Please allow cookies

The Building Blocks of Hair: The Cuticle

To provide the best care solutions for your salon clients, it's important for hairdressers to fully understand the delicate structure of the hair. In this series of Essential Skills articles, the ASK Education team take a closer look at the building blocks of hair – starting with the cuticle.

The Cuticle

The Cuticle is the outer layer of the hair and is made from keratinised, flat cells that overlap in a downward direction from roots to tips, similar to a fir cone. This multi-layered structure contains between 6-10 layers of overlapping cells.


The cuticle is a good indicator of hair health; healthy hair has a smooth, flat cuticle that is translucent and reflects light – making hair feel smooth and look shiny. If the cuticle is damaged – or in some cases even missing – the hair feels rough and becomes vulnerable to mechanical or chemical damage.


External factors that can damage the cuticle are UV rays, oxidation from air and water, or mechanical stress caused by heat styling and brushing. Chemical treatments such as coloring, permanent straightening or curling can also cause stress and damage to the cuticle.


Healthy cuticles are the result of lipid layers on the outer cuticle that make each hair strand water repellent and feel smooth. This lipid layer consists of chains of 21 hydrocarbons and fatty acids, that are chemically bound to an underlying protein matrix. This is the main protector of virgin hair and therefore a key consideration in haircare. The more hair is chemically damaged or mechanically weakened, the less of the protective lipid layer is left.


The Building Blocks of Hair: The Cuticle


BC Bonacure

Thankfully the Cell Perfector Technology within BC Bonacure core ranges is based on the same principle as the natural lipid layer of virgin hair. Combined care components of lipids and proteins (proteolipids) target the areas of the cuticle that need protection, and effectively bring the cuticle back to a state close to virgin hair. The C18 technology restores 18 of the original 21 hydrocarbons.


Follow the links below to explore BC Bonacure product details and consultation expertise via: