You can think of the hair like a pencil:
– the lead is like the medulla, the central core or innermost layer of the hair
– the wooden part is like the cortex, the middle layer or main part of the hair where all chemical changes take place
– the paint of the pencil can be likened to the cuticle of the hair, the outer layer.
The cuticle is the part that we can feel, it is the part that gets damaged if you treat it harshly or if u use poor quality products or you apply too much heat. It is made up of scales that overlap and lie flat.
The direction in which the hair cuticle lies is from the roots, overlapping to the points. this means that the hair feels smooth when you stroke it towards the points but more rough if you run your fingers from points to roots, against the lie of the cuticle.
In order to understand the importance detangling wet hair in the correct way it is important that you know how the cuticle is constructed and how it is affected by various things.
Certain things will cause the cuticle to lift out from the surface of the hair:
– if it becomes damaged
– when it gets wet
– when it is heated
– through the use of certain alkaline products.
Shampooed hair is wet by water and heated because the water is warm so the cuticle is slightly raised. The raised scales will catch on each other and the may tangle. If you treat it harshly at this time it will damage the cuticle.
You must take care to detangle it gently by combing it in the direction in which the cuticle lies which means you must always comb the hair from points to roots and without stretching it or putting stress onto it. This is particularly important when the hair is long or if it is already damaged.