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Published by Iuliana Comorasu
About our hair (the structure, how it grows, what is good/bad for our hair, and different methods to protect it).
About our hair (the structure, how it grows, what is good/bad for our hair, and different methods to protect it).

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Published by: Iuliana Comorasu on Jan 18, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Hair Care
The Structure of Hair
Like skin, hair too, is a complex cellularstructure made up of a special kind of proteinknown as Keratin.Each strand of hair has two parts The Hair Follicle, which is embedded in thescalp. The Hair Shaft, which is the visible part of yourhair. The hair shaft which is made up of dead cells,has three layers1.The Medulla, the soft, innermost layer.2.The Cortex (surrounding the Medulla),which gives hair its thickness, strength andflexibility. It also contains Melanin - thepigment which determines hair colour.3.The Cuticle, the outermost protective layer. This is a transparent layer of tinyoverlapping scales made of Keratin. It actsas a protective barrier against chemicalsand also prevents excessive evaporation of the moisture essential for soft, supple hair.
 The hair follicle is divided anatomically into:the Infundibulum the Isthmus the Inferiorsegment, which contains the hair bulb The hair follicle is situated during activegrowth, in, or just above, the subcutaneous fatat core temperature. It is protected from anydeleterious effects of materials on the scalp.Only severe scarring or systematic factorsinterfere with hair growth.
How Long Does A Single Hair Live?
Each hair grows from a root. The cells in thehair bulb divide, creating a new hair that willgrow and eventually 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 stagnationperiod of two or three weeks follows, then thehair is discarded over about three months.After a latent period of two to five months, anew cycle begins and a new hair starts to grow. The entire process happens about 25 times inthe 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 forminga hair, the cells of the papilla multiply to formthe hair bulb. As the hair bulb increases in size,these cells stretch themselves to become the
hair shaft, which is what we see. This is theprimary stage of hair growth which lasts forabout 3 - 7 years. The next stage is the transition stage. Duringthis stage which lasts for several weeks, theactivity in the bulb slows down and the folliclesstart shrinking towards the surface. The final stage is the resting stage where thehair growth stops. This lasts for about 3 - 4months after which new hair grows beneaththe old follicle, pushing the old one out until itis shed. Hence the life cycle of every strand of hair is determined by the cycle of the follicle. This process is spread all over the scalp asthere are approximately 90,000 to 1,50,000follicles on our scalp and a daily loss of 50-100hair is quite normal.
What Is The Speed Of Normal HairGrowth?
 The human scalp has some 1, 00,000 – 1,50,000 hair follicles.Each follicle grows a hair continuously forbetween 2 and 7 years, potentially producing aterminal hair in excess of 1 metre in length.

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