We all are concerned about our hair. Everyone wishes to have hair that is healthy inside out. Hair attributes to your personality and appearance by making you socially presentable. The world today has become a very unhealthy place to live in. The pollution and the diet have deteriorated our overall health including the condition of our hair.
To understand the mechanism of how your hair functions and reacts to external stimuli you have to understand the basics of the hair follicle. The hair follicle is responsible for the overall functioning of the hair.
What is Hair Follicles?
Hair follicles are the way through which the hair comes out. They are small holes that can be seen on the top-most layer of the skin, the epidermis. You are born with all the hair follicles and they do not grow in number with age. There are 5000,000 hair follicles present on the skin of a human body.
The whole surface of your skin has pocketed hair follicles and hair follicle growth except for the lips, palms, and soles. The hair follicles growth involves hormones, cells, and hair keratin protein elements. There are various factors to stimulate the hair follicles growth that will let your hair grow healthy. This article will guide you through the basic functionality, cycle, and life of hair follicles. You will guide to deal with the hair follicle issues.
Hair Follicle Function
The hair follicles is responsible for the hair follicle growth. Stimulation of hair follicles can improve the way your hair can grow. The nourishment the hair follicles receives can help the growth of the hair and even improve its structure.
A sebum-gland that produces natural oils is attached at the top to the follicles that help in nourishing the hair and skin. This is the sebaceous gland. The more sebaceous gland a skin has the thicker your hair grows.
The root of the follicle is made from hair keratin which is the hair keratin protein cells. These cells are nourished with the blood supplied from the blood vessels. The more cells are packed together the more hair your body will grow.
The hair follicle growth therefore depends upon the blood vessels that feed that hair follicle. The more nourished the hair follicles gets it will push the hair out from the topmost layer of your skin causing it to grow. When the hair follicles pushes the hair out that passes the sebum-producing gland, sebaceous which nourishes the hair on its way out.
Hair Follicle cycle
The hair on your body grows in phases. The follicle has a cycle of three phases.
- The Anagen Phase:
The first phase is the hair follicle growth phase. The hair keratin protein cells present in hair follicles divide rapidly causing it to grow. The hair follicle growth phase lasts from 2 – 7 years then it becomes inactive. The hair follicle growth phase will enable your hair to grow from 18 to 30 inches. This phase of the cycle depends on the age, genetics, and health of an individual.
- The Catagen Phase:
The second phase is the shortest phase that may last from 2 to 4 months. The hair follicle growth slows down as the cells stop dividing and the hair follicles detach themselves from the blood vessels. This detachment causes the supply of blood to stop affecting the nourishment the follicle needs. The hair stops to grow. This hair is named club hair. This phase is the transitional phase.
The Telogen Phase:
The telogen phase is the phase when your hair falls out. There is nothing to worry about as it is a natural process. You should be alarmed only if you lose patches of hair at once as each hair follicles has an independent cycle. Each follicle is different and they go through their cycle. The natural process allows the loss of 50-100 hairs each day. Meanwhile, the other hair follicles may be in the first growing phase- The Anagen phase or the resting phase- The Catagen Phase.
Stimulating Hair Follicles for hair regrowth
The stimulation of hair follicles is possible to improve your hair grow suggests the research of Biol Rev Camb, 2015.
This research suggests for healthy hair follicle growth, the hair follicles should be longer in the Anagen phase. The longer it stays in the first stage of the cycle the better your hair will grow. This can be boosted by a healthy diet, lifestyle, avoiding hair damage through styling and pollution. Attention to these elements will prevent the follicle cycle disruption. If not taken care of; the hair may get damaged or break before it completes its cycle.
The article also stresses the third phase of the hair cycle. In the Telogen phase, the hair has the potential to regenerate and result in extra growth. In this phase, you can indulge yourself in various ways to make your dead follicles alive.
