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Conscious care

CONSCIOUS CARE

Our hair is nearly like a fingerprint - unique, different for everyone. Selecting the right care, i.e. one that will give us the best effects, is a big challenge. Therefore, before you select the care products, it is worth thinking over what your hair really is. Thanks to this, it will be easier to explore its needs and make it become your greatest decoration.

Actually, there are as many hair types as persons in the world, because although we can have similar one, it will never be identical. Not only genes, but also nutrition, treatments that are done (dyeing, straightening, drying, etc.), care, weather conditions and even the water that is used for washing have an impact on its final appearance. Nevertheless, there are some properties that can be used to describe and group the hair. These characteristic features are essential for the conscious hair care.

Apart from the most obvious, because visible to the naked eye, a division into the straight, wavy and curly hair, coarse and fine, or thick and thin (for more detailed information on this subject matter, see the book “How to Care for Your Hair. A Guide for a Beginner Hair Maniacs' by Anna Kołomycew) there is also a criterion of the porosity, which is of particular significance in the context of the conscious care of your hair.

WHAT IS HAIR POROSITY?

The surface of the hair is covered with the small scales made from cysteine and fatty acids, which constitute the outer, protective layer of the hair.

The porosity is a degree of lifting of these scales on the surface, it is often a genetic trait, but it also depends on the type of the hair care and hairdressing procedures you perform.

Depending on the degree of the scales lifting, three types of hair can be distinguished:

  • low porous hair,
  • medium porous hair,
  • high porous hair.

WHY IS THE POROSITY CRITERION SO IMPORTANT?

Daily care and use of the various products for hair washing, conditioning and styling can affect its porosity and cause changes in the entire hair structure.

The spaces inside the cell membranes that combine the scales are the preferred route for the penetration and diffusion of many substances into the hair medulla. The varying degrees of its lifting determine to a large extent a level of the interaction of the active substances, which, depending on a size of the molecules, penetrate deeply into the hair structure or act on their surface.

The action of the adverse external factors such as chemical agents, high temperature, UV radiation, mechanical friction causes a change in the architecture of the scales, frequently damaging and degrading a structure of the entire hair. Therefore, the proper care and selection of a size of the active substances is extremely important for strengthening a natural protective barrier of the hair as well as a control of the transport of the active substances.

HOW TO DETERMINE A POROSITY? TYPES OF POROSITY

The best way, which does not require the use of a microscope, which will enable you to determine a type of the hair porosity and select the proper cosmetics, is to observe your hair and assign it to specific groups based on the properties described below. You can also visit the website and take the on-line test.

  • LOW POROSITY
  • MEDIUM POROSITY
  • HIGH POROSITY

Low porous hair has the cuticles tightly adherent to the hair cortex, arranged in a regular manner and very difficult to move. They do not require such extensive care, and even quite the opposite - it should be limited, as this care may easy weigh the low porous hair down. The inappropriate care or a lack of it can worsen a condition of the hair and affect a change in porosity.

Instead of penetrating deep into the hair, most of the nutrients settle on it creating an additional coating and making the hair lose elasticity, vitality and its natural shine. Such hair reacts well to the substances featuring the adequately small molecules, because only these ones can penetrate deep into the hair without building up on its surface.

Low porous hair like oils with the small molecules (e.g. coconut, babassu, palm oils) and the other "low molecular" ingredients, because only these ones are able to penetrate deep into the hair without a build-up on its surface. Amino acids and some herbs also hold very well on such hair.

What is the low porous hair like?

Such hair is resistant not only to damage, all procedures, but styling, too. This hair is naturally healthy, smooth and shiny. They arrange in a characteristic "flowing" way, slippery to the touch, when stylised, it tends to return to a shape from before styling. It is easy to weigh it down by an improper, excessive care and make the hair to be "limp". Low porous hair usually releases moisture gradually and slowly, which results in long drying.

PEH balance (Proteins, Emollients, Humectants)

Although our hair is different in terms of the porosity, all hair has a similar physiological structure and, therefore, to some extent the similar requirements. The substances that play the most important role in the care and life of your hair are humectants, proteins and emollients. All these three types of the active substances are found in the hair cosmetics or its semi-finished products. So, we can divide them into three groups:

  • products containing proteins – intended for the rebuilding and reconstruction of the hair structure
  • products containing humectants – with a moisturising effect
  • products that contain neither humidifiers nor proteins – neutral ones in terms of the protein-humectant balance, i.e. the products containing e.g. oils or silicones (conditioners and emollient masks, oils, serums for the hair ends, etc.)

Maintaining the right PEH balance, i.e. between proteins, emollients and humectants is essential for keeping the hair in a good condition. That is why we have developed at Anwen the hair conditioners containing the key ingredients in terms of the PEH balance - each individually, properly adjusted to the porosity of the hair, so as to help maintain the balance important for your hair health and make its care simpler, and at the same time more effective.

We have included the detailed information and advice on maintaining the PEH balance in our e-book: "Scientific View on the PEH Balance, that is Proteins, Emollients and Humectants in Hair Care".

  • HUMECTANTS
  • PROTEINS
  • EMOLIENTS

Humectants are the highly hygroscopic substances, well soluble in water, which have the ability to form a permanent chemical bond and retain water from the environment, so they can act as a natural water reservoir in the hair.

In order to moisturise the hair for a long time, you must eliminate a process of the water evaporation from its inner part. Emollients and high molecular weight proteins that will form a coating on the surface that protect against a water loss can be helpful.

When the hair under the influence of the external factors (high temperature or solar radiation), loses this water, it becomes dry, dull, rough to the touch and resemble the so-called hay. After a long time, it will also become brittle and breakable. On the other hand, if you fail to balance and use humectants often enough, your hair will lose volume, becomes stretchy and it will lack vigour.

In case of the increased humidity of the air, the hair will begin to frizz excessively, so when planning your hair care, from a perspective of including humectants in it, you should always take into account the weather, and more precisely the humidity of the air, and in case of the extremely difficult hair - a dew point, too.

How to use humectants?

Depending on a degree of drying of the hair, it is recommended to use humectants 1-2 times a week. Oiling proves beneficial to hair, to which a moisturising conditioner has been previously applied – the so-called oiling on the base, where you leave the oil for 2-3 hours, then wash your hair traditionally (no SLS shampoo required), or leave it overnight and wash your hair in the morning.

Humectants in our products

Humectants used in our Moisturising Elderberry conditioner have been optimally matched in terms of their hygroscopic properties to ensure the effective hydration for as long as possible.

You can read more about this issue in our e-book: "Scientific View on the PEH Balance, that is Proteins, Emollients and Humectants in Hair Care".

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