Hair Follicle Function: The Comprehensive Guide

IJAJ SEIKH
A few days ago I did a hair-related post on my LinkedIn account and below that, I got a comment from Harish Mohammad the comment he made is this-
 
Hair Follicle Function
 
I read this comment and I think most people want to know about hair follicle function. If you are one of those who want to know about hair follicle function.
 
So do not worry, I will explain to you in detail about hair follicle structure and how to make hair stronger and thicker. in this article.
 
Hair Follicle Function
 

 

Hair Follicle Function The Comprehensive Guide  What is a hair follicle
Image Credit: istockphoto.com

 

The hair follicle is an organ found in mammalian skin. It resides in the dermal layer of the skin and is made up of 20 different cell types, each with distinct functions.
 
The hair follicle regulates hair growth via a complex interaction between hormones, neuropeptides, and immune cells. This complex interaction induces the hair follicle to produce different types of hair as seen in different parts of the body.
 
For example, terminal hairs grow on the scalp and lanugo hairs are seen covering the bodies of fetuses in the uterus and some newborn babies. The process of hair growth occurs in distinct sequential stages.
 
The first stage is called anagen and is the active growth phase, telogen is the resting stage, catagen is the regression of the hair follicle phase, exogen is the active shedding of hair phase and lastly, kerogen is the phase between the empty hair follicle and the growth of new hair.
 

Hair follicle structure

The position and distribution of hair follicles change over the body. For example, the skin of the palms and soles does not have hair follicles whereas the skin of the scalp, forearms, legs, and genitalia has abundant hair follicles.
 
Many structures make up the hair follicle. Anatomically, the triad of a hair follicle, sebaceous gland, and arrector pili muscle make up the pilosebaceous unit.
 
A hair follicle consists of :
  • The papilla is a large structure at the base of the hair follicle. The papilla is made up mainly of connective tissue and a capillary loop. Cell division in the papilla is either rare or non-existent.
  • Around the papilla is the hair matrix.
  • A root sheath is composed of an external and internal root sheath. The external root sheath appears empty with cuboid cells when stained with H&E stain. The internal root sheath is composed of three layers, Henle’s layer, Huxley’s layer, and an internal cuticle that is continuous with the outermost layer of the hair fiber.
  • The bulge is located in the outer root sheath at the insertion point of the arrector pili muscle. It houses several types of stem cells, which supply the entire hair follicle with new cells and take part in healing the epidermis after a wound.
 

The Hair Shaft

Your hair shaft is that the part of your hair will be seen above your scalp. It is made from a protein called keratin, compacted, and fused. Keratin is the same material that nails, hoofs, feathers, and claws are composed of Keratin may be a remarkably strong protein, very immune to wear and tear.
 
It is held together by two kinds of bonds: disulfide bonds and hydrogen bonds. disulfide bonds are extremely durable. They are one of the strongest naturally occurring bonds in the world.
 
When you permit or relax your hair, these disulfide bonds are broken and reset into a different configuration. This is what allows you to permanently change the form of your hair.
 
Hydrogen bonds are weaker and more numerous than disulfide bonds. They help give your hair flexibility. When you wet your hair, they’re easily broken and maybe temporarily reset with heat until they become wet again (either from water or humidity).
 
This is what allows you to style your hair with hairdryers and tongs after washing.
 
Your hair shaft consists of three layers:
 
 

The Cuticle(1)

The cuticle is your hair’s protective layer, composed of overlapping cells — like fish scales or roof tiles, but facing downwards. A healthy cuticle is smooth and flat. This provides your hair with shine and protects the inner layers from damage.
 
 It also minimizes the movement of moisture in and out of the underlying cortex, thus maintaining your hair’s hydration balance and adaptability. However, chemical processes and weathering can lift the cuticle and disrupt this balance, causing your hair to become dry and brittle.
 

The Cortex(2)

The cortex forms the foremost bulk and pigment (color) of your hair. It consists of long keratin filaments, which are held together by disulfide and hydrogen bonds. The health of your cortex depends largely on the integrity of the cuticle protecting it.
 

The Medulla(3)

 
The medulla, only present in thicker hair types, is the innermost layer of your hair. It consists of a soft, thin core of transparent cells and air spaces.

Parts of Hair

Hair is a derivative of the epidermis and consists of two distinct parts: the follicle and the hair shaft. The follicle is the essential unit for the generation of hair. The hair shaft consists of a cortex and cuticle cells, and a medulla for a few sorts of hairs.

What does a hair follicle look like?

 
In biological terms, a hair follicle looks like a tunnel-shaped structure situated in the epidermis (outer layer of the skin). Hair growth starts at the bottom of the hair follicle. The root of your hair is made up of protein (keratin) and derives its nutrition from blood from the blood vessels on the skin.
 
 

Hair follicle structure histology

Hair follicles are tubular invaginations of the epidermis, that develop as down growth of the epidermis into the dermis. Hair is made up of columns of dead keratinized cells. The hair has three layers:- These keratinized layers are made by proliferating cells in the hair matrix at the base of the hair follicle.

