The majority of humans deal with hair issues throughout their lives without understanding that hair is waste matter eliminated from under the skin.
Human hair consists of a root, which is located under the surface of the scalp. It also consists of the hair shaft which has emerged from underneath the skin.
Once hair has emerged from underneath the skin it's technically dead.
Hair strands are waste products composed primarily of protein known as keratin.
Individual strands of hair (shafts) which have grown out of the scalp do not contain their own blood supply nor do they have their own nervous system.
These individual strands of hair cannot be nourished from the outside, but only from inside the body.
Triggering Hair Growth From The Inside
If you want your hair to grow longer, or have accelerated growth, the strands which are officially categorized as hair waste, should never be the focus of any primary growth treatments.
Hair vitamins like HairTopia can produce significant results on the strands because they work on the hair roots underneath the scalp.
These vitamins, designed to help maximize the natural growth cycle work from the inside of the body rather than on the outside.
Parts Of The Hair
Although hair which has emerged from the scalp is considered waste, the actual root of the hair is alive and is not classified as hair waste.
Hair Root - The root of the hair is that part that lies beneath the surface of the scalp.
Hair Bud - The hair bud is the lowest part of the hair root. The bud wraps itself around the papilla and hold the papilla firmly in place.
Epidermis - This is the outer layer of the skin.
Hair Shaft - The part of the hair which extends above the skin.
Cuticle - Hair cuticles compose the outermost layer of each hair strand. The cuticle is made up of overlapping scale-like cells which point away from the scalp and down towards the ends of the hair.
Certain chemical solutions can raise the scales of the cuticles so that fluids can enter the actual shaft. This is what happens when hair is chemically colored, curled or straightened.
Chemically altered hair may be damaged when the cuticle layer is compromised.
Medulla - This is the innermost layer made up of round cells. It's the marrow of the hair shaft and it's sometimes missing in fine or very fine hair.
Cortex - This is the middle layer of the hair. It consists of elongated cells which provide strength and elasticity. The cortex layer also contains melanin or pigment, which gives hair it's natural color.
All hair is produced in follicles which are tiny little pockets or indentations located in the skin. Every growing hair on our head as well as our body emerges from follicles.
Follicles positioned on the scalp and face grow the longest and thickest hairs because they are the largest on the human body.
Even more importantly, the size, shape and position of the follicle ultimately determines how hair grows out of the scalp.
Vertically positioned follicles produce stick straight strands. Curved or bent follicles product naturally textured hair such as curls, waves or kinks.
Although follicles are protective sheathes which contain hair, they do not generate or sustain the hair. Hair growth is not impacted by follicles, but by the papilla.
Papilla Is Father Of All Hair Growth
Known as the father of all hair, the papilla creates and nourishes all hair cells which consist of the cuticle, cortex and medulla.
The papilla is a projection of tissue positioned at the base of every hair follicle. It extends from the walnut shaped hair bulb at the lowest part of the hair root all the way up to the top of the hair. It's at the core or center of the follicle.
All production of hair cells occurs in the papilla which has a direct connection to the human blood supply. It synthesizes protein in order to feed a continuous formation of hair cells on its outer surface.
The new cells created at the base of the hair bulb push up the older cells, which, as they rise, separate into the types of cells which make up a complete hair shaft.
The papilla, when it receives life giving blood, is able to nourish the hair bulb and manufacture new hair life. As long as the papilla is intact and receives blood, hair will grow.
Without a vibrant papilla, hair cells cannot be formed and hair will no longer grow. New hair cells will also not be formed.
If the papilla is stimulated by a variety of means it becomes engorged with blood. When this occurs, it helps to manufacture and nourish hair.
A small involuntary muscle known as the Arrector Pili is attached to the underside of the hair follicle.
When stress, fear or cold causes this hair muscle to contract, the hair stands erect causing a type of gooseflesh.
Some experts believe that prolonged stress will cause the scalp as well as the hair follicle to contract causing stress to the papilla. This is thought to cause an impact on the normal hair growth cycle.
Not all experts agree on this theory, but many do which explains the belief that stress can result in hair loss.
Common Hair Challenges
Common hair challenges range from wanting to grow hair longer to dealing with hair loss challenges.
Other popular hair issues might include dealing with challenging hair textures, types and related issues.
Ultimately it is impossible to naturally alter the shape of genetically produced hair textures and types.
This is because the texture and type of hair are determined by the position of the follicles on the scalp.
What You Need To Know
The key to maximizing the genetic potential of your hair growth cycle is to focus all health and strengthening treatments on the papilla.
Hair vitamins taken internally like HairTopia focus on treating the papilla and not the external hair strands.
It's always important to understand that any hair which has already emerged from the roots are waste products composed primarily of protein known as keratin.
These strands can not be manipulated to grow. Remember, hair growth only occurs at the root level on the hair that has not yet emerged from the scalp.
- Revised Publication Date: 05/18/12