Human grooming by Daniel Laberge
Human grooming homepage Daniel Laberge homepage

Hair and fur

«Why is no one looking for a cure?
Surely baldness is due to some hygiene or care problem.»
 

I found this remark scribbled
in a dermatology book
at the library
.


Main folds on scalp
Front top view

Folds on the scalp, front top view

Vertical folds   Horizontal folds

Rear view

Folds on the scalp, rear view

Vertical folds   Horizontal folds

Lack of grooming and hair

Science will tell you the number of hair follicles you have diminishes with age.
Where do they go?
Do they vanish?
No, they are engulfed in folds.
Trapped between two sheets of skin.
When the follicles are imprisoned in this way, they stop their hair production.
Hair density is reduced.
The hair that remains is strangled and compressed by the skin tension.
After some time, some strands close their melanin production department and their color changes to gray or white.
Fighting for life, hair becomes thin and deformed.

Not genetic,
nor hereditary,
nor hormonal

Hair loss is not an illness.
It is a lack of care.
The hair condition of your ancestors cannot affect your own.
Similarities in skull features and lifestyles explain those found in balding patterns.

More folds than elsewhere

The top of your head is the meeting place for several folds.
Your vertical folds even become horizontal ones when they get there.
Note how many more folds there are on the crown than on the back of the head.
You can insert extra folds between those I've drawn, mostly for the horizontal ones.

The crusted scalp

The scalp is richly equipped in sebum glands.
Just think of how many hair strands you have and you can picture them all.
This ungroomed region becomes covered with a crust of hard sebum-epidermis mixture.
This is why it is called scalp.
No one would call it skin.
The tension is so great, it makes growing conditions unfriendly.
This skin should be as soft and extensible as any other.

Dandruff

What do you think happens to the dead skin cells your scalp produces if you don't groom them away?
Regular grooming removes the dandruff flakes in the most natural manner.
In the absence of grooming, the crust on your scalp keeps on thickening, continuously shedding what it can.
Moreover, the extra sebum hinders any exfoliation process.

Baldness

When balding occurs, the skin has become so tight it feels like a solid material to your touch and it is practically insensitive.
In many cases, the alopecia starts on the forehead notches where several folds from your face take a hold, some damage is already visible at birth.
The hair vertex or crown is a series of fold crossings that create a swirl in your hair at the back of your head.
These areas become larger and the hair on them gets scarcer.

Humans have more hair follicles
than chimpanzees

Even if chimpanzees or gorillas have a hairy appearance, it's humans who win in this category.
Humans have more hair follicles per square inch of skin than them.
Our hair has shrunken and lost its color on many parts of the body except the top of the head and a few other areas.
In spite of this, the hair follicles, the hair producing equipment, are all intact, inside the skin.
Your palms, soles, lips, eyelids, penis, labia minora and nipples are the only hairless patches on your body.
Furthermore, their quantity and body distribution is similar for all the populations of our race.
When you look closely at anybody's skin, mostly in the sun, you will see hair all over the place.

 

How to groom your scalp

A plane surface

Your scalp is an easy surface to groom because it is flat, with no feature to obstruct your actions.
The shell covering it is so thick and hard that skin sensibility is reduced.
It is so encrusted it needs immediate help.
Don't wait; start grooming it right away by using the following methods.

Superficial grooming all over

One of your main daily tasks is to scrape off a few coats from the hardened surface.
To achieve this, use large two-handed superficial strokes all over.

Grooming your head with two hands

Place your hands on each side of your head

Try to cover the whole surface.
You can apply lots of pressure since the skin is so tough, but the whole process should remain pain-free.
This type of grooming work is fun and easy.

Mapping your head

You have to feel the folds and their crossings on your head in order to groom them specifically.
When you pass your nails over your scalp, you won't have any trouble finding sizable lumps and holes.
Those are fold crossings.
The folds themselves feel like lines of insensitive, hardened skin.
It is more difficult to understand the patterns they form.
Take a close look at the maps at the top of this page while checking out the locations on your scalp with your nail.

Applying pressure
on folds and crossings

Once you've mapped your head's folds and crossings, you can start grooming them with precise finger work.
Use single finger pressure strokes on any crossing you meet.
Apply considerable force to it for at least five seconds before moving down the fold to the next one.
On the folds themselves, you can place your fingers in-line with them and dig in with four finger pressure strokes.

