Background of the Study
Human body, apart from the palms of the hands and soles of the feet, is covered in follicles which produce thick terminal and fine vellus hair. The hair is one of the greatest assets of an individual. Jackson (1990) views it as a marvelous tool with which an individual can express her sexuality and how she feels about herself. The hair is an outgrowth of filamentous cells, containing keratin that grows from the follicles found in the dermis. The development of hair begins in the third month of full fetal life and is started by the down growth of thickened cells of the epidermis into the underlying dermis and connective tissue. According to Ross and Wilson (2001), the hair is as a result of a multiplication of cells that clump together to produce a papilla at the base of the follicle. Constantly dividing, these cells push upwards towards the surface, becoming impregnated with the protein keratin, to form the hair shaft. Jablonski (2006) informed that the hair shaft in cross-section can be divided roughly into three zones under the cuticle, cortex and medulla. The cuticle protects the inner structure of the hair which consists of several layers of flat, thin cells laid out like roof singles. The cortex is responsible for providing hair its structure which contains the keratin bundles in cell structures that remain roughly rod like. The medulla is for hair elasticity and open area at the fibre centre.
Apart from the structure of the hair, it is imperative to know how it functions. Hair performs various functions. Hair is for physical and psychological protection, adornment, modesty and immodesty reasons. Physically, just as eyelashes keep dirt and grit out of the eyes and eyebrows also prevent perspiration from entering the eyes, so do hair on the head protects the scalp from the sun, prevents direct knocks on the head and helps to retain body heat (Winden, 2010). Body heat is lost through the scalp and wearing hair can help reduce this loss, particularly in very cold weather. Hair is equally arranged for personal adornment. Hair is kept for beauty sake. Hair tension released from the head transfers to the face, making one uglier (Daniel, 2010). Hair allows one to express his/her unique personality. A moderate and well-styled hair to the nape of the neck, trimmed to flatter the shape of the head enhances ones modest look. Hair is also kept to show immodesty. Certain individuals wear revealing hairstyles as bobbed hair, long flowing jocks, bears, afro-like, chest or shoulder hairs for sexual attraction and wild looking extremes.
The knowledge of the hair help to understand what care one should always give to the hair. The hair must be properly cared for to maintain a healthy living. Olaitan and Mbah (1998) believe that one is very beautiful when his/her hair is well cared for. A lot of care is needed for one’s hair to be healthy, silky and lustrous. Sarojini (2006) opines that to maintain the hair, good nutrition, rest, right sleep and other details of healthy living should be maintained. Cobb (2001) also explains that for hair to be well cared for, a healthy supply of fruits and vegetables, whole grain and foods rich in calcium and protein are not only appealing but also highly nutritious. Taking care of ones hair, restores colour, increases hair density, regains elasticity of the scalp, increases self-confidence of people and this can be done through dressing the hair appropriately.
Hairdressing is the art of arranging the hair to modify its natural state (Jablonski, 2006). It is an important part of dressing up. Dressing of the hair can be considered as an aspect of personal grooming, cosmetics and fashion. Personal grooming involves shampooing the hair to dissolve grease and dirt. It involves taking good care of the body to be healthy. Jablonski (2006) states that personal grooming depends on how the body is operating internally, the vitamin and mineral levels, low toxicity and general dietary efficiency. Cosmetics/hairstyling products are products for styling hair. According to Jablonski (2006), these styling products can create major changes in the hair volume. They transform the hair vigorously from frizzy to flat, coarse to soft, thin to thick. The common styling products that are widely used are shampoos, conditioners, gel, hairsprays, mousse, lotion, hair colour, wax/pomade/creams among others. Many factors can influence the methods of dressing or styling the hair and these are personality/lifestyle, face shapes, overall body proportions, head shapes, hair density and hair type.
Hairdressing is a very lucrative business that enables one to be self employed . This is because it involves a lot of skills that sustain one for life. Skill is the ability of an individual to use knowledge effectively and readily in performance at different activities (Ohwovriole, 2004). It also involves the ability to transform knowledge into action. Therefore, certain skills must be possessed by hairdressers to enable them stand out as hair stylists in the labour market. According to Okorie (2000) hairdressing skills include the ability to determine: the right hair texture, right relaxer, the time to relax the hair, various hairstyles and manipulation of the hair dryer and other equipment for adorning the hair.
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