You are probably aware that hair follicles are responsible for hair growth. But how well do you know your hair follicles? In order to grow wholesome hair, you must first comprehend the hair follicle meaning and how your follicles work. Continue reading to discover about the functions, anatomy, as well as how to keep your hair follicles healthy.
Defining a hair follicle.
Hair follicles are tiny,microscopic structures found within the skin. Hair follicles are primarily responsible for growth of all the hair on your head, face and body
A hair follicle is basically a tunnel/pipe-like structure present in the epidermal layer (skin's outer layer). A follicle's bottom is where hair first begins to develop. The blood from surrounding blood arteries feed the protein-cell-filled hair root, which is at the base of the hair.
The hair emerges from the epidermis and rises to the surface as the additional cells are produced. Oil is produced by sebaceous glands close to the hair follicles and feeds both the skin and hair.
Various components follicle's cooperate to support hair development, provide your skin with its barrier function, activate nerve endings and serve as a sensitive sense receptor, and produce heat when your body gets cold.
Primary hair follicle function.
Let's first talk about the primary function of hair follicles, which is to produce hair, before moving on to the secondary ones.
Your body is covered in hair follicles, including those on your scalp, face, armpits, genital area, buttocks, as well as the inside of your ears and nose. Your earlobes and forehead, have hair follicles despite not having any visible hair in those regions.
The average length, thickness, and appearance of the hair varies depending on the type of hair follicle and a process known as the hair growth cycle in each of these hair follicles.
Growth cycle of hair
Anagen, catagen, and telogen are the three main phases of the whole hair growth cycle.
Anagen phase: You can witness the growth of your hair during the anagen period. Your follicle's cells divide quickly to produce new hair. This stage is reaches by around 90% of your hair. Depending on genetic factors, the anagen phase might last between 2 and 7 years.
Catagen phase: In comparison to the anagen phase, the catagen phase lasts only for a few weeks. Club hair begins to form when hair stops developing and shields itself from blood supply, which is regarded as a transitional phase.
Telogen phase: Club hair stays in hair roots during the telogen period as new hair grows in its place. Then club hair will eventually fall out after around three months, allowing the hair follicle to produce new hair strands.
NOTE: On average, each person loses about 100 hairs each day during the telogen phase of hair growth.
Secondary hair follicle function
Apart from controlling the hair growth, hair follicles also have an impact on a variety of other things, including:
Hair Shape: Your hair's curly or straight texture depends on your follicle shape. In contrast to oval follicles, which produce curlier hair, circular shaped follicles produce straight hair.
Hair Color: Your hair's color is also affected by the follicles. Your hair receives its pigment from melanin just like your skin does. Eumelanin and pheomelanin are the two different kinds of melanin. Amount of pigment of each pigment you have are determined by your genes. Hair is black when eumelanin levels are high, brown when levels are moderate, and blonde when levels are extremely low. Red hair, is result of good amount of pheomelanin.
As you age, your follicles may become less capable of producing melanin, which leads to the development of white or grey hair.
Hair health: Hair that has been plucked from a hair follicle might grow back. If a hair follicle pulled out or is injured it can stop growing hair. Follicles may completely stop producing hair under the influence of certain disorders, such as alopecia.
Identifying Damaged Hair Follicles
Hair follicle infections
Sometimes your follicles get infected either by undergrowth or ingrown hairs, inflammation and infections due to viruses, fungi, or bacteria or even dandruff. Hair follicle inflammation leads to the common skin ailment known as foliculitis. At first you may encounter a little pimple-like growths on the follicles which can be uncomfortable, painful, and embarrassing. Additionally the infections affects the hair development and spreads and manifests itself as crusty sores.
Thinning and shedding of hair
Hair thinning, which eventually leads to hair loss, is one of the main indicators of damaged hair follicles. A research dipicted in New England Journal of Medicine, damaged hair follicles generally mean an weak hair growth cycle. Hairfall or thin hair can also be a result of hormone imbalances or disorders like alopecia areata, androgenetic alopecia.
