Because of the many artificial and natural elements that can cause damage, hair cuticles are often depleted of moisture. Whether it be chemical process, environmental components, or repeat shampooing, hair is constantly being stripped of lipids (fats) needed for optimum moisture retention. Without a proper protective barrier, the cuticle will break and split.
There are three kinds of oil existing in the hair cuticle, and one of those is ceramides: a beneficial lipid. Imagine a hair cuticle as having fish scales; ceramides hold the hair intact, keeping the scales flat instead of lifted. What that means is that ceramides provide a nourishing barrier, acting as a type of bonding agent and strengthening the weakened cuticle.
While ceramides are naturally occurring in skin and hair, they are depleted because of chemical and environmental factors. Using products which are strong in ceramides are not only beneficial for strengthening purposes, they attract water and improve elasticity. Oils with high ceramide content, like hemp oil, repair damage and allow for better manageability.
It may sound as though ceramides are like protein, but they serve different functions. Protein creates a patch, filling in holes and gaps created by chemical processes in the hair shaft. Ceramides coat the hair, but they also have linoleic acid, an omega-6 fatty acid that stimulates hair growth and restores moisture loss. Furthermore, ceramides help protein stay in the hair cuticle, and replenish the internal oil.
To counteract the harm of heat from styling tools, chemical relaxers and other processes, ceramides are an essential part of any hair repair routine. Flattening the cuticle does more than give strands shine and manageability, it heals brittle and broken cuticles while also promoting hair growth. Using protein treatments in addition can restore vitality and maximize efforts to return hair to the original state, before any impairment.
Hemp oil offers a high level of ceramides, and can be used eternally and externally. Using it on the hair cuticle may take some trial and error to determine the amount needed, but steam or heat can help with absorption. Taking a small amount and applying to strands at night can work as a do-it-yourself deep treatment, or it can be mixed with a conditioner or other oils as part of a regular routine. Whichever way it is applied, the benefits are impressive.