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Hair Anatomy

Hair AnatomyBefore transplantation, it is important to analyze your hair anatomy
In hair transplantation, it is required to analyze the hair type of the person in order to provide more effective solutions.

Everyone has his/her own hair type

In hair transplantation, it is required to analyze the hair type of the person in order to provide more effective solutions. Hair growing begins in the mothers' womb and it goes through in different stages thought the life.

The structure of follicular unit, containing the hair roots, and the level of hormones determine the hair type of a person.

Hair growing begins in the mother's womb

Development of hair follicular begins during the eighth week in the mother's womb and development phase of the whole hair follicular is completed by the 22nd week. By birth, there are 5 million hairs follicular on the body. 1 million of them are on the head and neck and 100 thousands of them are on the hairy skin of the head. One single hair follicular has 10-20 times of circle through its life time. Each hair follicular has an average 85 years of life time. The androgen begins to increase by the puberty and provides the tiny hairs, called vellus, to get thicker, their colors to become darker and causes them to turn into terminal hairs at the armpits, genital areas, beard and mustache areas. But unfortunately, this same hormone has the reverse effect on the head skin and causes the terminal hairs to turn into vellus and even causes the baldness.

There are 3 different types of hair on the body

The first type of hair on the body is vellus. These types of hairs are in 1-2 cm length, light colored and tiny shaped. They either have no pigments or have a little. Because of this, they are almost colorless. They do not have the medulla layer. The second type of hair is terminal hairs and they constitute the healthy hairs on the body. They have the medulla layer. The third type of hair is the interval type and they are between the two types. They have the medulla layer and have a little quantity of pigments.

Analyzing the follicular unit is quite important by determining the hair nature

Hair Anatomy

Follicular unit was firstly described by a pathologist named Dr. John Headington in 1984. Follicular unit is a structure on which a numbers of hair roots from 1 up to 5 exist, just like a bunch of flowers. Everyone has his/her own follicular unit in different quantities and structures. This difference determines the hair intensity on each person and also leads the surgeons during the planning of the hair transplantation. There are approximately 80-120 follicular units on 1 cm square. The place where the follicular units are at the most intense is the place between two ears. This intensity decreases towards the sides. In a follicular unit, there are up to 5 terminal and vellus types of hair follicular, sebaceous glands and a muscle named "erector cell" enabling the movement of hairs against a stimulant.

Bulge area, containing the hair roots, plays a great role in the hair development.

The bulge area contains the root cells existing at the surface parts of the roots and playing a role in the development and renewal of the hair. Below the skin surface, there are sebaceous glands and the area where the 5 Alpha Reductase enzymes are stored. This enzyme enables the testosterone to turn into DHT and DHT is the hormone causing the hair loss. A hair root consists of two parts; shaft above the surface, and follicle under the skin surface. Follicle consists of top, middle and bottom parts. The middle part has the bulge area mentioned earlier. At the bottom part, exist the area providing the hair development, regulating the hair circle (spill and re-grow) controlling the growing of the shaft part existing the outside of the hair root. Despite upper and middle part of follicles are permanent, the below one regenerates in every hair cycle. When we look at the similar structure of follicles, there is a sebaceous gland and a muscle called as an erector cell. The function of this muscle is to erect hairs against an alert through contraction and also to facilitate the swinging of sebaceous from the gland.

Human Hair experiences hair circle 20 times during lifetime

Hair Anatomy

Hair circle consists of 4 phases:

1. Anagene phase – growing phase:

-The cells in the hair follicles produce hair strands actively.

-85% of the hair is in the anagene phase. That is why if we accept that we have total 1.000.000 strands, we can see 85.000 of it.

-Anagene phase takes 3 - 6 years but it becomes shorter as the person is getting older.

- This phase also determines length of the hair. The hair grows approximately 10 cm in a year, for an anagene phase which takes 3 years, at the end of these period it is seen that the length of hair is 30 cm.

2. Catagene phase- transition phase:

-During this phase the hair stops growing and follicles shrink and shorten when they are compared to normal length.

- 1-2% of the hair is in this phase.

-This phase takes approximately 1-2 weeks.

3. Telogen phase – waiting phase:

- This phase takes approximately 3-4 months

- During this phase, although the hair does not grow, its follicle part much more shortens than as it is in the catagene phase, but hair still fastens on the scalp.

- Approximately 13% of the hair is in this phase.

- In this phase hair gains a thin appearance. Sometimes stress, injury, pregnancy or after diet the hair can enter into this phase and this is called as "telogen effluvium".

4. The phase of Loss:

-In this phase, the shaft part is separated from the follicles and loses.

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Date of Publication: 19.3.2013 14:00:00, Date of Edit: 17.4.2013 14:20:00, Editor: Onur KAYA
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