The main constituent of hair is the protein Keratin. Keratin is a remarkable protein, which is resistant to wear and tear. It is the protein that makes up feathers, claws, nails and hoofs, as well as hair. Like other proteins, keratin has very large molecules made up of smaller units called amino acids, joined together in chains like beads on a string.
Hair also contains fats, pigment (melanin), small amounts of vitamins, and traces of zinc and other metals. Hair also contains water which, although it makes up only 10-13% of the hair, is extremely important for its physical and chemical properties.
How Hair Grows
The portion of the hair that we can see is called the shaft. Each shaft of hair protrudes from its follicle, which is a tube-like pouch just below the surface of the skin. The hair is attached to the base of the follicle by the hair root, which is where the hair actually grows and where it is nourished by blood capillaries. Like the rest of the body, hairs are made of cells. As new cells form at its root, the hair is gradually pushed further and further out of the follicle. The cells at the base of each hair are close to the blood capillaries, and are living.
As they get pushed further away from the base of the follicle they no longer have any nourishment, and so they die. As they die, they are transformed into a hard protein called keratin. So, each hair we see above the skin is dead protein. It is the follicle, which lies deep in the skin, that is essential in growing hair. Also, the thickness of each hair depends on the size of the follicle from which it is growing.
Hair growth is not a continuous process: It has several stages.
ANAGEN PHASE :The first phase is the growing stage. Hair grows at about 1 cm each month, and this phase lasts for anything between 2 and 5 years.
CATAGEN PHASE : As this phase begins the bulb detaches from the blood supply and the hair shaft is pushed up.
THE TELOGEN PHASE :This is followed by a resting stage, during which there is no growth. This phase lasts about 5 months.
At the end of the resting phase, the hair is shed, and the follicle starts to grow a new one.
At any moment, about 80% of the hair follicles of the scalp are growing hairs in the first phase; only about 20% are in the resting phase.
If a follicle is destroyed for any reason, no new hair will grow from it.
Each essential factor in the product has been carefully researched to ensure that the hair and scalp achieve maximum benefit from using them and are effective in reducing most types of hair loss and promoting optimum health to the hair and scalp.
Hair Loss Factoid
- It is normal to lose 50-100 hairs from the head each day if your hair returns in growth phase again or else you will keep shedding hair and scalp becomes thinner and hair density will reduce.
- Each hair on the head grows for about 3-5 years before being shed
- 40 million men and 20 million women suffer from hair loss
- Scalp hair grows at a rate of about 1 cm (just under 1/2 an inch) a month
- We each have about 100,000 to 15,0000 hairs on the scalp.
- Shedding 30 hair per day is also not normal if your scalp is showing. It simply means that shed hair does not grow back due to inability of hair follicle to return into growth phase or anagen phase.
Hair loss: true or false?
If your father has a full head of hair, you won’t go bald.
A tendency to baldness is inherited and probably involves a combination of genes. So you are not automatically in the clear even if your father has a full head of hair. It is not true, as sometimes claimed, that only genes from the mother’s side are involved.
Brushing the hair 100 times a day will stimulate the circulation and prevent hair loss
Vigorous brushing is more likely to injure the hairs and make the problem worse.
Some hairstyles, can cause hair loss
Styles that pull or put tension on the hairs – such as tight ponytails or corn-rows – can cause hair loss due to Traction Alopecia.
Hats encourage hair loss because the hair can’t breathe
Hair does not need to breathe. Only the root of the hair is alive, and this gets its oxygen from the blood in the scalp.
Frequent shampooing makes hair fall out
The 50-100 hairs we lose each day often become tangled with the rest of the hair, but are washed out when we shampoo. So we see what seems like a lot of hair in the shower after shampooing, but in reality these hairs have been shed earlier. It is also important to choose your shampoo correctly.
Blow-drying can worsen hair loss
The reason is that extreme heat damages the proteins in the hairs, making them fragile and liable to break off. Brushing the hair during blow-drying causes more damage. If you use a hair dryer it should be set on the coolest setting.
Hair coloring, perm solutions and hairsprays worsen hair loss
Hair dyes, perms and hairsprays do not affect thinning hair. Perms and hairsprays can help to disguise the problem. Remember, it is the follicle, which is located beneath the skin, that produces the hair. Chemical treatments can damage the hair strands but can’t affect the follicle unless you are allergic to some of the ingredients. Hair colouring can lead to dermatitis and hair loss in some cases.
If you feel that you are suffering from hair loss or observe the hair density reducing, contact us to determine if your hair loss needs attention and the chances of baldness or worsening of hair loss if left alone.