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Hair Anatomy

Each of our hair is composed of a special, strong protein called keratin. Hair is actually an elongated keratinized structure. Keratin is resistant to wear and tear. It is also present in our nails and outer layer of skin. Similar to other proteins, it is also made up of amoino acids. Chain like formation of amino acids leads to hair structure.

Normally single hair diameter is around 0.05-0.09 mm. Each hair arises from an indentation on the epidermis, it is the outer layer of the skin.

The hair has two parts: the hair follicle and the hair shaft.

Hair Follicle

The hair follicle is the point below the surface of the skin from which the hair grows. It enclosed the hair root and of cup shaped. Its terminal part is called hair bulb. Hair bulb is formed by growing cells which are responsible for producing long, cylindrical shaped hair fibers. Hair color is also due to pigment produce by some special cells in hair bulb. These special cells are called melanocytes and pigment is called melanin.

Hair bulb cells also contain androgens, known to be the receptors of the male harmones. Hair bulb base is called as dermal papilla, which is responsible for growing hair nourishment. Among the glands near the hair bulb, sebaceous gland is the most important which produces and secretes the natural oils lubricating hairs, namely sebum.

Hair Shaft

Hair shaft is the hair what we see with our eyes. Hair shaft is that part of hair which is above the skin. It is made of dead cells which now turned into keratin and other binding material, together with small amont of water. Thats why we do not feel pain during a hair cut.
Each hair strand has three layers.

  1. An innermost layer or medulla which is only present in large thick hairs.
  2. The middle layer known as the cortex. The cortex provides strength and both the color and the texture of hair.
  3. The outermost layer is known as the cuticle. The cuticle is thin and colorless and serves as a protector of the cortex.

Hair Science