Bubble hair damage
This post is reblogged from the Website of the Trichological Society.
– Bubble Hair damage is an acquired hair shaft deformity associated with hairdressing procedures (hairdryers, hot tongs, straightening irons etc), which employ great heat. It occurs when the hair is heated to temperatures of, or exceeding one hundred degrees centigrade (approximately 212 degrees Fahrenheit), causing any water contained within the cortex, to boil. This, in turn, triggers the transition from liquid to gas as steam is produced. The generation of steam within the cortex results in the formation of cavities caused by trapped pockets of gas, or air bubbles and creates a bulge or distortion in the hair shaft. The resultant effects: severe weakening of the cortex, cuticle damage, eventually resulting in hair breakage.
Bubble hair is diagnosed by the appearance of localised hair breakage at a point where there is a bulge or distortion in the hair shaft. Hair damaged in this way will usually be weak, brittle and often straight and stiff.
A microscopical examination of the hair shaft reveals numbers of bubble-like lesions which are actually gas-filled cavities created by the rapid vaporization of moisture within the hair shaft. These cavities will be enclosed by a severely damaged cuticle which will remain intact until the latter stages as the condition worsens.
– All hair will react this way to intense heat.
– The structure of the hair shaft will be weakened by bubbling and fragility will result.
– There is no way of repairing hair shafts damaged in this way.
Bubble hair is irreversible due to the destruction of the cortex and the acute weakening of the surrounding cuticle.
Prevention is the best treatment.
Those suffering from this hair shaft defect should be advised:
1. To refrain, if possible, from using any heated styling equipment to prevent further damage.
2. That if they cannot refrain, they must make sure the hair is not left damp before applying heated appliances and to use hairdryers on a low heat setting.
3. To discard as many affected hairs as possible before they eventually break independently AND to cut off any resultant damaged or split ends.