 

Hair follicle protein structure

Hair is formed of a tough protein called keratin. A follicle anchors each hair into the skin. The hair bulb forms the bottom of the follicle. In the hair bulb, living cells divide and grow to create the hair shaft.

 

Hair follicle skin structure

A hair follicle is a stocking-like structure that contains cells and connective tissue and surrounds the root of a hair. It exists within the dermis(4) and the epidermis(5), the two top layers of the skin. The structure of hair follicles is simple and straightforward, but its functions and its growth cycle(6) are quite complex.

How to make hair stronger and thicker?

Today I will give you 7 tips to make your hair stronger and thicker naturally. If you want to get stronger and thicker hair then please follow these simple steps:-
 
  • Stop over-washing hair: Some people wash their hair every day with chemical shampoo. The chemical shampoo you wash your hair with every day is very harmful to your hair. please stop over-washing your hair with these chemical shampoos. Please wash your hair three times or two times a week with this chemical shampoo. Start using organic shampoos that are chemical-free and organic shampoos help you to make your hair strong and thicker.

 

  • Stop using chemical conditioners: In the same way, chemical conditioners are very harmful to your hair. stop over-using chemical conditioners. “Ramdev said that who is always using conditioner on their hair after applying these on their hair. Hair starts blowing with air and after some years their hair is blowing from their forehead”. please start using organic chemical-free conditioners. Organic conditioners help you to make your hair stronger and thicker.

 

  • Stop using hair straighteners it’s very harmful to your hair. when you use straighteners to straighten your hair it is directly damaged your hair structure and hair follicles and after some years maybe you faced hair fall problems and maybe you lost your hair. so please stop using a straightener.

 

  • stop using hair colors it’s very bad for your hair health. If you use over and over hair colors on your hair it directly damages your hair follicles and health. After some years maybe you faced hair fall problems for this. Because a lot of chemicals are used in hair color. So that after applying color to the hair, it stays for a long time. please stop using hair colors on your hair.

 

  • stop using a hairdryer it’s very harmful to your hair. when you used a hairdryer on your hair at that time your hair going to hotter and hotter and it’s not good for your hair’s health.

 

  • stop using chemical hair oils its very harmful to your hair. chemical hair oils direct effect on your hair roots and health. please stop using chemical hair oil.

 

  • safe your hair from dust&soil, pollution, and sunlight. it’s very harmful to your hair. Because dust&soil, pollution, and sunlight directly damage your hair roots and follicles. please take care of your hair.

 

How do make hair strong from roots?

when I was researching the best way to make hair strong from roots Then I have known a few important things. Those are very important and helpful for you. Now I want to give you some important tips to make your hair strong from the roots. If you want to get strong hair roots then please follow these simple steps:-
 
  • Start using organic hair shampoos, organic hair conditioners, organic hair oil, and organic hair mask. All Organic hair products are very good for your hair health. organic hair shampoos, organic hair conditioner, organic hair oil, and organic hair mask makes your hair healthy and shiny. In daily use, those organic products help you to make your hair follicles healthy and make your hair strong from the roots.
 
  • Please stop using warm water:- When you take warm water from the shower or wash your hair with warm water than it’s very harmful to your hair health. When you wash your hair with warm water its direct effect your hair follicles and scalp. It makes your hair follicle and roots more than weaken. If possible then please maintain your water temperature and set the temperature to room temperature or as low as you can handle it, And wash your hair two or three times a week.
 
  •  keep your diet healthy:- please keep maintain your healthy diet. If possible add some healthy vegetables and fresh fruits to your diet. It very helps full for your hair health. it makes your hair roots and follicles healthy and makes your hair shiny, and one of the most common reasons for hair fall is iron deficiency. So please keep your diet healthy.
 
  • Take a vitamin A, B, C, or E supplement to nourish your hair roots. Take some multivitamins supplements it’s really helpful for your hair health. it makes your hair roots, follicles, and scalp healthy and it helps to make your hair strong and nourished. Don’t take chemical supplements. If possible then take organic vitamin pills, as these will have the highest quality nutrients, and You can also try taking biotin, which can help strengthen your roots.
 

Vitamins to thicken hair

vitamins are most important for your whole body because without vitamins you will go died. Every part of your body is growing through vitamins. Vitamins are really important for your body and also for healthy hair. Today I will give you a list of vitamins and the best sources of those vitamins which are important for your healthy hair follicles, roots, and scalp. please try to eat those vitamins.

 

  • Vitamin A: Your hair needs vitamin A to stay moisturized and grow.

 

5 Vegetables High in Provitamin A:

Sweet Potato (cooked)

 Winter Squash (cooked) 

 Kale (cooked)

Collards (cooked) 

Turnip Greens (cooked) 

5 Fruits High in Provitamin A:

 Mango 

 Cantaloupe 

Pink or Red Grapefruit 

Watermelon

 Papaya 

 

  • B-Vitamins: B-vitamins help carry oxygen and nutrients to your scalp, which aids in hair growth.

