Who’d have thought something as fine as a strand of hair could be so complex?
Here’s a little insight into the composition of your hair:
Papilla at the base of each hair follicle is a structure called the papilla, made mainly of connective tissue and a capillary loop. Cell division in the papilla is rare or non-existent.
Matrix around the papilla, the hair matrix is a collection of closely packed cells often interspersed with pigment-producing cells, known as melanocytes. Cell division in the hair matrix forms the major structures of the hair fibre and the inner root sheath. Of all cell populations in the human body, the hair matrix epithelium is one of the fastest growing.
Root Sheath this structure comprises an external root sheath, a middle layer, and an internal section of dead skin – or ‘cuticle’ – which is continuous with the hair fibre’s outermost layer.
Hair Fibre this is composed of a section of dead skin that is continuous with the root sheath, an intermediate layer, and an inner core.
Other Structures connected to each hair follicle is a sebaceous gland, which generates the oily substance or ‘sebum’ that protects the hair and skin. Arrector pili muscles cause the follicle lissis to become more perpendicular to the surface of the skin. Apocrine glands secrete sweat. Hair follicle receptors sense the position of the hairs.
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