About Hairs

About Hairs

Our hair is the most important parts of your body. Hair is made of protein known as keratin, which grows from follicles found in the dermis, part of skin. The human body, except the palms of the hands and soles of the feet is covered with follicles which produce thick terminal and fine vellus hair – short, fine, lightly colored and barely noticed hair that develop everywhere on the human body. Hair often refers to two distinct structures: the part beneath the skin is called a hair follicle or when pulled from the head is called a bulb.

Hair grows from hair follicle located in the dermis. While hair is growing beneath the epidermis, its outer covering is soft. Once it goes past the epidermis, outer side layer hardens into keratin. Inside the hair follicle, the hair is growing and is connected to blood vessels and nerves.

Hair has three parts : ROOT, SHAFT, and TIP


The part that was growing in the follicle. This is the widest part of hair.


The middle of the length of hair (from root to tip).


The end of the hair farthest away from the root.



The cuticle is the surface layer of the hair; this layer protects the inner structure of the hair. The cuticle is made up of transparent, protective-like scale cells.


The cortex is the middle layer of the hair that provides strength and support; contains pigments that give hair its color.


The medulla is the innermost layer of the hair shaft; it is only present in fully grown hair.

Hair Follicle Cycle

Hair growth on your scalp is around six inches per year. Hair growth will be around 0.03 to 0.04 mm only. Hair growth is random. Growth is neither cyclical or seasonal. This involves three stages : (1). Anagen, (2). Catagen, and (3). Telogen.


This is the active hair growth phase. Growth of new hairs is done and hair follicles push out new hairs out of your follicles.

The hair growth during this growth phase will remain for about two to six years. There might be a problem of hair growing beyond certain length. This is due to the short phase of growth (Anagen).

Long hair is due to long phase of growth. Also there is short active hair growth phase on arm pits, limbs, eyelashes, and eyebrows about 30-45 days. Active phase of growth is not warranted at these regions.


This is the transitional phase. Atagen is the phase that follows active hair growth phase called Anagen.

Once anagen phase gets completed your hair undergoes a transitional stage. About three per cent of your hair undergoes a transitional process at any given period of time.

This phase will lasts for about a period of three to four weeks. During catagen hair growth gets stopped. The outer sheath of your hair root undergoes a shrinking process. Then your hair gets attached firmly.


This is the resting phase. Telogen is the phase that follows a transitional phase called Catagen. There is a resting period for your hair.

About 10-15 per cent of all your hairs undergo a resting process at any given period of time. Telogen is the resting phase and accounts for 10-15% of all hair.

This phase will last for about a period of 100 days (on your scalp) and it will be more than 100 days for hair on your limbs, armpits, eyelashes, eyebrows etc.

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There is much debate on this topic. While the link between certain forms of hair loss and the immune system is well-accepted, there is also evidence for a connection between the immune system and pattern loss (androgenic or androgenetic alopecia). In line with this, it appears that male hormones--especially DHT--trigger an autoimmune response in pattern loss, initiating an attack on the hair follicle that can be observed microscopically. This results in destructive inflammation that gradually destroys the follicle's ability to produce terminal hair. The reason for this could be that androgens somehow alter the follicle, causing it to be labeled as a foreign body. A possibly related factor is that elevated androgens also trigger increased sebum (oil) production, which can favor an excessive microbial and parasitic population, also leading to inflammation. In any case, hair progressively miniaturizes under the withering autoimmune attack, so that with each successive growth cycle it gets shorter and thinner until it finally turns into tiny unpigmented vellus hair (peach fuzz). In men, balding typically follows the classic horseshoe pattern known as male pattern baldness or MPB, though diffuse thinning can also occur. It has been noted that both the number of androgen receptors and the level of 5-alpha reductase, which converts testosterone to DHT, are higher in susceptible areas than in the rest of the scalp. Women's hair loss tends to be diffuse but is also primarily hormonally driven. The story of balding is, however, not the story of androgens alone. Rather male pattern hair loss appears to have multiple causes. For instance, damage to blood vessel linings can inhibit a growth factor they ordinarily produce: endothelium-derived relaxing factor (EDRF) or nitric oxide (NO). Minoxidil probably works in part by mimicking this growth factor. Similarly it has been noted that severe baldness is strongly correlated with heart disease and even diabetes, so there appears to be some common etiology outside of the strictly androgen paradigm for male pattern hair loss. There are likely other factors as well.