The life of Hair Follicle
The hair follicle growth is not solely dependent upon the follicle's life but on the overall health of a person. If you are aware of your lifestyle, diet, styling, and pollution and the impact it can have on the health of your hair; you will put an effort to avoid those factors which will help to extend the life of your hair follicle cycle. This will ultimately result in healthier hair.
Follicles are more responsible for the appearance of your hair. The texture and color of your hair depend on the hair follicle. The pigment of the hair is determined by the melanin present in the follicles' cells. When you age your follicles lose the ability to store the melanin causing the hair to lose its color. Eventually, your hair turns gray.
The texture of the hair is determined by the shape of your hair follicles. The circle follicles generate straight hair and the oval ones generate curlier hair.
Damaged hair follicles might disrupt hair regrowth. But if you pull your hair out of the follicle; there is the possibility that your hair can re-grow. The damaged and blocked hair follicles can be treated for hair regrowth. But if your follicles are dead unfortunately the probability of re-growing your hair diminishes. Follicles do not die at once. It deteriorates with time. Therefore it is advised to treat your hair follicle issues before your follicles are dead.
Hair Follicle Issues
The hair follicle like any other part of our body may be affected due to some external stimuli causing it in severe hair loss conditions. Some serious conditions that affect hair regrowth and hair follicle growth due to follicle issues are listed.
The baldness characterized by slowing hair cycles causing the hair follicles to weaken and eventually stopping hair regrowth is ‘androgenetic alopecia’. This is often termed as male pattern baldness. The follicles eventually stop producing any new hair even after telogen phase. This is seen in the scalp follicle.
This disease is caused due to the autoimmune system present in the human body. Your body can fight foreign bodies when it enters your system. Unfortunately, the follicle cells are often attacked by the immune system as it mistakes it for a foreign body! This causes hair loss in clumps and patches. This is also a scalp follicle condition.
The inflammation of the hair follicles leads to this issue. It is not limited to the follicles of your scalp but wherever your body has follicles; this condition can be observed. This condition results in bumps and rashes on your skin that may be red, white, or yellow. It may be itchy and cause hair loss.
This is a temporary hair loss due to stress and tension causing your hair to thin and eventually fall out. The hair falls out in clumps or patches mostly from your scalp but in extreme cases from other parts of your body as well. This might include the armpit region and the pubic area. Sometimes it is caused due to hormones mostly in pregnant women, illness, surgery, or even a new medication.
This is a very common issue of the hair follicle often ignored. The blocked or clogged pores of the follicle prevent the hair to push out and it grows under the skin. This is called- ingrown hair. It affects the appearance of the skin as it doesn't appear flawless and healthy.
Hair follicle treatment
It is always advised to visit dermatologists if any of the above condition or hair follicle issue is observed. In addition to the medical recommendation given by your dermatologists, some natural measures can stimulate the hair follicles and help the hair to regrow.
- Massage your scalp with the natural and essential oils which will stimulate the blood supply and eventually nourish your follicles
- The use of aloe vera, yogurt, and egg whites can help in the hydration of your skin which will help your follicle to get nourishment in addition to the sebum-gland.
- Maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle
- Avoid brushing your hair vigorously that can damage your follicles resulting in it not producing hairs.
The hair follicles are important to improve the health of your hair. It is advised to stay aware of the health of your follicles. A healthy follicle will determine healthy hair. To maintain the natural cycle of hair growth; the health of the follicle should be paid attention to. To remove the damages and hair loss it is necessary to treat supplements that can repair the damaged hair follicles intensely. Different customized products are available for treating suggested by the experts.
The external layer, dermis, or scalp hair follicle should be treated with suitable products. The hair fall treatment for hair follicles if carried out at the early phase can improve and strengthen hair regrowth. Suffering from pollution has made it a necessity to use customized products that can provide better health.
The products are prepared after the diagnosis of the condition of the hair follicle. The deficiency in the body and nutrition including food habits are responsible for hair loss. As each person’s health differs from another person, so the condition of hair. It becomes important to use according to the requirement of their body and hair. The scalp hair follicles strengthen with the hair follicle growth of the hair each time of the use of the products.
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