In this ever-changing world of beauty, we desire to perfect our hair if anything remains constant. Maybe genes have a great part in it, but it never gives you a sense of authority over your hair. In addition, hair’s health fluctuates with time, and we cannot help but adjust to the changes. So, how does our hair grow and what is it made of? Here is a blog revolving around the hair follicle, its structure, and how we can boost them to strengthen our hair.
Hair follicles are pocket-like holes in our skin. They help hair grow, and according to studies, the average human has about 100,000 follicles on the scalp alone. Simply put, our hair health is related to follicles and scalp health. But there is more to the details. Let’s figure out some salient aspects of follicles- definition, structure, and some proven tips to strengthen them.
What is Hair Follicle?
A hair follicle is a tiny hole or pore that helps grow hair and is usually found on our skin and scalp. The root of our hair is made up of a protein called Keratin, which derives its nutrition from blood from the blood vessels on the skin. In addition, the sebum is produced from the sebaceous gland near the follicles and, thus, keeps the hair and scalp lubricated.
Every follicle combines two main parts: an outer root sheath and an inner root sheath. While the outer root sheath is a bundle of different stem cells, the inner root sheath is anchored to the follicle. The inner sheath also comprises several nutrients that contribute to keratin production.
Each follicle contains a hair bulb, a part of the follicles that make each strand. The part of the hair bulb that is embedded deeper in the follicle contains undifferentiated cells, also known as stem cells. When the cells from the hair bulb grow upward, they develop as hair strands.
The individual hair strands are called hair shafts, which are pushed out by the inner root sheath in the follicles. You may note that it helps boost the human hair’s average growth rate by about one centimeter (0.4 inches) per month.
Structure of Hair Follicle
Every follicle hair growth helps hold a hair strand into the scalp, and it comprises three sections:
- Bulb: The bulb is at the root of our hair, where the protein cells grow upward as strands.
- Papilla: The papilla supplies blood to the follicle for strong and healthy hair.
- Germinal Matrix: The germinal matrix is located in the lower region of follicles, where the cells produce new strands.
- Bulge: Bulge is present in the middle of the hair follicle. It contains stem cells that regenerate follicles, epidermis, and sebaceous glands.
Did you know?Bulge contains arrector pili, the muscle tissues that help your hair stand on the end when you experience goosebumps.
How do Hair Follicles Produce Hair?
The primary function of the hair follicle is to maintain a healthy growth cycle of hair. However, hair growth doesn’t depend on a single factor but is rather affected by various activities under the layers of follicles. There are three phases of the hair growth cycle, which are anagen, catagen, and telogen.
The anagen phase is also called the growth phase, lasting up to several years. The catagen phase, the transitional phase, refers to the phase where hair experiences gradual shrinking. It usually lasts up to a few weeks. On the other hand, the telogen phase is popularly known as the resting phase.
It can last up to eight or more months and ends with the hair falling out. And after a few weeks, the same follicle begins the entire process again. A new growth cycle commences when the follicle stimulates stem cells from the outer root sheath. This happens after a dead hair follicle is left on the scalp.
MythTrimming helps in hair growth as hair grows from the tips. It is a myth that trimming helps hair grow faster as hair grows from the root and not from the tips. However, it reduces split ends and gives hair a fuller look from root to tip.
Better Hair Care at Home: Some Proven tips you can use!
- Cut off the heat from your hair care regime
Heat-styling tools may transform your tresses in no time, but they are also detrimental to your hair health in the long run. Using hairstyling tools such as blow dryers, curling irons, and straighteners could rupture the hair’s cellular structure with excessive use. If you are using them regularly, it may lead to a damaged hair follicle and make hair prone to breakage.
Haircare experts thus suggest holding the blow dryer about six inches away from the scalp and keeping the dryer moving in one spot. Heat steals the shine, aggravates the dryness, and makes hair dull and flat. So, limit your heated styling sessions to once or twice a week to give your hair time to relax and recover. Using a heat protectant on your hair is advisable before using any tool.
