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Published by: fast on Oct 14, 2010
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Hair Care
The Structure of Hair
Like skin, hair too, is a complex cellular structuremade up of a special kind of protein known asKeratin.Each strand of hair has two partsThe Hair Follicle, which is embedded in the scalp.The Hair Shaft, which is the visible part of your hair.The hair shaft which is made up of dead cells, hasthree layers1. The Medulla, the soft, innermost layer.2. The Cortex (surrounding the Medulla), whichgives hair its thickness, strength and flexibility. Italso contains Melanin - the pigment whichdetermines hair colour.3. The Cuticle, the outermost protective layer. Thisis a transparent layer of tiny overlapping scalesmade of Keratin. It acts as a protective barrieragainst chemicals and also prevents excessiveevaporation of the moisture essential for soft,supple hair.The hair follicle is divided anatomically into: theInfundibulum the Isthmus the Inferior segment,which contains the hair bulbThe hair follicle is situated during active growth, in, or
 just above, the subcutaneous fat at core temperature.It is protected from any deleterious effects ofmaterials on the scalp. Only severe scarring orsystematic factors interfere with hair growth.
How Long Does A Single Hair Live?
Each hair grows from a root. The cells in the hair bulbdivide, creating a new hair that will grow andeventually fall out.This cycle, which is known as the pilar cycle, isdivided into three phases: the hair grows for anaverage of three years, a brief stagnation period oftwo or three weeks follows, then the hair is discardedover about three months. After a latent period of twoto five months, a new cycle begins and a new hairstarts to grow. The entire process happens about 25times in the course of a lifetime.
How Does Hair Grow?
Hair begins life at the bottom of the follicle as acluster of cells called the Papilla. While forming ahair, the cells of the papilla multiply to form the hairbulb. As the hair bulb increases in size, these cellsstretch themselves to become the hair shaft, which iswhat we see. This is the primary stage of hair growthwhich lasts for about 3 - 7 years.The next stage is the transition stage. During thisstage which lasts for several weeks, the activity in thebulb slows down and the follicles start shrinkingtowards the surface.The final stage is the resting stage where the hairgrowth stops. This lasts for about 3 - 4 months after
which new hair grows beneath the old follicle, pushingthe old one out until it is shed. Hence the life cycle ofevery strand of hair is determined by the cycle of thefollicle. This process is spread all over the scalp asthere are approximately 90,000 to 1,50,000 follicleson our scalp and a daily loss of 50-100 hair is quitenormal.
What Is The Speed Of Normal Hair Growth?
The human scalp has some 1, 00,000 – 1, 50,000hair follicles.Each follicle grows a hair continuously for between 2and 7 years, potentially producing a terminal hair inexcess of 1 metre in length.Each scalp follicle on average grows 20-30 hairs in alifetime.About 95% of the follicles on the scalp are in anactive growth phase. The density of the folliclesdecreases with age, from about 500-700 per cm (2) atbirth to 250-350 cm (2) as an adult once the scalparea increases.Although a single hair can grow for years, it’s notliving in the sense that it can repair itself.
What is pH Balance?
A number of international shampoo brands carry acaption which says 'pH balanced shampoo'. But whatis pH balance and how does it actually affect your

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