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Hair Biology

Analysis of hair and hair follicles
In order to know the formation of hair thinning, it is essential to first understand the complicate process of growing healthy hair. Hair mainly consist of two structure: Hair root and hair shaft.

Hair Bulb
The hair below the scalp is called hair bulb, it consists of living cells and protected by follicles, which is not visible under normal circumstances.

Hair Shaft
The hair on the skin is called hair shaft, and it is consist of completely keratinized cells. As it can’t be self-regenerated, it can be considered as lifeless. Crosscutting the hair shaft will be as follow: The medulla on inside, the cortex in middle and the cuticle on outside. Most of the hair care products on the market are only effecting the cuticle.

Lanugo Hair
Often been described as the baby hair, it is the beginning of the hair growth, usually located near to the skin epidermis that the follicles is close to. It is extremely fragile and easily affected by the environment. Even a minor scalp massage will cause the loss of the newborn’s hair.

Terminal Hair
It is the complete stage of the hair growth, usually can be 3 feet long, and those are the hair that can be trimmed and style. The follicles are deep in the base of the skin, it is closer to the blood vessel and can absorb the nutrition and oxygen easier.

Lanugo Hair
Hair Follicle is where hair produces and grows, and there’s only one hair for each follicle. Under the follicle is called the hair bulb, it contains a lot of undifferentiated cells which has strong proliferation. Hair Bulb is the beginning of the hair, and there are pigment cells on there. Hair is grown by the separation between the bulb and the follicle. At the bottom of the hair bulb is called the dermal papilla. The dermal papilla is feed by the bloodstream which carries nourishment to produce new hair. Dermal papilla is very important to hair growth because it contains receptors for male hormones and androgens, which regulate hair growth.

Arrector Pili Muscle
The arrector pili muscles are small muscles attached to hair follicles. When a person is facing fear or cold, it will lead to muscle contractions. The contraction will produce insulation and air becomes trapped between the erect hairs which can retain heat.

Sebaceous gland
The sebaceous glands are microscopic exocrine glands in the skin that secrete an oily or waxy matter, called sebum, to lubricate and waterproof the skin and hair. Many hormones such as testosterone, progesterone, and adrenal hormones are secreted by the sebaceous glands which leads to hair loss. Also certain foods (eg meat, fat) and drugs (eg steroids, diabetes) or inflamed skin irritation will also induce the secretion of sebum.

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