Expert TipYou should use a nourishing hair mask the next day to relax your scalp and roots.
- Pay attention to your vitamin intake
Our hair requires specific vitamins and minerals to be strong and appear voluminous. Some studies have shown that nutritional deficiency is the leading cause of hair loss. The vitamins and minerals that help quicken the boost hair cycle are:
- Vitamin A: Add sweet potatoes, pumpkin, spinach, milk, egg, and yogurt to your diet.
- B vitamins, especially Biotin: Look up to food such as egg yolk, salmon, avocados, nuts, dairy products, and seeds.
- Vitamin C: consume citrus fruits, bell peppers, and strawberries
- Vitamin D: consume fatty fish, egg yolk, and fortified foods like orange juice and milk.
- Vitamin E: found in sunflower seeds, spinach, avocado, almonds, etc.
- Iron: consider eating clams, eggs, red meat, oysters, spinach, and lentils.
- Zinc: found in pumpkin seeds, lentils, and oysters.
Sometimes getting proper nutrition from dietary sources alone becomes difficult. This is the reason doctors prescribe advice to take supplements, especially Biotin. These supplements could help you avoid recurrent issues like hair fall, breakage, and thinning.
- Massage your scalp
Massaging the scalp is the best way to add life to the hair follicles. This practice boosts the health of your scalp, accelerates the blood flow to the hair cells, and thus improves hair growth. Healthy blood circulation in the scalp helps the hair grow faster and become healthier. Studies have also revealed that a 4-minute scalp massage can boost the volume and strength of hair over time.
When buying a good-quality hair growth oil, you should first note your hair type and the expected effect of the oil’s ingredients. We advise opting for hair oils with toxin-free ingredients like Onion, Amla, Bhringraj, Castor, or sesame oil. In addition, Argan and Castor would be a better choice if you are looking to reverse extreme hair loss.
You should exert minimum pressure while massaging your scalp. You should preferably use your fingertips to gently massage your scalp. This practice will boost hair growth, making it shinier, strong, and voluminous.
NoteAlways rinse off the oil with a sulfate-free shampoo and use a hair serum before combing to avoid breakage.
- Up the protein in your diet
Our hair is made of 80-85% protein. A protein-rich diet boosts hair growth because it increases the keratin production in the body. Conversely, a lack of protein in one’s diet may affect hair growth and result in hair loss and breakage.
Biotin is considered the most vital food for healthy hair. Protein-rich food adds life to damaged hair and keeps it nourished and strong. It also boosts elasticity and fullness of hair while improving absorption rate. In addition, a protein-backed diet can repair hair cuticles caused by styling or heat damage.
Protein-rich foods for healthier hair
- Beans and Legumes
- Dairy products
- Nuts and seeds
- Spinach and kale
- Green Pea
- Onion Oil for Hair
Onion is a powerhouse of essential nutrients that help hair grow thicker and faster. It improves the hair by providing strength and shine, thus helping counter hair loss and thinning. The simplest way you can reap its benefits is by using its oil. First, peel the onion and grate it to squeeze the oil. Next, grind the onion and strain out the oil.
You can now add aloe vera and coconut oil to the oil and apply it all over your hair. We recommend using a well-prepared onion oil if you have a sensitive scalp. Our onion is prepared with various herbs for hair loss and thinning.
Onion is a great source of Biotin and Sulfur that helps hair follicle regrowth, prevents hair breakage, and stimulates hair growth. Massaging your hair with onion hair oil brings shine to your hair and provides immense shine to it.
- Follow a better hair care regime
The idea of healthy hair solely relies on how much care and attention we grant to our hair health. It starts with the moment you identify your hair type and its texture. That’s how we sort our hair care products. Next, start adhering to the fundamentals of Oiling-Cleansing-Conditioning-Masking. We recommend massaging your scalp with hot oil once or twice a week.
