Hair follicles: Function, Anatomy, Conditions & Care

Welcome to the world of hair follicles! Have you ever wondered what lies beneath your luscious locks or thick beard? Well, it’s all thanks to these tiny but mighty structures.

These small cavities play a crucial role in determining our hair texture and shape, and can also signal underlying health issues if not cared for properly.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the function, anatomy, common conditions, and best practices for maintaining healthy hair follicles. Get ready to be amazed by the intricate workings of your hair!

What is a hair follicle?

A hair follicle is a small sac in the skin that produces and contains hair. The hair shaft, which is part of the hair that is visible above the skin, grows out of the follicle. The bottom of the follicle is attached to a blood vessel, which provides it with nutrients.

The cells at the base of the follicle divide and grow to push the older cells up. As they move up, they harden and form the hair shaft. The innermost layer of cells becomes the core of the shaft, while the outer layers make up the protective cuticle.

Hair follicles can be found all over the body, with some areas having more density than others. For example, scalp hair follicles are much closer together than those on the arms or legs.

The function of the hair follicle?

The hair follicle is a tubular structure that extends from the surface of the skin into the dermis. It is from here that the hair shaft, which is made up of dead keratinocytes, grows.

The hair follicle has several important functions. It provides a pathway for nutrients to reach the cells of the hair shaft and it also protects the growing hair shaft from damage.

The hair follicle is also responsible for producing new hair. When a hair falls out, it is replaced by a new one that grows from the same follicle.

Hair growth phases

The hair growth cycle consists of three phases: anagen, catagen, and telogen.

Anagen is the growth phase. This phase can last for several years. During this phase, the cells in the hair follicle divide rapidly to create new hair.

Catagen is the transitional phase. This phase lasts for about 2-3 weeks. During this phase, the hair follicle shrinks and the outer sheath of the hair follicle attaches to the base of the hair shaft.

Telogen is the resting phase. This phase lasts for about 2-3 months. During this phase, the hair follicle remains dormant. The old hair falls out and a new hair begins to grow in its place.

Location of hair follicles

Hair follicles are structures in the skin that grow and nurture hair. The location of hair follicles is usually determined by genetics, but can also be affected by environment and lifestyle.

There are three main types of hair follicles: terminal, villus, and intermediate.

  • Terminal hair follicles are the largest and produce the thickest, longest hairs.
  • Vellus hair follicles are much smaller and produce very fine, short hairs.
  • Intermediate hair follicles fall somewhere in between these two extremes.

The location of hair follicles can have a big impact on the type of hair that grows.

For example, people who have terminal hair follicles on their heads will typically have thicker, longer hair than those with vellus or intermediate follicles.

The location of facial hair follicles also affects the type of facial hair that a person will grow – people with terminal follicles on their face will usually have thicker beards, while those with vellus or intermediate facial hair follicles will generally have thinner facial hair.

The location of body hair follicles is also determined by genetics but can be impacted by factors such as age, hormones, and ethnicity.

For example, many elderly people experience a thinning of body hair due to reduced testosterone levels.

Organs located near hairy areas (such as the armpits) may also affect the density and distribution of body hair.

Can hair follicles from the body be transplanted on the scalp?

Hair follicles are an important part of the body. They are responsible for producing hair and keeping it healthy. When hair follicles become damaged, they can no longer produce hair. This can lead to hair loss.

There are two types of hair follicles: those on the scalp and those on the body. Scalp hair follicles are much larger than body hair follicles.

Body hair follicles can be transplanted to the scalp, but they will not grow as well as scalp hair follicles. The reason for this is that body hair follicles are not as strong as scalp hair follicles.

Body hair follicle transplants can be useful for people who have lost all their scalp hair due to a medical condition such as alopecia totalis or alopecia universalis. However, the results of body hair transplantation are not as good as the results of scalp transplantation.

Difference between hair follicles on the scalp & body

Hair follicles on the scalp are generally longer and thicker than those on the body. They also grow faster and are more resistant to shedding. The hair follicles on the scalp are also more densely packed than those on the body.

The main difference between hair follicles on the scalp and those on the body is their size. Hair follicles on the scalp are typically much larger than those on the body.

This is due to the fact that hair on the head is generally much longer and thicker than hair elsewhere on the body. Additionally, scalp hair follicles tend to grow faster and be more resistant to shedding than other types of hair follicles.

Finally, scalp hair follicles are usually much more densely packed together than hair follicles on other parts of the body.

What is a hair follicle made of?

The hair follicle is made up of cells that produce the hair shaft, which is composed of the protein keratin. The cells of the hair follicle are arranged in a spiral pattern around the central axis of the follicle.

The outermost layer of cells called the epithelium, is composed of two types of cells: those that produce the hair shaft and those that form the inner Root Sheath.

The cells that make up the hair shaft are called matrix cells. These cells divide and grow to create new hairs. As they grow, they push older hairs out of the follicle.

The cells that make up the inner Root Sheath are called Dermal Papilla Cells. These cells help to nourish and anchor the hair follicle in place.

The wall of the hair follicle is made up of three layers: an inner layer called the Inner Root Sheath, a middle layer called the Outer Root Sheath, and an outer layer called the Epidermis. Each layer has a different composition and serves a different purpose.

The Inner Root Sheath is made up of two layers: an inner layer called the Cuticle and an outer layer called the Cortex.

The Cuticle is composed of tough, protective proteins that help to keep your hair healthy and prevent damage.

The Cortex is responsible for giving your hair its strength, elasticity, and colour.

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Cult Aesthetics is a Cosmetic Surgery chain based in Gurgaon & Delhi. Our journey began in 2019 and under Dr. Gaurav Solanki’s leadership and within a span of 3 years we’ve built a name that many centres seldom make in a decade!

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