Premature Hair Graying
If the hair follicles on your scalp are damaged, it means that its internal matrix is also damaged. Because the matrix contains pigment-producing cells, the damaged follicle may no longer be able to produce pigmented hair and results in premature greying of hair.
Maintaining hair follicle health
Hair follicle growth and maintainance is important in order to get healthy hair. Here are some of the recommendations for you
Keratin, a protein, makes up the hair strands. Consequently, it's crucial to include sufficient protein in your daily diet. Consume lots of chicken, fatty fish, lean steak,to keep your hair follicles functioning normally. In addition to these nutrients, silica, zinc, biotin, iron, and B vitamins and minerals are also helpful for hair development. Eat plenty of protein-rich lentils and green, leafy vegetables if you're a vegetarian. These can be considered ideal follicle foods for hair growth
Maintaining healthy hair follicle function can be achieved by gently rubbing your scalp with your fingertips. Massage improves blood circulations and brings more of nutrient-active blood required for consistent hair growth.
Following are some of the oils that are effective for hair and follicle health
Peppermint oil: Improves blood flow to follicles and expands blood vessels.
Lavender oil: Promotes hair growth while also preventing hair loss and baldness. The use of lavender has also been shown to develop thicker, healthier, and stronger hair strands.
Rosemary oil: For cell rejuvenation, hair follicle regrowth, hair growth and reducing hair thinning.
Tea Tree oil: exherts antibacteriall and antipathogenic properties that protects and treats scalp inflammation and infections. Tea tree oil also unclogs hair follicles, enhances hair growth, and conditions both hair and scalp.
To know more about hair oils refer to our article
Avoid tight hairstyles
Tugging on the hair roots repeatedly damages hair follicles and causes hair breakage. It's best to wear hairstyles that don't cause too much scalp tension, such as a loose ponytail or bun.
Furthermore, reduce or avoid using synthetic relaxers and fake hair to reduce the tugging and hair pulling on your hair shafts.
If you are experiencing unsual hair breakage or thinning refer to our article on the best hair care routine that can help your hair concerns
Treat infections on time
When fungal infections like ringworm, jock itch, and athlete's foot go untreated, they can spread to your scalp. One of the most common problems people face today is dandruff and foliculitis.
If you notice any of the symptoms of a fungal infection or dandruff, or infected hair follicles, it is critical that you treat it as quickly as possible, particularly if your scalp has been affected. Prevent foliculitis spreading as it can damage hair follicles and reduces hair regrowth.
Washing and keeping clean
Maintain your hair follicles by avoiding sebum, germs, dead skin cells, and other unwanted substances from accumulating on your scalp. Staphylococcus aureus a common bacteria that causes scalp infecrions in the form of boils and itchyness. So its necessary to was off such germs.
With oily scalp, you might need to wash your hair every day. If you have a dry scalp, treated hair that dries out quickly, washing your hair every few days may be beneficial.
Choose a mild shampoo developed for hair growth, such as our Hair Thickening Shampoo/serum, to keep your scalp and hair in good condition.
Hair grows from the roots, so improving the health of the scalp and follicles is the key to healthy hair growth.A healthy hair routine entails more than just using the correct shampoo and conditioner and drying method. Healthy hair begins within. Your diet and lifestyle choices also influence whether the follicles are capable and healthy of producing beautiful hair.
Q. How much hair fall is considered normal?
Ans. The generally accepted rule is that you will lose between 50 and 150 strands in a day.
Q. Is it true that as we get older, we lose more hair?
Ans. Unfortunately, yes is the response to this question. As we age, our hair becomes thinner and more fragile, and breaks much more easily than it used to.
This is in in addition to the depletion of protein, vitamins, minerals, and other hormones, which can speed up hair loss and end up making shedding more visible as we age.