 

7 Healthy Foods High in B Vitamins:-

Salmon

Leafy Greens

Liver and Other Organ Meats

Eggs

 Milk

 Beef

Oysters, Clams, and Mussels

 

  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C is needed to make collagen and can help prevent hair from aging.

 

7 Foods That Are High in Vitamin C:-

Kakadu Plums

Acerola Cherries

Rose Hips

Chili Peppers

Guavas

Sweet Yellow Peppers

Blackcurrants

 

  • Vitamin D: Vitamin D’s actual role in hair growth is not understood, but one form of hair loss is linked to deficiencies.

 

7 Healthy Foods That Are High in Vitamin D:-

Salmon

 Herring and sardines

Cod liver oil

Canned tuna

Egg yolks

Mushrooms

Fortified foods

 

  • Vitamin E: Vitamin E helps prevent oxidative stress and boost hair growth.

 

5 Foods That Are High in Vitamin E

Wheat Germ Oil

Sunflower Seeds

Almonds

Hazelnut Oil

Mamey Sapote

  • Iron: Iron deficiency is a major cause of hair loss, especially in women.

 

5 Healthy Foods That Are High In Iron

Shellfish

Spinach

Liver and other organ meats

Legumes

Red meat

 

  • Zinc: The mineral zinc can improve hair growth in people who are deficient in it.

6 Best Foods That Are High in Zinc

Meat

Shellfish

 Legumes

Seeds

 Nuts

Dairy

 

  • Protein: Eating enough protein is important for hair growth, although a protein deficiency is rare in Western countries these days.  

7 Delicious High Protein Foods

Eggs

Almonds

Chicken breast

Oats

Cottage cheese

 Greek yogurt

 Milk

 

How do get thicker hair naturally?

=>Every people want to get thicker hair. So today I will give you some tips and some home remedies that help you to make your hair thicker. so please try these tips and home remedies.
 

3 easy ways to make your hair thicker:-

  • If possible then try to take Massage your hair every day. It makes your hair follicles and scalps healthy. In daily use after some months, you see changes in your hair. It makes your hair thicker and shinier. But listen carefully please massage your hair every day with organic hair oil.
 
  • Cut hair at your shoulders or above: If You have thin hair and you want to get thicker hair then Cut hair at your shoulders or above after that please use some home remedies on your hair it makes your hair thicker.

     

  • Try to take vitamins like A, B, C, D, E and iron, zinc, and protine: If you have thinner hair then try to take vitamins like A, B, C, D, E, and iron, zinc, and protein. It makes your hair thicker. I mentioned earlier in this article some sources of vitamins like A, B, C, D, and E and iron, zinc, and protine. If possible please try to take those vitamins.

 

3 Proven Home Remedies For thicker hair

 
  • Green tea: 
A/Soak two-three teabags in one-two cup of hot water depending on the length of your hair.
When it cools, pour this over your scalp and hair, while gently massaging your head.
C/Rinse with cool water after an hour.
 
  • Aloe vera:
A/Take the stalk of Aloe Vera and extract the pulp.
B/Apply it to your hair and scalp and leave it for about 45 minutes.
C/Rinse with normal water. you can do this three to four times a week to see better results.
 
  • Amla:
A/You can mix lime juice and the amla powder to make a paste.
B/massage it to your scalp and hair.
C/use a shower cap to cover your head so that the paste doesn’t dry out.   
D/keep it for an hour and then rinse it off with shampoo.
 

Conclusion

In this article, I discussed in detail Hair Follicle Function: The Comprehensive Guide
 
I hope It’s helpful for you.
 
If you like this article please share it on social media and comment below if you have any queries related to this article.
 
 

What is the main function of the hair follicle?

Hair follicles produce hair fibers in a regular cycle. As part of their hair-producing role, hair follicles retain stem cells, promote cell growth and tissue invasion, and induce angiogenesis. However, the hair follicle function involves more than just hair fiber production.

what exactly is heat doing to the chemical structure of hair when straightening or curling?

When hair is passed through the iron quickly while being held tight and straight, the extreme heat causes the disulfide bonds to break. This breakage allows the keratin chains to move around slightly and assume a position that results in straightened hair.

what is the structure and function of a root hair cell?

The function of the basic root hair cell is to get water from the bottom and transport this to the Xylem. Plants absorb water from the soil by osmosis. root hair cells are adapted for this by having a large surface area to speed up osmosis.

can the shampoo that you use affect the structure of your hair?

Shampooing has the effect of extracting surface lipid matter, and repeated shampooing could end in damaging structures at the hair surface. These changes might be reflected within the X-ray profiles, particularly the lipid signals.

Sources
aocd.org/page/TelogenEffluviumHA
stemcell.ucla.edu/news/ucla-scientists-identify-new-way-activate-stem-cells-make-hair-grow
mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/folliculitis/symptoms-causes/syc-2036163
10.1111/brv.12151
10.12688/f1000research.7520.
ghr.nlm.nih.gov/condition/androgenetic-alopecia

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