What Is A Hair Follicle

What Is A Hair Follicle

Updated at Aug 31, 2023
hair restoration

Hair is one of the first parts people notice about our looks, so it plays a huge role in our self-confidence. Each of your hair strands is made by the hair follicles placed on the scalp. This means your hair health is directly correlated with the health of your scalp and hair follicles. So, it is important to be informed about the hair follicles. Hair follicles are tiny holes on the scalp where hair growth occurs. In other words, hair follicles are tunnel-shaped structures whose main function is hair growth.

The root of your hair is made of a protein called keratin and consumes nutrition from the body by the blood. Therefore, your overall health and diet have a direct effect on the health of your hair follicles, thus hair growth. This is why you encounter diet tips when you search for tips for healthy hair.

Hair Follicle Functions

Aside from promoting hair growth, hair follicles play an important role in deciding how your hair looks and your hair density. So, what is hair density? Your hair density simply refers to how many strands of hair grow per square cm to the size of your scalp. Therefore, hair density is one of the important factors that determine how your hair looks.

Moreover, the shape of your hair follicles is the determining factor of your hair type. For instance, circular hair follicles create straight hair, whereas oval hair follicles create curly hair. Another function of hair follicles is they give color to your hair. If you have a lot of melanin, for instance, you will have black hair. If you have very little melanin, on the other hand, you will be more likely to have blonde hair.

The skin is home to tiny, intricate structures called hair follicles, which are essential to healthy hair growth and development. Hair growth on the surface is the consequence of a cycle of activity in each hair follicle, including growth, rest, and eventual shedding. The complex process of hair growth can be better understood by learning about the roles hair follicles play in the body.

The hair follicle is made up of multiple parts, such as the arrector pili muscle, dermal papilla, sebaceous gland, and hair bulb. There are actively dividing cells in the hair bulb near the follicle's base, which is why hair grows.

There is a constant cycle of growth, rest, and shedding in hair follicles. During the anagen phase, also known as the growth phase, new hair follicles actively form. After this, the hair follicle enters a resting phase called catagen. Last but not least, the telogen phase is the resting phase prior to shedding, when fresh hair growth begins.

What kind of hair grows from a given follicle depends on its shape. Hair grows straight from round follicles, wavy from oval follicles, and curly from flat follicles.

How to Maintain Vibrant Hair Follicles

Strong, lustrous hair growth begins with hair follicles that are kept in good condition. Although genetics play a major influence, there are a number of things you can do to improve the health of your hair follicles.

The cornerstone of strong hair follicles is a diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and proteins. Vitamin E, biotin, zinc, and omega-3 fatty acids are all nutrients that aid in healthy hair growth and development. Include a wide range of nutritious foods in your diet, such as fresh produce, lean meats, whole grains, and healthy fats.

Hair health, like overall health, benefits from drinking plenty of water. If you don't get enough water in your diet, your hair follicles won't get the nourishment they need to thrive.

Hair follicles are easily damaged by harsh brushing, extensive heat styling, and wearing your hair in tight fashions. Detangle damp hair with a wide-toothed comb and use style tools on the lowest heat setting possible. Regular hair washing with a moderate, sulfate-free shampoo will help you maintain a healthy scalp. If your hair follicles are clean, you won't have as much trouble with excessive sebum, which might slow down hair development.

To improve nutrient delivery and oxygen availability to hair follicles, a gentle scalp massage might help. Daily scalp massages using fingertip pressure and circular motions can help promote healthy hair growth.

Prolonged exposure to the sun's UV radiation can cause dryness and breakage by damaging hair follicles. When going outside, protect your hair and face from the sun by using a UV-blocking hair spray or a wide-brimmed hat.

Hair health and hair loss are both negatively impacted by prolonged stress. Meditation, deep breathing exercises, yoga, and time spent in nature are just some of the stress-busting activities you can partake in. Getting enough good sleep is important for several reasons, not the least of which is maintaining healthy hair. Get between seven and nine hours of sleep nightly for maximum benefit to your hair follicles and overall health.

Adopting these habits can help you foster an atmosphere that encourages the growth of strong, resilient hair follicles.

Hair Follicles Diseases

As mentioned, hair follicles are very significant for your hair health. If you do not have healthy hair follicles, you might experience certain hair diseases. Some of the common diseases associated with hair follicles are the followings:

  • Androgenetic Alopecia: Androgenetic alopecia or male pattern baldness is a disorder that affects the hair follicles on the scalp's growth cycles. The hair cycle is delayed and eventually stops. The follicles are no longer capable of producing hair. This can also affect women, and when it does, it is known as female pattern baldness.
  • Folliculitis: Folliculitis is a condition in which the hair follicles become inflamed. Folliculitis is a skin infection that can affect the scalp, armpits, face, arms, or legs. Folliculitis, also known as hair follicle infection, is characterized by little red, yellow, or white pimples on the skin.
  • Telogen Effluvium: Telogen effluvium is a transient hair loss condition. Post-traumatic stress might cause follicles to enter the resting phase too soon. Telogen effluvium can be triggered by childbirth, surgery, illness, or physical or mental trauma.

For people who experience pattern baldness or hereditary hair loss, hair transplant operations are advanced and successful technologies. During hair transplants, hair grafts are taken from the donor areas to be implanted in the balding areas. If you are wondering “what is a hair graft”, hair grafts are the common term used for strips of skin containing more than one hair.

If you are considering a hair transplant surgery, it is normal to have a lot of concerns and confusion. You might be even too doubtful and wonder “does transplanted hair grow”. The medical staff at Asmed will make sure to explain how the procedure takes place and how the success rates of the operation are affected. Experienced surgeons at Asmed will ensure you experience minimum complications and discomfort during and after the surgery. If you need any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to the Asmed team for hair transplant online consultation anytime you want.

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