Why Is Asian Hair So Shiny

Why Is Asian Hair So Shiny: Scientific Reasons Why Asian Hair Is Shinier Than Caucasian Hair

Ever wondered why is Asian hair so shiny compared to Caucasian and other hair types? Read on to find the difference in hair structure and more.

Discover the secrets behind the lustrous sheen of Asian hair at HairEveryday. Often admired for its remarkable shine, Asian hair possesses unique characteristics that contribute to its glossy appearance.

In this article, we explore the factors that make Asian hair so shiny, from genetic traits to meticulous care routines. Join us as we delve into the world of hair health and learn how to achieve that enviable radiance, regardless of your hair type.

Why is Asian hair so shiny and straight?

Asian hair tends to be shiny due to its typically straight structure, which reflects light more uniformly. The cuticle layers lie flat and are more densely packed, enhancing the hair’s natural sheen. Additionally, genetic factors contribute to thicker strands and more melanin, which can protect against damage and preserve shine. Proper hair care practices, common in Asian cultures, also play a significant role in maintaining hair health and luster.

Why Is Asian Hair So Shiny?

  • The Asian hair cuticle layer is known to be more thicker and has compact cuticle flaps as compared to Caucasian hair.
  • Asian hair cuticles are stronger as compared to Caucasian hair cuticles and thus have the ability to absorb more stress.
  • The hair cuticles are closely attached to each other in Asian hair, as compared to African hair types.
  • Asian hair is known to have one of the best cross-sectional areas, as compared to Caucasian and African hair types.
  • It is also known that East Asians hair has around 10 layers of cuticles, while Caucasian hair has just around 5 layers of cuticles.
  • Thus, we can be quite certain to conclude that Asian hair has more of an advantage when it comes to hair shine because of the number of cuticle layers it has.
  • Since the cuticles on the hair shaft is the part of the hair that is responsible for keeping the hair from damage and giving it a better hair shine, it is clear that Asian hair is relatively shinier than other hair types.
(Leerunyakul, Kanchana, and Poonkiat Suchonwanit. “Asian Hair: A Review of Structures, Properties, and Distinctive Disorders.” Clinical, cosmetic and investigational dermatology vol. 13 309-318. 24 Apr. 2020, doi:10.2147/CCID.S247390)

The Structure of Asian Hair

Before I delve any deeper into answering the most requested question about the reason behind Asian hair shine, I will have to run you through a little bit of scientific stuff here in order for you to understand the reasoning behind why Asian hair is shinier than other hair types. So, let’s go through the structure of a hair strand first.

Each hair strand has two main parts, wherein the visible part (we see) is the hair shaft and then, the hair root (which is under the scalp).

why is asian hair so straight

The hair shaft comprises of three main layers. The outermost layer is called the cuticle that is made up of overlapping flaps or cells (that replicate tiles on a roof). The cuticle is one that protects the hair strand from damage.

It can keep the inner layers of the hair protected and can give the hair a radiant shine. But, if the hair is damaged, then light will not reflect off the hair shaft and thus, it will not look shiny.

The second layer or the middle layer of the hair shaft is the cortex. It is the thickest among the three layers of the hair strand and it contains the hair pigment giving the hair its color.

The third and innermost layer is the medulla, which is present in coarser hair types, while fine hair usually doesn’t have this layer sometimes, which is normal.

Why Is Asian Hair So Shiny?

Why Is Asian Hair So Straight?

Most often, you will notice that most of the Asian people or at least a large number of East Asian people have straight hair.  It sure is intriguing right? How does that happen?

Well, one of the main reasons hair is straight, curly or wavy is the shape of the hair follicle. Some hair follicles can be round in shape, while there are others that are elliptical in shape or oval in shape.

why do i have asian hair

So as per research by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), they talk about cross-sectional views of the hair follicles, wherein they noticed that Asian hair strands had the greatest cross-sectional area, as compared to African and Caucasian hair (the other two main hair types). The Asian hair follicle had the most circular cross-section and was rounder in shape.

Thus, this could give us some reasoning as to why Asian hair is so straight, as compared to other hair types.

Another aspect researched by the NCBI was hair curvature.

how to make asian hair shiny

Well, this research, it states that Asian hair has a rounder shape which is more cylindrical with less curvature, leading to Asian hair being straight, while African hair has a more flattened shape, with twists and a higher curvature.

These two scientific reasons give us certainty on how Asian hair gets its straightness.

Is Asian Hair Stronger Than Caucasian Hair?

Let me begin with first answering the question before getting into the details. Well, yes, Asian hair is considered stronger than Caucasian hair, and here’s why!

Asian hair cuticles are known to be stronger because as per research, when tested under pressure (like when the hair is pulled), it can still maintain its original shape to a certain extent and only under extreme stress, it peel off as fragments when stretched.

But on the other hand, Caucasian hair is known to have fragile hair cuticles that cannot withstand high levels of pressure and can snap into tiny fragments when under extreme stress (like when the hair is pulled).

Why Does Asian Hair Get So Oily?

One of the main reasons hair gets oily very quickly is because of having a straight hair type. Well, most Korean and Japanese people have straight hair types, this being one of the main factors causing their hair to get oily in no time even after they have washed it.

Let me break this down for you guys with an example. So, first of all, our scalp naturally produces a substance called sebum, which is oily or waxy in texture. This sebum coats the scalp and thereafter moves down along the hair shaft.

i hate my asian hair

Now, for those with curly or wavy hair, the waves, curves or twists and turns in the hair will act like obstacles for spreading the sebum down till the tips of your hair strands and thus, it will take it longer for curly or wavy hair to get or look oily (but this can be a cause for dry hair as well).

On the contrary, straight hair is more prone to becoming oily because their hair shafts do not have any sort of texture to obstruct the sebum from flowing smoothly down the hair shaft. So it slides down the hair and makes it look oily.

Thus, for those with straight hair like the Korean and Japanese people, dealing with oily hair issues can often become an everyday problem.

Why You Should Trust Haireveryday?

The author of this article, Amy Angelos has a degree in Cosmetology from The Salon Professional Academy in San Jose, California with 10 years of experience in dealing with hair care, scalp care, and hairstyling. As she is adept at styling hair of various textures from straight, wavy to curly and African American, Amy knows what kind of products and procedures suit each hair type and person. Our Editor Leah Marie Priest has also tested these hair products and processes and fact checked this article to give you an unbiased review about every product. Each of our articles are also reviewed by a team of medical professionals so that you get the most accurate and expert-reviewed information.

The final takeaway

I hope this article was able to answer all your questions regarding why Asian hair is shiny and what makes it that way, as compared to other hair types.

Getting into a little of the scientific aspect is always essential when trying to decode concepts like these.

We can finally conclude that it is the difference in the number of layers in the cuticles of the Asian hair type (more number of cuticles) that let it have a better hair shine, as compared to Caucasian and African hair types.

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