What exactly is hair?
What exactly is hair? Hair is made up of keratin. This is a type of protein also found in nails and skin. Hair also consists of the hair shaft and the hair root. The hair root is thickened at the end and culminates in the hair follicle (bulbus). The hair shaft is the part that emerges from the skin, or the hair you see. Head hair has several functions.
- Protection: hair on your scalp provides some protection from sunlight, heat and cold. It also helps protect the scalp from harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun.
- Regulation of temperature: Hair can have an insulating effect, which helps maintain body temperature.
- Esthetics: Hair on the head is often an important part of a person's appearance and can contribute to a person's self-image and identity.
Phases of hair growth
Why does hair on your head seem to grow indefinitely and eyebrows only grow an inch? Main hairs, armpit hairs, nose hairs and eyelashes grow at different speeds and to different lengths. Hairs grow from hair follicles in the skin in a cycle. This growth cycle goes through three phases: the anagen phase -or growth phase- in which 80 to 90 per cent of the hair follicles are located, the catagen phase -or transition phase- in which the hair becomes loose (1 to 3 per cent), and the telogen phase -or rest phase- in which the hair falls out and the hair follicle prepares to form a new hair (10 to 18 per cent). The longer a hair is in the growth phase, the longer it gets. The hairs on our head are in the growth phase the longest, about two to six years, depending on our genes. The hairs on the lower eyelid grow the shortest. Head hair grows about 15 centimetres a year, so it can reach a maximum length of 90 centimetres. Exceptions aside. The record for the person with the longest hair is held by China's Xie Qiuping with a length of a whopping 5.627 metres. Body hairs, such as pubic and nose hair, are in the growth phase for only 30 to 45 days and also grow slower. Therefore, these hairs remain short.
Is there a difference in how fast your hair grows throughout the year? There could be, because hair does not grow at the same rate in everyone. Hair even grows faster in summer than in winter. This is because vitamin D nourishes the hair and gives it the right nutrients. In winter, you get less of this vitamin, which can have an effect on your hair growth. Furthermore, everyone's hair is different and also changes throughout your life. The growth phase of hair, for example. This lasts about two to six years, but gets shorter as you get older.
Can you grow hair faster? We answer that here. Spoiler: the answer is no.
Hair and genetics
How your bunch of hair grows on your head has a lot to do with genes. Your hair colour, texture, strength and density are all genetically determined. So is the likelihood of hair loss. Research has shown that the main gene associated with baldness is located on the X chromosome. Since this X chromosome is passed from the grandfather to the mother with a 50 per cent chance, the baldness of the maternal grandfather may be a good predictor of future baldness. The state of the maternal grandmother's hair says less, as female baldness follows a different pattern than male baldness.
In addition to the X chromosome, there are 11 other genetic sequences that influence baldness, although to varying degrees. These genes are located on various chromosomes and interact to promote or counteract baldness. However, further research is needed to better understand the exact role and relative influence of these genes.
Genes thus play an important role in hair loss. Male pattern baldness may have other causes, but one's own genes are an important factor. There are some ways in which genes affect hair loss. The scientific name of hair loss is: Alopecia Androgenetica. Which simply means hereditary baldness. This is the most common form of hair loss in men. This form is caused by a sensitivity to the male hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Individuals who are sensitive to it have hair follicles that respond to its production by shrinking, ultimately resulting in finer and thinner hair. After which hair follicles may eventually disappear altogether. This pattern of hair loss usually starts at the temples and crown and can eventually lead to complete baldness.
This does not only apply to men, by the way. Women can also suffer from genetically determined hair loss. However, this manifests itself differently in women, namely in diffuse hair loss. Hair then becomes thinner all over the scalp. Genetic factors can also affect the sensitivity of hair follicles to hormones, causing hair to become thinner as time goes on.
The older you get, the more likely you are to go bald. For men, this parallels their age. 50% of all men aged 50 are losing hair. The older you get, the greater the chance. Hereditary hair loss can sometimes be amplified as people get older. Genes can determine how sensitive a person's hair follicles are to the influence of hormones and how fast hair loss progresses. While genetics play an important role, it is important to note that environmental factors and other health conditions can also play a role in hair loss. However, understanding the genetic basis of hair loss can help develop treatments and solutions to address this problem. If you want to boost your hair growth, we can help you with that. We offer treatments that address various forms of hair loss.
Treatment for moderate male hereditary hair loss
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Treatment for moderate hormonal hair loss
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Treatment for Alopecia Areata
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