The Anatomy of Hair


The Hair Root
Similar to a tree or a plant, there is more to a strand of hair than what you can actually see from above the scalp. Found below the skin, the hair root is contained in a tubelike structure called the hair follicle. New cells are created in the hair root. As they enlarge and divide, they are pushed up and out, causing visible hair growth. You may be surprised to know that once your hair is visible, it becomes dead tissue. In this respect, hair is similar to the tips of your fingernails


The Hair Shaft

Each strand of hair has two main components: the hair shaft and the root. The shaft is formed from the old cells that are pushed out as a result of new cell growth in the root.

By understanding the components which make up a strand of hair (and their functions), we can more easily treat and rejuvenate damaged areas. The parts of the hair are divided into three segments which include the cuticle, the cortex and the core. 1) The Cuticle: forming the outer layer, the cuticle is made up of hard, transparent cells that overlap each other like the scales of a fish. General hair condition is largely determined by the condition of the cuticle, since it is the layer giving elasticity and resiliency to the hair. 2) The Cortex: forming the middle layer, the cortex is protected by the cuticle and consists of rope-like protein fibres. If the cuticle is damaged, the cortex becomes exposed, allowing for moisture loss. When this happens the cortex unravels, causing split ends and damaged hair. 3) The Medulla, or the core, is the supporting structure for a strand of hair. It is interesting to note that the medulla can be absent or interrupted without weakening the hair strand



The Life Cycle of Hair
The Life Cycle of Hair Hair grows in three phases: The first is the anagen or growth phase. This is a period of very rapid keratin (protein) production. The average rate of human hair growth is about 1/100 of an inch per day. The next stage is the catagen or transitional phase. This period lasts only a few weeks during which the follicle winds down its rapid metabolism, shrinks, wrinkles and contracts. At this point, it finally stops producing keratin. The final stage, known as the telegon or resting phase, occurs when the follicle stops shrinking. This period usually lasts from 3-4 months. During this time, the hair rests in the follicle until it is physically dislodged by brushing, washing, combing, or massaging. When a hair reaches the end of its life, it falls out and is replaced by a new hair which grows in the same follicle as the old one. At any given time, approximately 10-15% of your hair is in the telegon or resting phase. The remaining 85-90% is in the anagen or growth phase. A problem occurs when the percentage of hairs in the telegon or resting phase is increased over and above the norm. My hair care program can help to prolong the anagen (growth) phase. You will notice a reduction in the amount of hair loss as well as new hair growth.

Replacement of new hair