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Hair Loss

Hair loss, medically known as alopecia, is a common condition that affects individuals worldwide. Among the various types of alopecia, androgenetic alopecia stands out as the most prevalent cause of hair loss in both men and women. Androgenetic alopecia is characterized by a gradual and progressive thinning of the hair, primarily in the frontal and crown regions of the scalp. The condition is influenced by a combination of genetic factors and hormones, particularly dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a derivative of testosterone. DHT causes hair follicles to shrink over time, leading to finer hairs, and eventually, these follicles may stop producing hair altogether. While androgenetic alopecia does not pose any significant health risks, it can have a profound impact on one’s self-esteem and body image.

Hair Follicle Anatomy

The hair follicle is a complex structure within the skin that plays a crucial role in hair growth and development. It is in the dermal layer of the skin and consists of several components:
Hair Papilla: The hair papilla is a small, conical-shaped projection at the base of the hair follicle. Signals from the cells located here is crucial for hair growth.

Hair Bulb: The hair bulb is located above the hair papilla. Stem cells are in this area and communication of these cells and papilla region is essential for hair growth.

Inner Root Sheath (IRS) and outer root sheath (ORS): These are protective layers that surrounds the hair shaft in the hair follicle. It provides structural support to the growing hair.

Sebaceous Glands: Sebaceous glands are connected to the hair follicle and secrete sebum, an oily substance that helps lubricate and moisturize the hair and skin.

Arrector Pili Muscle: The arrector pili muscle is a tiny muscle attached to the hair follicle and the surrounding skin. When it contracts, it causes the hair to stand upright, resulting in “goosebumps” or “piloerection.”

Understanding the anatomy of the hair follicle is essential for understanding hair growth, hair loss conditions, and for performing procedures like hair transplantation and hair restoration treatments effectively.