Hair colouring, permanent styling and hair structure

J Cosmet Dermatol. 2003 Jul;2(3-4):180-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1473-2130.2004.00064.x.


Hair is an important component of body image and has immense psychological importance for both men and women. Women, in particular, over the ages have modified their appearance through changing their hair colour or style. Hair can be straight, wavy or curly, blonde, black, brown or red. These natural variations are an important part of our identity that can be manipulated according to the dictates of fashion, culture or society. Different types of hair have varying affinity for the different colouring and waving methods. Damaged hair also has a different affinity for hair products than normal healthy hair. The hair shaft is remarkably strong and resistant to the extremes of nature. Hair cosmetics are widely available and manipulate the structural properties of hair. Whilst most procedures are safe, there is considerable potential for damage to the hair and hair problems of acute onset, including hair breakage, hair loss and loss of condition, are frequently blamed on the last product used on the hair. Hair problems are particularly prevalent among people who repeatedly alter the natural style of their hair.