Special care for balding areas

Focus your attention daily on bald or balding sections.
Check the skin out with your nail and determine which parts are soft and flexible and which ones are hard and tight.
Where it is more solid, stick to pressure strokes.
But, when it is suppler, you can groom it deeply and open up the folds and crossings with scraping and slicing strokes.

Grooming your scalp under the shower

When you wash your hair, your movements are very similar to grooming.
All you have to do is to press your nails a bit more into your scalp.
You want to increase the pressure while letting your hands travel freely.
Both the soap and the water have an epidermis removing action and make the skin more malleable.
Don't miss the opportunity, groom your scalp every time you shampoo.

 

The hair follicle

Hair is produced by the skin.
It is made of compacted skin cells just like nails.
The factories, producing these compressed filaments, are the hair follicles.

Hair follicle

Hair follicles are deeply rooted into your skin, about three sixteenths of an inch, and generate keratin and a little melanin.
They do this at possibly the fastest multiplication rate of the human body.
Keratin is a hard protein. Nails, claws, feathers, hooves and horns are also made out of it.
The melanin adds the color component.
Hair, unlike plants, grows from the base. Once it has exited the follicle it is dead.

How sebum is released

Each hair follicle has one sebum gland (or more) attached to it.
Sebum is the natural skin and hair oil.
As your grooming nail bristles the base of the hair, it puts pressure on its gland to liberate some sebum.

Nail action on sebum glands

Grooming frees the sebum

This is a superbly well-designed system.
It allows sebum to be expelled precisely where it is needed as a lubricant for grooming.

Follicle versatility

Your hair follicles appeared on your body around the twenty second week of your life.
About five millions of them.
At that time, they would produce lanugo, a special type of hair.
It is shed and consumed by the fetus just before birth and replaced by velus hair.
Velus hair is the very soft, short and fine, almost transparent hair you have on parts of your body where you can't see it except up close.
The hair follicles on your scalp and beard generate thicker strands that grow indefinitely.
As you age they end up yielding a greyer and thinner version.
Then, the same follicles revert to producing velus hair that you see as baldness.

Free your follicles

Each hair follicle is supposed to be shooting straight up out of the skin, with no angle.
Hairstyles, hair pins and ties, hats and caps all curve them unnaturally.
I favor follicle freedom and non-restrained styles.
You should be able to pass your nails freely into your hair at any time.
This being said, hair follicles are extremely resistant.
Almost all primate babies cling to their mother's fur to get around.

Your nails as a comb

When you groom, the passing of your nails moves the base of the hair and realigns the follicles.
Superficially grooming your scalp, with four finger superficial grooming strokes, for a few seconds every hour will keep your hair and follicles happy, aligned and healthy.
Don't worry, I still use a brush to disentangle my hair after a bath or shower.

 

Experiences and theories

Fear of damage while grooming

When I started grooming, I was unsure about its effect on hair.
I test-groomed the back of my head for some time.
I was scared that the continuous passage of the nail would remove some hair.
This was because I didn't understand how grooming works back then.
Bending the hair releases the needed sebum and no harm is done to it.
Hair and grooming go together the way your teeth and eating do.

My experience with my eyebrows

As I said before, I still have a fully haired scalp.
My experiments on hair have mostly been conducted on my eyebrows.
Because of their small size, I was able to observe the effect my grooming had on them.
My eyebrows were badly folded and some parts were less garnished.
I could see lines of hairless skin cross them with white hair growing on each side.
These lines were folds and, as I opened them, liberated hair follicles started producing hair again.
The hair cover has thickened and strengthened.

The curly hair theory

It is already generally admitted that curly hair is the result of some curbing of the hair follicle.
Lack of grooming gives us a perfect explanation for this condition.
Circular horizontal folds flourish all over your head and could well be responsible for the curls.
The idea that they would disappear, once grooming is completed, is intriguing, but unproven at this time.

Conclusions

Hair plays such a big part in one's self-esteem that I think it may be one of the main incentives to get males to groom.
Men are affected quite young by their lack of grooming with acne, hair loss and uglying.
Once you groom one area, the habit easily shifts to another.
I have to warn you against trying to groom only the top of your head and not your face.
All the tension released from the top would transfer to the bottom, making you uglier.
So I'm afraid only a whole head approach will do.

 

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