Hair is one of the most important features of human anatomy. It provides the body with warmth and protection from the elements. It’s also an essential part of social functioning and the expression of individuality.
It is a complex structure made of protein that contains a cellular matrix, known as the cuticle. The cuticle consists of layers that form the outer layer of the hair fiber. It is responsible for the cosmetic properties of the hair and also acts as a barrier against dust, oil, and water.
The cuticle is surrounded by the cortex, which is a long network of protein strands that twist and coil like a telephone wire. These proteins are a key component of the hair’s strength and texture. The cortex also protects the pigments that give hair its color.
As a result, the appearance of hair is influenced by several factors such as diet, age, and genetics. The morphology of hair has been shown to be one of the most divergent traits of humans.
It is composed of a tough protein called keratin, which is nourished by blood vessels and produces the fibers that make up the hair shaft. At the base of each follicle is a papilla, which contains an artery that supplies the follicle with nutrients. As cells multiply, they make keratin to harden the follicle.
Each strand of hair grows from the follicle through the skin’s surface into the scalp. This happens in a growth phase called anagen. This phase lasts about two to four weeks. When the growth phase ends, a transitional phase called catagen starts. This phase lasts about two to four months. Then, the follicle shrinks and new hair begins to grow in its place.
After this process, the hair is in a resting phase called telogen. This phase lasts about a month and new hair cells begin to multiply at the base of the follicle to produce a new hair.
The shedding of hair is a natural process that occurs at different times of life. Its rate and length depends on personal health, nutrition, and hormonal balance. In addition, the hair follicle is subject to environmental influences such as pollution, stress, and hormones.
Depending on the type of hair, it can vary in thickness and coarseness. Fine hair can be difficult to feel, whereas thicker hair feels rough and stiff.
Its elasticity and strength can also be affected by diet, age, and hormonal imbalance. Its moisture can be compromised by exposure to excessive sun and dry air, so it may require special care.
In order to keep the hair healthy, it’s important to avoid products that contain harsh chemicals or sulfates, such as anionics and lauryl sulfates, which can strip the hair of its natural oils. Keeping the hair as moisturized as possible is also helpful in managing dandruff and other scalp issues.
To manage these issues, it’s best to stick to non-irritating shampoos that are formulated for the specific type of hair and its unique needs. A shampoo formulated for thick, coarse hair, for example, will have a higher concentration of moisturizing ingredients to nourish the hair and help it regain its elasticity.