According to Wikipedia: “Hair is a filamentous biomaterial, that grows from follicles found in the dermis. The human body, apart from the palms of the hands and soles of the feet, is covered in follicles which produce thick terminal and fine vellus hair. Most common interest in hair is focused on hair growth, hair types and hair care.”
Getting Down to the Root of the Matter
Hair is an important biomaterial primarily composed of protein, notably keratin. Keratin assembles into rope-like intermediate filaments. The structure of these filaments provides strength to the hair shaft.
Hair growth begins under the skin in a hair follicle. The only "living" portion of the hair is found in the follicle. The hair that is visible is the hair shaft, which exhibits no biochemical activity and is considered dead. The base of the root is called the bulb, which contains the cells that produce the hair shaft. Other structures of the hair follicle include the oil producing sebaceous gland which lubricates the hair.
All natural hair colours are the result of two types of hair pigment. Both these pigments are types of melanin produced inside the hair follicle and packed into granules found in the fibres. Eumelanin is the dominant pigment in dark-blond, brown and black hair, while pheomelanin is increased amounts in red hair. Blond hair is the result of having little pigmentation in the hair strand. Gray hair occurs when melanin decreases or disappears.*
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Author: L.J. O'Neal, freelance writer and researcher. L.J. is also a Lustrous Henna® user.
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