Dihydrotestosterone (DHT) is produced from the male hormone testosterone by the enzyme 5-alpha reductase. DHT is the androgen thought to be most responsible for the type of hair loss also known as male pattern baldness. DHT has a very high affinity for the androgen receptor and is estimated to be five to ten times more potent than testosterone. Other androgens that may be significant in pattern loss include androstenedione, androstanedione and DHEA (especially in women). All of these fall into hormonal pathways that can potentially result in elevation of DHT downstream via various enzymes. It is possible that certain DHT metabolites may play a role in male pattern hair loss as well.

There is no simple answer to this. No one treatment offers spectacular hair growth for all people who use it. However, there are a few treatments that yield decent results for a majority of people. (Decent is defined here as cessation of further hair thinning and perhaps some regrowth, ranging from a little to moderate.) Some people do respond unusually well--but then some don't respond at all. Most fall somewhere in between. Since there are multiple factors in male pattern hair loss, it is wisest to approach the problem from several angles to maximize results, as some treatments are complementary and address different underlying causes. A common fundamental approach is to use an "antiandrogen" of some kind, whether systemic (such as finasteride) or topical (such as spironolactone or azelaic acid), and a growth stimulant such as minoxidil (Rogaine). To this basic program many add a topical SOD. Other options include therapeutic shampoos, such as the antimicrobial and growth stimulant shampoos. Still other approaches that may help include dietary and nutritional considerations and even lifestyle modifications. There are many adherents to such a "kitchen sink" approach. You can also start with a single hair loss treatment, though due to the long lag time before you can actually verify efficacy, this can be very hit and miss and may bring less than optimal results by only addressing one aspect of a larger problem.

At least 2-3 months, though usually significantly longer. Many do not notice any apparent improvements until well after a year. Best results are often seen after the two-year mark. This is because hair follicles undergo a relatively long dormancy period in between hair growth cycles (usually about 3 months). In addition, hair only grows about 1/2 inch per month in non-thinning areas and usually considerably slower in thinning areas. Since it generally takes several cycles of growth/fallout/regrowth, with the hair getting thicker and longer each time, it can take a great deal of time to see noticeable improvement. Note that best regrowth results are seen with hair that was lost within the last five years and in areas of the scalp in which there is still some fine hair.

Sometimes stress can play a role in diffuse loss. Stress-induced loss ordinarily regrows within a year of eliminating the cause. In the absence of any prolonged emotional or physical trauma that has noticeably affected your overall health, stress is not likely the cause. Crash dieting, medical conditions, certain medications, pregnancy, and other major life changes can initiate stress-shedding however. In some cases extreme emotional tension for prolonged periods of time can have an effect as well.

Both medications contain finasteride and are made by the same company, Merck. They differ only in strength. Propecia has 1 mg of finasteride, while Proscar has 5 mg. Proscar has been around for a while for the treatment of prostate enlargement, which, like male pattern hair loss, has been linked to DHT. Because of the price disparity between the two medications, some people procure Proscar and divide the tablets into smaller dosages instead of buying Propecia.

Some people divide them with a pill splitter (available at any pharmacy), some crush and dissolve them in alcohol (such as Everclear, whiskey or others), and some crush and encapsulate them along with a filler to remove the air from the capsule.

No. Originally Merck decided to err on the side of caution and warned against the possible problem of finasteride transfer in semen. This warning has since been removed. At issue is the theoretical danger that there could be genital birth defects in the male fetus. However, women who are or could get pregnant should avoid finasteride ingestion and the handling of broken finasteride tablets.

Superoxide dismutase. This is an enzyme produced by the body to neutralize the superoxide radical. Superoxide is a messenger of inflammation and is involved in the body's autoimmune response. It exists in a yin-yang relationship with nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a vasodilator that appears to be important for hair growth, while superoxide is a vasoconstrictor that may be part of the signaling mechanism that tells hair to stop growing. Superoxide can also interact with nitric oxide to form a highly destructive free radical called peroxynitrite, which causes protein and lipid oxidation. A few hair loss products contain copper peptides, which are SOD mimetics; i.e., mimic the effects of the body's SOD enzyme. SOD-containing products have been noted a number of times by researchers to stimulate hair growth and block hair loss in mice. Recent study data on Tricomin, a copper peptide SOD, indicates increased hair growth in MPB. Among other beneficial things, SODs appear to help spare growth-stimulating nitric oxide, reduce damaging inflammation, and help reverse fibrosis (follicular scarring). There are a few patents for SODs as hair growth stimulators and even one for an SOD inhibitor that blocks hair growth by increasing superoxide.

