price ranges. Combs come in all shapes and sizes and all manner of materials including plastics, wood and horn. Mold seams, splintering wood, and peeling lacquers can all grasp hair and pull, or otherwise stress or cause harm to the outer protective layer of hair, the cuticle. Similarly, brushes also come in all sizes and shapes. There are also a variety of brushes in various paddle shapes. Most benefit from using some form of a wide tooth comb for detangling. Detangling with a wide tooth comb represents the gentlest way to detangle hair. Most physicians advise against sharing hair care instruments like combs and clips, to prevent spreading hair conditions like dandruff and head lice.

The old notion that 100 brush strokes a day produces beautiful hair is somewhat false. Too much brushing may injure the hair, especially with brushes that pull the hair or scratch the scalp. It remains a possibility that the dictum of 100 strokes a day derives from the era when Boar Bristle Brushes were more commonly used, well before the invention of plastics and a time when more organic materials were used to create hair care tools. Usually in conjunction with the idea of 100 strokes a day was the suggestion that hair will 'shine' and be 'soft' to the touch. That said, a person skilled at brushing without hurting the folicules can brush down the natural oils to the ends of the hair fibers, thus intending the natural protection of skin oil. Notice that if the skin has been depleted of oils by shampooing, this won't work.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Length and trimming

Haircuts or hair trimming often involves creating a specific shape and form, and maintaining such sculpture. Haircuts can also be used to define a hemline along the ends and edges of longer lengths. Hair cutting may include shaving the head, in which case scalp skin care would be required. In some settings, hair cutting, creating forms and shapes are an expressive art form. Hair cutting often involves considerations of body proportions, hair density and hair type, face and head shape from all views (profile, 3/4 and 360 degree, from above and from below), overall bone structure, and pattern of how hair lies or falls.

Hair shapes and various lengths are often derived from concerns regarding personal expression and aesthetics (examples: dreadlocks, punk hair, the business haircut/style, very long hair), religion (for example, Pentecostal faith among others), social and cultural values. In short, hair is often a physical expression of one's sense of self, of a desire to present oneself to and amongst a community, of social status and roles, and of cultural values. Such expression often involves adding ornaments to the hair, or partial or full hair coverings (such as a Kippa, Hijab, or a Turban).

Monday, December 08, 2008

Physical styling

Hair dressing processes (and resulting care requirements) may often be associated with the female gender, but hair care and dressing is also associated with males. Many males benefit from improved care, especially considering that males also color and enjoy alternative shapes and hair styles.

For many, hair care means a visit to a professional stylist. Hair styling is a major world industry, from the salon to products to advertising and even magazines on the subject. Indeed, the topic is displayed and discussed in various online discussion forums. Hair dressing may include cuts, weaves, coloring, extensions, perms, permanent relaxers, curling and any other form of styling or texturing.