General information about Hair
The adult human body has approximately 5 million hair of which about 80,000 to 1,50,000 are on the scalp.
Hair is composed almost entirely of a protein called keratin, which is why it is important to take enough protein in your diet to prevent hair damage. The pigment eumelanin is what gives black colour to hair, whereas pigment pheomelanin gives it yellow (blonde) or red colour. Indians as a rule do not produce the pigment pheomelanin and therefore have either brown or black hair.
All hair follicles are formed while the baby is in the uterus in its embryo stage. No new follicle is produced after birth. Each follicle is capable of producing 20-30 hairs, in a lifetime, with each hair having a life cycle of 3-5 years.
Hair grows at the rate of half an inch per month. It grows fastest in summers and slowest in winters, and grows best between the ages of 15 to 30. The total length to which hair can grow is genetically determined and therefore everyone cannot grow hair to the same length.Hair disorders are those, which are characterised by hair loss well in excess of the normal 50-100 hair strands per day. In certain cases even though the hair loss is within normal limits, for various reasons the body stops growing new hair, leading to a gradual state of baldness.
There are three main phases of the hair growth cycle: anagen, catagen and telogen. Anagen is the active growth phase when hair fibre is produced. Anagen is followed by catagen, a period of status quo wherein there is no growth as well as no regression of the hair strand. Ultimately, the hair follicle enters telogen, wherein the hair strand falls off and the follicle does not produce any new hair. Every hair goes through this cycle of growth, stagnation and fall.
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