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The structure and growth of the hair follicle

The hair follicle (lat. follikulus pili, also hair bulb) - the root of the hair with the root sheath surrounding it. To follicle attached sebaceous glands, and sometimes sweat glands.

Schematic illustration the follicle::

  • Hair shaft
  • Skin surface
  • Sebum
  • Follicle
  • Sebaceous gland


Papilla - At the bottom of the follicle is a fairly large formation - the papilla, formed mainly of connective tissue and blood vessels in the grid. Papilla controls the state and the growth of hair - if dies papilla, than hair dies, if papilla is survived, in place of the dead hair grows a new one.

The hair funnel - Funnel deepening the skin where the hair root becomes the core. Sebaceous glands are opening in the hair funnel.

The hair muscle - Ч- bit lower the sebaceous gland to the follicle is attached the muscle lifting the hair (musculus arrector pili), consisting of smooth muscles. Under the influence of certain psychological factors, such as anger or excitement, as well as in the cold, this muscle raises the hair, which is why the expression goes «his hair stood on end».

Root sheath - The internal root sheath is composed of three layers, Henle's layer, Huxley's layer, and an internal cuticle that is continuous with the outermost layer of the hair fiber. Cells of the inner root sheath participate in the formation and growth of hair.

Other structures - other components of the hair follicle are the sebaceous (often 2-3) and sweat glands, which form on the skin surface protective film.

Stages of the follicle development:

Hair grows in cycles of various phases: anagen is the growth phase; catagen is the involuting or regressing phase; and telogen, the resting or quiescent phase. Presumably the hair cycle starts from catagen. At this stage the atrophy of the hair papilla begins, as a consequence the stops cell division of the hair follicles, and they undergo to keratinization. After the catagen starts short telogen phase. Most of the fallen hairs are telogen. Telogen phase passes into the anagen phase, which is divided into six periods of development. After completion of anagen hair begins a new cycle.

Normally, in a healthy person 80-90% of hairs are in anagen phase, 10-15% in the telogen phase and 1-2% in catagen phase.

Duration of phase’s development

Hair covering of the head

  • anagen - 2-3 years (sometimes much longer)
  • catagen - 2-3 weeks
  • telogen - about 3 months

Eyebrows, eyelashes

  • anagen - 4-7 months
  • catagen - 3-4 weeks
  • telogen - about 9 months

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