I wanted to do a post on how having a smooth cuticle can be so important to your hair. Lets start here, hair is made up of 3 parts; medulla, cortex, and cuticle. The protein keratin within the above-mentioned structure. We go into hair talk much more than this, so let’s get going on that cuticle. The cuticle looks a lot like roof (yes the one on top of your house with the shingles).
What happens is that for some people, those shingles on the roof are curved up (raised), and in this state the hair cannot hold moisture. With that being said, you can easily understand that moisture will exit as easily as it enters! Now you should understand that during your wash routine the cuticle lifts as well, but the majority of the time, you want to make sure that the cuticle is as smooth as possible.
So, why should you make sure that your hair’s cuticle is smooth? The main reason for this is to ensure that your hair maintains moisture. When the cuticle is smooth your hair has more shine to it and holds moisture longer. As stated above when you wash your hair the cuticle is raised and that is okay. Because when you are washing/conditioning you want your product to penetrate the hair shaft and do what they said they would do no the label. After your product has done its job this is when you want to ensure that the cuticle is smooth and laying down.
There are a number ways that you can ensure that your cuticle lays down and is smooth. The way that I make sure that my cuticle is smooth is to use cold water when rinsing. Now, I don’t mean freezing cold water, but cool water that you do not have a problem withstanding while you complete your rinse.
Another way that you can help to smooth the cuticle is to dilute some apple cider vinegar and rinse your hair with this solution. In order to mix this solution use one part water and one part apple cider vinegar. Remember you still want to rinse with cool water.
This is the Apple Cider Vinegar of choice for me. It is a great clarifier as well!
Rinsing your hair with warm water then applying leave in conditioner that you have left in the refrigerator can also help with smoothing a cuticle. And finally you can also apply your leave in conditioner of choice and then a natural oil such as olive oil, rosemary oil or your chosen oil to help in smoothing the surface of the hair and lock in moisture.