When it comes to our hair, most people will only think of the hair that they can see. However, the scalp contains the most important part of the hair, the part that allows the hair to grow. The hair follicle - also known as the hair root, is located underneath the scalp and has to function properly in order for us to maintain healthy hair.
Understanding Hair Growth
Hair grows out of little pockets in the skin, called follicles. Here's how it happens:
Hair begins growing from a root in the bottom of the follicle. The root is made up of cells of protein.
Blood from the blood vessels in the scalp feeds the root, which creates more cells and makes the hair grow.
The hair gets pushed up through the skin as it grows, passing an oil gland along the way. The oil gland adds oil to the hair and keeps it shiny and soft. It can make it greasy, too. That's why we need to wash our hair.
Hair on the rest of the body goes through this same process, but the whole cycle only lasts for about a month or so. That's why body hair does not grow very long in length like the hair on our head does.
Facts About Hair
Some interesting facts about hair you may not have known.
We are born with all of the follicles we will ever have... about 5 million.
We have about 100,000 follicles on the scalp, which is the skin on your head.
We lose about 50 to 100 hairs a day. That's because the follicles don't all grow hair at the same time. Each scalp follicle grows hair for a few years and then takes a break. When a follicle is on a break, the hair in the follicle falls out. Because hair follicles take breaks at different times and the other hairs keep growing, you probably don't notice when you lose hairs.
Some follicles stop growing hair due to stress, hormonal changes, or simply as we get older. This happens more in some people than in others. That's why most people will get thinner hair when they get older, or go bald.