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How Hair is Made: A Hair Follicle

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As part of our educational series about Whole Hair Hair, we will post short blogs on hair growth, hair loss, and hair health for our readers’ education and enjoyment.  This is the first and is titled: How Hair is Made: A Hair Follicle.

Simply put, a hair shaft is made in the Hair Follicle and is comprised of thousands of strands of keratin wrapped around a mass of cells called a medulla. This bundle of keratin strands is then wrapped with a cuticle protective layer.  The keratin is produced in a mass of 1,250 to 1,500 stem cells located in the base of the hair follicle called the Papilla (see Figure 1 left).  The papilla is located in the dermis and is the only place where there are actually live hair cells. Once the hair shaft leaves the dermal layer of skin, nothing can be done to correct any problems. The thickness, strength, and luster of the hair can only be affected in the papilla.

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