It can be so annoying when you find your hair fall out while you are combing. Hair loss is one of hair problems which most people experience. They will try their best to overcome it by buying lots of hair loss treatments in the supermarket. However, sometimes the treatment does not work. Know your hair first, then you can maintain everything to do with yout hair.
The hair origin
Probably you want to know when the hair grow during the infant stage. It is in the 22nd week when the hair follicles are formed. Around 5 millions of hair follicles appear all around the body. Among 5 millions, 1 million of the hair follicles are found on the head. As we grow old, the density of our scalp hair decreases due to the scalp expansion. This condition causes hair loss.
Getting to know hair follicles
Hair follicles reside in the skin. Hair follicle can be described as a tunnel which extends from the epidermis to the dermis. This tunnel consists of several layers. Each layer has its own function. The first structure is the papilla. Papilla can be found at the base of the follicle. Papilla is where capillaries lay and nourish the cells. The second layer is the bulb. The bulb is described as the very bottom part which sorrounds the follicle. Bulb cells divide every 23 to 72 hours which is faster compared to other body cells. The third or the last layer is the sheaths. Follicle owns two sheaths, the names of which are inner and outer sheaths. The functions of the sheaths are to protect and form the hair shaft. The inner sheath stretches from the hair shaft to the part below the opening of oil gland (sebaceous) or even scent gland (apocrine). The outer sheath stretches to the gland. You can find an erector pili muscle below the gland and continues to a fibrous layer around this sheath. This muscle contraction stimulates the hair to stand up and the sebaceous gland to secrete oil. The sebum produced by the sebaceous gland acts as the conditioner to the hair and skin. During our puberty, our body produces more sebum. Otherwise, as we grow old, less sebum is produced. The amount is lesser compared to that of men.
Your hair shaft
Another hair structure besides hair follicle is hair shaft. The three-layered shaft is made of hard protein namely keratin. The three layers of the hair shaft are named as the medulla (the inner layer), cortext (the second layer), and cuticle (the outer layer). The cortex forms the majority of our hair shaft. Together with medulla, cortex determines the hair color. The outer layer, or the cuticle is a tight structure which appears as shingle-like overlapping scales.
The cycle of hair growth
The cycle is formed of three stages. They are anagen, catagen, and telogen.
Anagen is the phase where the cells in the hair root divide rapidly. When a new hair is formed, it pushes the hair which has stopped growing from the follicle causing the hair falls out. During this anagen phase, our hair can grow around 1 cm every 28 days. The active growing phase can last for two to six years. However, not all people have the same duration of active phase.
Catagen is the formation of our club hair. The growth of the new hair ends and the outer sheath shrinks attaching to the root of the hair.
Telogen can be described as the resting or shedding phase. This phase lasts about 100 days to 6% or 8% of the hair. Unlike the hair on the scalp, other types of hair such as eyebrow, eyelash, or hair on the arm pit have longer time for the telogen phase to last. Shedding phase occurs in around 25 to 100 of our hair the each day.