All about Hair Follicles
Table of contents
Hair follicles are a part of the skin that enables to make and grow hair, by collectively packing the old cells. The top of the hair follicle is connected with the sebaceous glands which are minute sebum-generating glands in entire skin except on the foot soles, palms and lips. Stem cells are at the intersection of follicle and the arrector pili, and are chiefly accountable for the continuous hair production during the Anagen stage.
The human hair follicle is a fascinating formation. Its structure can ne typically divided into 3 parts; lower segment (suprabulb and bulb), middle segment (isthmus), and the upper segment (infundibulum). The lower segment stretches out from the foundation of the follicle to the junction of the arrector pili muscle. The middle segment is a comparatively short portion that elongates from arrector pili’s insertion to the introduction of the sebaceous gland duct. The upper segment stretches out from the entrance of the sebaceous gland duct to the follicular orifice.
Hair Anatomy rests on the histologic characteristics of the hair follicle that keeps changing uninterruptedly and substantially during the hair growth cycle, by that making follicular anatomy even more compounded.
The size of hair follicles ranges considerably during the existence of the follicles. Anagen hairs differ in size from massive terminal hairs, like those on the scalp, to the tiny vellus hairs that covers the complete glabrous skin (leaving lips, palms and soles).
Under hormonal persuasions, the vellus hair follicles usually get dark and coarse at puberty in the male beard region. The terminal hairs on an adult’s scalp can experience convolution miniaturization that means to become vellus. Although terminal hairs are largely outnumbered by vellus hairs, but the former are more important.
The follicular life cycle can be classified into 3 phases
It is also known as growth phase since most hair is growing and spends several years in this phase.
- The phase marks active growth
- About 84% of scalp hairs are in the this phase
- Lasts nearly 3-4 years
A transitional phase in which hair growth slows down and hair follicle shrinks for several weeks.
- This is the phase of follicular regression
- Holds 1-2% of hairs
- lasts approximately 2-3 weeks
A resting phase in which hair growth stops and the old hair separates from the hair follicle. A new hair initiates the growth phase, pushing out the old hair.
- The phase illustrates resting period
- 10-15% hairs are in the phase
- Lasts about 3 months.
Hair Follicle Aging: Hair changes with Hair Follicle Age
Hair growth is different in different people. Hair and nails both tend to change with aging.
Hair color change
The pigment cells producing melanin in the hair follicle is actually from where do hair cells get their color. And as we age, pigment cells die, and hair turns gray and eventually turning white.
Body and facial hair also convert gray, but generally later than scalp hair. However, hair in the pubic area, chest and armpit barely turn gray.
White people are likely to obtain gray hair earlier than Asians. Nutritional supplements, vitamins, and other products will not pause or reduce the rate of graying.
Change in Hair thickness
Hair is made up of different proteins. A single hair has an average shelf life of 2-7 years. That hair falls out and is replaced by a new hair. Like hair color, hair density on scalp, face and body is also determined by your genes.
With aging, hair strands become smaller, thinner and have less pigment. So the thick hair of a young adult converts into thin, light-colored hair as time passes. Hair lose its density and the scalp becomes visible.
Many hair follicles in fact stop producing new hairs. Men begin to shows signs of balding in 30’s while women in their late 40’s.
Hair follicles in Hair Restoration
Hair starts growing from a root at the base of the follicle. The hair root is made up of protein cells. The roots are nourished by the blood flowing through the blood vessels in the scalp which produces more cells and makes the hair grow. Hair is then pushed up through the skin as it grows, transferring an oil gland along the way.
Laser therapy can help hair follicles re-growth, but once the follicle is dead, the only option for re-growth is a hair transplant.