You may keep it applied overnight and rinse it the next day. However, if you have an oily scalp, you should oil your hair 2-3 hours before cleansing. You should opt for premium oils such as Tea Tree, Argan, Onion, Almond, Amla, Bhringraj, etc. When it comes to cleansing, use sulfate and paraben-free formula to keep your hair away from damage.
You should not leave the shower without conditioning your hair. A hair conditioner is made to provide additional hydration to your hair. On the other hand, we recommend you buy a nourishing mask made with ingredients such as Onion, Argan, Jojoba Oil, Coconut Oil, etc.
Try Our Hair Fall Control Kit!
Our hair falls control kit is designed to improve blood supply to follicles, boost hair growth, and provide strength to the scalp. It comprises Onion Hair Oil, Onion Hair Shampoo, and Onion Conditioner, all of which help replenish your hair to its natural splendor.
These products feature growth-boosting ingredients such as Onion Seed Oil, Redensyl, Coconut, Plant Keratin, and Sweet Almond Oil. Known to be an antidote to hair thinning, this kit contains the natural goodness of these high-grade ingredients to facilitate faster and healthier follicular growth.
Here are some more benefits that you should know of:
- They are infused with a powerful duo of Coconut and Onion that penetrate deep into follicles to promote healthy hair growth.
- Rich in sulfur, antioxidants, and Potassium, Onion, being the hero ingredient, accelerates the hair growth cycle and prevents hair loss.
- Products are free from sulfates, Parabens, Silicones, Minerals, Oils & Dyes, making them toxin-free, gentle, and mild.
- Containing the goodness of Plant Keratin and Sweet Almond Oil, they will help maintain the moisture balance in hair.
Our Hair is the crown we wear every day!
Hair care is essential for our hair to appear healthy and thick. Having a hair that sets you apart from the rest is a goal we all hope to accomplish. It has been rightly said that fuller strands bring confidence to our personality. At Mamaearth, we comprehend the hair requirement that goes through so much. Our anti-hair fall kit is designed to fill the gaps of nutritional need and, thus, fosters hair follicle growth to make hair fuller and healthier.
- How do we make our hair follicles strong?
We recommend you stick to a healthy hair care regime, add protein to your diet, and keep heated styling tools away from your hair. Strengthening hair follicles requires you to follow a healthy lifestyle patiently. You may wear a heat protectant if using heat-inducing tools on your hair and avoiding direct sunlight. More importantly, a healthy diet can bring fruitful changes to your hair.
- How to promote the regrowth of hair follicles?
It depends on the rate at which your scalp can regenerate your hair follicles- but it will not happen overnight. You should thus commit to long-term changes to your lifestyle preferences and hair care routines. You may begin by massaging the scalp is critical to hair health. It stimulates blood circulation and boosts the strength of the hair root. Then, take proper care of your diet by adding essential nutrients, Protein, and Biotin to your diet. You should also use a nourishing mask to keep the scalp hydrated and nourished, and avoid taking hot showers.
- How to change hair follicle shape naturally?
No. You cannot change the hair follicle shape naturally but turn to various hair care products available on the market to alter the shape of these follicles. For example, you may use leave-in conditioners and styling gel to enhance your curl or flatten your waves. So, our genes decide the shape of our follicles, which can be altered or enhanced by using cosmetic products or exploring treatments.
- Can hair follicles grow back?
Yes, it can. Your hair follicles will grow back with a proper diet and a well-curated hair care regime. In addition to upgrading lifestyle choices, maintain a level of iron in your blood as it is used to carry oxygen to your scalp and, thus, helps with hair growth.
- How do hair follicles get damaged?
Hair follicles can get damaged due to various factors. For example, using excessively heated styling products, trying chemical treatments, exposure to UV rays, poor diet, and excessive pulling or twisting hair can cause severe damage to the follicles. Stress, long-term illness, and hormonal changes may also lead to the hairline's gradual receding.
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