Unless you're experiencing incredible irritation and redness, acute inflammation, or are undergoing an extremely toxic medical treatment, this week's hair loss has nothing to do with what you've been doing the last few days. The hair fallout you see this week is actually of hair that ended its growth cycle many weeks ago. Thus today's loss is a picture of the state of your scalp from at least 2 - 4 weeks (and probably more like 6 -12 weeks) ago. This hair was already in the loss phase, in other words, before you even started your recent treatment. Thus, short of mechanically pulling hair out prematurely or undergoing a course of chemotherapy or radiation, this week's falling hair is completely uninfluenced by what you're doing this week. Any loss you're seeing now is coincidental to other events. Similarly, what you're doing treatment-wise today won't be reflected in your hair fallout until several weeks from now.

Sometimes, as a percentage of the active ingredients gets absorbed into the scalp and left behind after rinsing. For instance, seborrheic dermatitis ("seb derm," a bad case of dandruff) is now thought to play a minor role in pattern loss. In the Propecia trials, researchers had test subjects use T/Gel shampoo (one of the many treatments for seb derm) as a means of leveling the field and cutting out this factor as a variable in determining results. Also, 2% prescription strength Nizoral shampoo used 2 - 4 times weekly was shown in one study to produce hair growth results comparable to 2% minoxidil used once daily in a small group of group of test subjects. It was also shown in a larger group to increase the number of hairs in the anagen (growth) phase and to increase average hair shaft diameter. There are almost certainly other shampoos that can positively influence hair growth, as medication can reach the hair follicle fairly easily when the scalp is in a well-hydrated state. Water is a superb penetration enhancer that is, in fact, added liberally to many medicated penetrating creams.

All treatments that work on the crown also work to some degree in the front--just not as well. Treatments are generally more effective the further back you go. Confusion arises because of the way some studies were conducted. With Rogaine (minoxidil), for instance, studies only measured vertex balding; i.e., the traditional bald spot. Accordingly, the only hair growth results that the manufacturer is allowed to claim by the FDA is to say it will grow hair in the crown. However this does not mean that you should not use it on all areas of your hair loss as it most likely will have a positive result regardless of where its applied.

When the effects of androgens in the body are lessened, e.g. through lowering DHT or by systemic hormone receptor blockade, the body seeks equilibrium through a process called upregulation. This can take the form of increased hormone production and/or increased tissue sensitivity to the remaining hormones. The reason side effects usually gradually disappear with finasteride is probably due to such upregulation. In a small percentage of individuals, it may be that this process overshoots the mark, resulting in significant hyperandrogenicity. This is marked by such signs as greatly increased facial oil, increased pimples, and greatly elevated libido. It's possible that in certain cases such hyperandrogenicity overcomes the hair-protective effect of, say, finasteride, though this does not appear to be the case for the vast majority of people.

Yes. In fact, you will have enhanced absorption after shampooing, as a well-hydrated scalp is more permeable and will better absorb topical hair loss agents. Just be sure to towel dry the hair first to remove standing water. The only precaution is to be attentive to signs of excessive absorption, such as a racing heart.

Everyone loses some hair every day. Losing up to 100 hairs a day is normal and does not mean you are going bald. The scalp has some 100,000 hair follicles, most of which are producing hair at any moment in time.

As stated above, male or female pattern baldness is a genetic condition which affects greater than 80 million men and women in the United States.

Whether or not you will lose your hair and when is determined before you are born.

How often you wash your hair or with what type of shampoo; whether or not you have ever worn a helmet or hat; how you brush and comb your hair or rub your head have absolutely no affect on hair loss. In addition, clogged pores on the scalp are not a cause of male or female pattern hair baldness.

Hair transplantation is a minor surgery of the skin in which grafts, containing usually one to three hairs are removed from the horseshoe-shaped donor area around the back and sides of the head and are surgically placed in areas where baldness or thinning occurs.

Yes, but not for the first three days. Thereafter, I want it to be worn as little as possible for a couple of reasons. Firstly, it can delay healing and regrowth. Secondly, psychologically, it is far easier to wear it as little as possible to make it more comfortable to stop wearing it. Just think how much easier your daily life will be with YOUR OWN growing hair!

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