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Hair Cortex – Understand the Inner Structure of Your Hair

A brunette woman pulling her hair back tightly

We all know that healthy hair, including inner hair health, leads to beautifully smooth and shiny hair – however sometimes our hair can be damaged due to a variety of environmental, physical, chemical or mechanical influences. Thankfully expert hair knowledge and a tailored haircare regime that uses the right combination of high-performing ingredients can treat hair to exactly what it needs.

Beautiful hair starts from the inside!

So, what exactly is the hair cortex?

The cortex is the core of the hair shaft, it's situated beneath the cuticle layer and before the innermost layer of your hair, the medulla. The cortex is the central part of the hair shaft and it's mainly made from a mix of proteins (mainly keratins) and natural pigments that form the colour of your hair.

Did you know?
Not all hair contains the medulla, the hair's innermost layer. It's more likely to be found in thicker hair types!

Here comes the science bit:

Within the cortex, the keratins are arranged in spindle-like fibre bundles known as Fibrils, whilst the hair’s colour is determined by natural melanin pigments.

The cortex is mainly responsible for the mechanical properties within hair; including its strength and elasticity (also very important factors when it comes to healthy-feeling hair). Want to learn more? We recommend that you also take a look at our blog that discusses the importance of the Hair Cuticle – your hair's outer protective layer. 

Picture diagram of inner hair structure showing hair cuticle, cortex and medulla

Why do I need to understand my hair's inner structure?

Because your hair's inner structure determines the condition of your hair and influences its appearance! When it comes to the hair, it’s certainly what’s on the inside that counts!

Whilst hair problems can be masked, it's better to solve them from the inside out!

Since the cortex is where the hair houses its colour, it's also where temporary and permanent changes take place when we alter the colour of our hair – without a proper haircare regime the hair becomes fragile and breaks. The more porous nature of damaged hair can mean colour pigments get washed out more easily.

SalonLab&Me personalised Shampoo, Conditioner and Colour Mask

How can I find out how healthy my hair really is?

With your hyper-personalised SalonLab&Me haircare journey! It starts in the salon, under the expert eye of your hairdresser and with our award-winning SalonLab Smart Analyzer. Here, biometric hair condition data is analysed to provide fact-based insights – specific to your individual hair type and state. The result? Your personal hair score and a high-performance product recommendation tailored to your exact hair type, inner hair health and hair goals.

So, are you ready to find out what the inner structure of your hair is really like? Start your personal haircare journey today with SalonLab&Me!

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