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Structure of Hair

Hair is complicated and beautiful, your hair strands cannot feel, but you can feel when your hair’s roots move or get pulled. Your hair enhances your beauty and, at the same time, protects you from dust particles. Hair defines your personality and allows you to express yourself through a beautiful hairstyle. And the most fascinating part is that hair can revitalize itself without a mark and with just a little care. This article will give you an understanding of the structure of the hair.

Hair is composed of two distinct components. The hair follicle is located beneath the skin, whereas the hair shaft is visible above the skin.


Hair Follicle

The hair follicle is where your hair grows and is retained in place. It involves a two-layer structure that begins in the epidermis, the top layer of your skin, then extends to the dermis, the second layer of skin. The papilla is a patch of tissue at the bottom of the follicle that contains microscopic blood veins (capillaries). These nurture the hair root, allowing it to develop. The innermost framework, where cells produce new hairs, is also found in the follicle. The sebaceous gland produces oil that nourishes the hair, and the skin is found near the hair follicle.

Hair follicles have a diverse function; their function includes determining the length of hair growth, the appearance of the hair, and the curl type of the hair. If you have circular follicles, you will have straight hair, and if you have oval follicles, you will have curlier hair.

Hair follicles also contribute to the color of your hair. Your hair, like your skin, obtains its hue from the presence of melanin. Melanin is classified into two types: eumelanin and pheomelanin. The presence of eumelanin or pheomelanin and the quantity of each pigment are determined by your genes. Hair is black when there is plentitude of eumelanin, brown when there is a reasonable quantity of eumelanin, and blonde when there is very little eumelanin.

In contrast, pheomelanin makes the hair red. The follicle cells act as a storage for melanin, therefore determining the color of the hair. When you grow, your hair turns grey or white, and it is because follicles can lose their ability to produce melanin.

Hair can regenerate after it is pulled out of the hair follicle. A follicle that has been injured may stop generating hair. Alopecia, for example, can cause follicles to cease generating hair entirely.


Hair Shaft

The hair shaft is the visible part of the hair, which is the hair strands that grow beyond the skin’s surface and comprises three layers of keratin, a hardening protein. The three layers are Cuticle, cortex, and medulla.

The Cuticle is the protective layer of the hair; it consists of cells that appear like fish scales/ roof tiles facing downwards. It is formed by layers of keratinized cells, and these cells are known as Cuticle.

The Cortex: This section is in charge of forming your hair’s primary bulk and pigment (color). It comprises long keratin filaments linked together by disulfide and hydrogen bonds. The health of your cortex is heavily reliant on the health quality of the Cuticle that protects it.

The Medulla: It is only present in the thicker hair; it’s pretty unfortunate, as it is the innermost layer of the hair, which includes transparent cells and air voids forming a soft, thin core. The medulla is surrounded by the cortex.


To recap, let’s summarize the article. Hair is composed of two distinct components, hair follicle, and hair shaft. The hair follicle is like a dual-layered structure and is where your hair grows and is retained in place. The follicle includes sheaths that structure the hair, oil glands that condition the hair, and cells that make new hair. And the hair shaft is the section of the hair visible above the skin. It may have three layers: medulla, cortex, and Cuticle.


Thank you for reading. Stay Happy. Stay Safe.


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