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- A hair cuticle is the outermost part of the hair shaft. It is formed from dead cells, overlapping in layers, which from scales that gives the hair shaft strength and provides protection for it. Although the cuticle is the outermost layer of the hair, it does not give the hair its color because it has no melanin, which is the pigment responsible; the color of person’s hair depends on what type of melanin they have, which is found in the cortex.
- The cuticle layer consist of protein based scales that open and close when activated, when these scales rise, chemicals and ingredients can pass through the cuticle layer to control the center of the hair strand, the cortex
- All cuticle layers aren’t created the same. In fact the cuticle layer and how its scales naturally align varies according to hair type. For strength, type 1 hair, the cuticle layer hugs the cortex very tightly and the layer’s scales naturally lay flat. This is why straight the hair shines more often and tends to stay moisturized for a longer period of time than any other hair type. For curly hair types, the cuticle scale’s are naturally raised and don’t lay flat. As a result curly hair tends to shine less doesn’t feel as smooth to the touch. Raised cuticles are also the reason why curly hair tends to look frizzy and tangles easily.