Hair follicles

Hair follicles are tiny, pocket-shaped structures in the skin from which hair grows. Each follicle houses the root of the hair, consisting of protein cells. With the help of nutrients from the bloodstream, these cells produce new hair. Hair follicles play a crucial role not only in hair growth but also in overall hair health and are embedded in the dermis, the second layer of the skin.

Structure and function

The main components of a hair follicle include:

  • Hair bulb : The base of the follicle, which includes the hair-forming cells and the papilla (contains blood vessels that deliver nutrients).
  • Hair shaft : The visible part of the hair above the skin.
  • Sebum glands : Produce sebum (skin oil), which keeps hair and skin supple.
  • Hair muscle (Arrector pili) : A small muscle that causes hair to stand up (goosebumps) when cold or afraid.

Hair growth cycle

The hair follicle goes through a constant cycle of growth (Anagen phase), regression (Catagen phase) and silence (Telogen phase), followed by hair loss and the start of a new cycle.

Hair follicle health and problems

  • Hair loss : Can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetic predisposition (androgenetic alopecia ), hormonal fluctuations, illness, and stress.
  • Folliculitis : An inflammation of hair follicles, often caused by bacterial infections, resulting in itchy, red pustules on the skin.
  • Alopecia areata : An autoimmune disease that results in sudden, circular hair loss.
  • Hirsutism : Excessive growth of dark or coarse hair in women in areas typically found in men, often due to hormonal imbalances.

Care and treatment

  • Balanced diet : A diet rich in vitamins and minerals supports healthy hair growth.
  • Gentle care : Avoiding excessive heat, harsh chemicals, and tight hairstyles can minimize hair follicle damage.
  • Medical treatments : For certain hair problems, topical solutions such as minoxidil , oral medications such as finasteride (for men), or specialized procedures such as hair transplants or laser therapy may help.

Hair follicle health is crucial to growing and maintaining healthy hair. If you have persistent problems or concerns about hair health, it is advisable to consult a dermatologist or trichologist.

Similar terms

icon-angle icon-bars icon-times
German WordPress cookie plugin from Real Cookie Banner