Hair Cuticle: The Most Important Part of Your Hair

HK Vitals

Medically Reviewed By Dr. Aarti Nehra

Hair follicles are located deep within the scalp, and the outermost layer of each hair strand is known as the hair cuticle. They are the outermost layer of the hair, and by looking closely, people can determine the state of their hair. In order to maintain healthy and stronger hair, it is essential to take care of your hair and hair cuticle with the right products and grooming techniques. In order to understand what separates a healthy hair cuticle from an unhealthy one, let’s first look at hair anatomy before proceeding.

Knowing About Hair Anatomy

Each hair strand has three small sections. 

  • The layer with the most thickness is the medulla, which lies in the center of the strand and has loosely packed cells. 
  • The hair cortex follows. Keratin proteins and structural lipids make up this region at the center of your hair fiber, which surrounds the medulla. The general structure of each strand of your hair is shielded by the hair cuticle layer that surrounds the cortex. It makes up the majority of the hair strand’s mass.
  • A particular strand of your hair has three layers, but only the hair cuticle is visible to the unaided eye. To maintain the integrity of deeper layers, it functions as a barrier. It also contributes to determining whether your hair is smooth and lustrous, or frizzy and rough.
  • A hair root and a hair shaft make up each strand. You can see the latter coming out of your scalp. The part of the hair that we cannot see is the root since it is located inside the scalp and extends deep into the dermis.

How Does a Healthy Hair Cuticle Look Like?

After learning about your hair cuticle, you may be interested in determining its state of health. Smoothness and light reflection should be signs of a healthy cuticle. Rubbing the hair shafts against one another should lessen friction as well. This is why it is crucial to use wholesome hair care products. 

From the root to the tip of each strand, the width of healthy hair will remain constant. If you examine a single strand and note that it is equally smooth and thick at the end as it is at the beginning, you can tell if the cuticle is healthy. But if you notice that the texture of your hair grows thinner and less even as it approaches the tip, you can have an unhealthy hair condition called hair cuticle damage.

How to Make My Hair Healthy?

Follow the steps below:

  1. Saturate the scalp with shampoo : Instead of shampooing the entire length of your hair when you wash your hair, focus on cleaning the scalp. Washing merely your hair can result in coarse, flyaway hair.
  2. Using a conditioner is a must : Unless you use a “2-in-1” shampoo that cleans and conditions hair, use conditioner after each shampoo. By increasing shine, reducing static electricity, boosting strength, and providing some protection from harmful UV rays, using a conditioner can substantially improve the appearance of damaged or weathered hair.
  3. Avoid conditioner on roots, only on hair : Conditioners should only be applied to the tips of fine hair; they should not be applied to the scalp because they might make the hair appear limp.
  4. Use hair care products that suit your hair type : Use a shampoo for coloured hair, for instance, if you color your hair. A “2-in-1” shampoo might be a good option if your hair has been chemically or physically damaged. Numerous shampoo and conditioner brands offer the same advantages regardless of price.
  5. Cover your hair while swimming : Wet and condition your hair before swimming to protect it from the harmful effects of chlorine. Wear a snug swim hat, and after swimming, apply a deep conditioner and shampoo made especially for swimmers to replenish moisture.


The hair cuticle significantly determines your hair’s health, appearance, and overall condition. Remember that hair types may have different needs, so it’s essential to adapt your hair care routine. Proper care of the hair cuticle can result in healthier, more vibrant and manageable hair.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What causes your hair cuticle to damage?

Ans. The cuticle, your hair’s outermost layer of protection, is attacked by aggressors like friction, heat, and harsh chemical treatments. This causes the cuticle to rise and leave outside cracks.

Q2. What happens if you shampoo your hair too often?

Ans. Washing your hair too frequently can make it dry and dull, while not washing it enough can cause oil buildup that causes odor and flakes.

Q3. What happens when your hair cuticle opens?

Ans. If your cuticle is unhealthy or left open, your hair may become dry and difficult to maintain since the condition of the hair cuticle also affects your hair anatomy and how well it holds moisture. 

HK Vitals


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