If we ask a few people their favorite part of the body, it won’t be surprising if more than half of them choose their hair. That’s because the hair, with its attractive features like color, shape, texture, and length, are the most important constituents of our look. So what harm is there in choosing and loving it? There’s absolutely none.
That’s why people give it so much attention and care. However, apart from its visible features, what other things do people know about the hair? What exactly is responsible for the growth and density we see? What can we do to activate and regenerate hair growth when it reduces?
This article will answer these questions to improve our knowledge of one of the most favorite parts of our body. It’ll also give a few tips on keeping it healthy at all times.
Undoubtedly, human hair is an essential part of the human body. It participates in the definition of appearance and identity. Apart from this, it also protects the scalp from the harmful ultraviolet radiation from direct sunlight. However, the hair can’t carry out its function of appearance, identity, and protection if it isn’t empowered by the functions of the hair follicles.
Yes! The hair follicles give structure, strength, and appearance to our hair. The health of the hair mostly depends on the health of the follicles. So, it’s essential to know that as we know our hair and care for it, we should also know and care for our hair follicles.
Hair follicles are simply the tiny pores all over our skin that serve as the passage for hair growth. Every human has about a million follicles on our head skin alone, all of which grow hairs that we see on our heads. This growth usually depends on some factors, including hereditary, health, hair care, hairstyle, etc.
The structure of each of these follicles determines the shape of the hair that’s grown. With this, when you see curly hair, you should know that the person’s follicles are oval. Similarly, when you see straight hair, you should know that the person’s follicles are circular. This structure is also pretty hereditary. You can almost determine the shape of a person’s follicles by just looking at their parents’ own. Although heat rollers and hair products can alter this shape, the fact remains that after a while, if there’s no application of these products or heat roller, the hair would go back to its initial shape.
If hair is pulled out, the follicles naturally regrow another hair. However, the severity of this pull can damage the follicles, leading to follicular damage such that hair stops growing at that spot.
Hair follicles are important organs in the body that are quite difficult to rectify if damaged. The following are two of the most dreadful things that cause damage to the hair follicle:
Folliculitis is simply an inflammation that happens around the hair follicles. It results from fungal or bacterial infections, which cause a transition of immunity from defense to attack. In other words, once an individual gets folliculitis, the cells that are meant to protect the body turn against the follicles, which results in bumps and swelling.
Anybody can get folliculitis, but it is most common among individuals who wrongly apply wax or shave incorrectly. It poses many dangers to the hair if it’s not treated immediately. For example, it could lead to a total closure of the pores, which can cause irredeemable hair loss. Its symptoms include skin irritation, bumps, crusty blisters, and so on.
Traction alopecia is another thing that causes damage to the hair follicles. When people make hairstyles that strongly pull the hair, usually at the front, sides, and middle, it breaks the hair. The gradual hair loss that happens due to aggressive pull is known as traction alopecia.
As you can see, this damage is self-induced, and it’s physical. Other factors responsible for traction alopecia apart from intense hairstyle include tight headgears like sports helmets or hats and cosmetic wear like wigs.
What informs the activation and regeneration of damaged hair follicles usually depends on the severity of the damage. So how can the follicles be reactivated and regenerated whether the damage is mild or Severe?
If the damage to the hair follicles is identified at its early stage, some actions can revive it. Some of these things include:
If the damage to the hair follicles is severe, the only chance at regeneration is a hair transplant. Over the past few decades, it’s become a permanent solution to both severe and mild hair loss. Two of the most common types of hair transplant are Follicular Unit Extraction and Follicular Unit Transplant. While the former deals with the removal of individual hair follicles at an abundant area to supply a bald spot, the latter deals with the removal of the scalp from a site of the head, to be implanted in another place.
Other hair follicles care therapies boast the same potency as the two most famous hair transplants. An example is stem cell therapy. It’s a removal of a portion of the scalp where hair is extracted for laboratory replication which is then implanted into the area that it is required.
The bottom line is that the hair follicles that grow our hair are as important as the hair itself. So, we should be intentional about caring for them as much as we care for our hair by avoiding lifestyle habits that expose the follicles to damage.