Anatomy of Hair

  • History of Hair Loss
    1
    ANATOMY
    OF HAIR
  • History of Hair Loss
    2
    HAIR
    FUNCTION
  • History of Hair Loss
    3
    HAIR LOSS
    TREAT
anatomty-of-hair

The true importance of hair in your life and its effect on your confidence is known. In addition to improving your career prospects and social relations, hair may give you an edge in a tight job market. This can make the difference between getting hired and not getting hired. Any advantage helps when the field is competitive. Getting hair restored can help make people more marketable as well as more confident in their overall appearance.

Men with fuller heads of hair exude more confidence and may be more successful in their careers. In a 2009 survey conducted by the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery (ISHRS), 59.8% of people who were asked whether they would rather have more hair than more money or more friends

Hair is found on most skin surfaces and its main purpose is to protect the body in several ways. This organ extends from the visible tip of the hair strand to the outside of the dermis (skin) then beneath the top layer of skin to the hair follicle’s root.

Formation and Orientation

There are three phases in the growth of human hair. Anagen phase; this takes place as the hair’s roots divide causing the growth and expansion of the hair shaft. The length of the anagen phase is genetically determined and once it ends, the catagen phase begins.

The catagen phase is the overall process of the restriction of blood flow to the hair shaft. This phase converts the hair follicles to “club hair” which is where the hair shaft connects with the lower section of the hair.

Lastly, the telogen phase. This is the phase of “rest” which can lead to the loss of hair. Stressors can cause the telogen phase to begin prematurely causing the “club” hair to become fully keratinized (keratin is the main source of protein in hair), die and detach from the scalp.

Each part of the body that has a large amount of visible hair such as the scalp or eyebrows has different phase lengths.

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Function

Hair protects the sensory organs from being disturbed by day to day situations such as dust, dirt, and sweat. For example, the eyebrows and eyelashes work together to protect the eyes from harsh forces of nature. Because the roots of the hair follicles are connected to nerves, we are able to feel the movement of hair shafts.

Hair can also be seen as a way to prevent body heat from escaping what would be uncovered areas such as the head as well as a way to cool the body. Hair also protects the head from ultraviolet light, protecting it from sunburns and other toxins.

I love my hair. I hate my hair. I'm having a bad hair day. Sound familiar? Like it or not, almost all of us have hair, and from time to time we may either love it or hate it. Our hair is one of the most noticeable parts of our overall appearance. We can color it, style it, shave it all off, or cover it with a hat.

air: What & Why?

In addition to providing an opportunity for self-expression, hair really does have a purpose. You probably know that hair is a specialized type of skin. The hair on your head helps to keep you warm and to protect your scalp. Hair on other parts of your body helps filter out debris (think: nose) and protect from sun and wind (think: eyelashes).

Common problems you might experience include:

  • Dandruff. If you see white flakes on your shoulders, you could have dandruff. It is usually easily treated at home.
  • Lice. are tiny insects. They can be passed from person to person by sharing combs, brushes, and hats. Lice must be treated with special shampoo.
  • Hair loss can be caused by many things. One condition is called alopecia. You may know someone who has this condition. Alopecia is not contagious.
  • Ringworm is a fungal infection and it is contagious. It is spread by sharing combs, brushes, hats, and clothing. It is treated with anti-fungal pills and shampoos.

Hair loss: Diagnosis, treatment, and outcome

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How do dermatologists diagnose hair loss?

Because so many things can cause hair loss, a dermatologist acts like a detective. A dermatologist may begin by asking questions. The dermatologist will want to know whether the hair loss happened suddenly or gradually. Knowing this helps to eliminate causes.

A dermatologist also will ask what medicines you take, what allergies you have, and whether you have been dieting. It is important to give the dermatologist accurate information. Like a murder mystery, the slightest clue can solve the case. Women may be asked about their periods, pregnancies, and menopause.

The dermatologist also will carefully look at your scalp and hair. During an exam, the dermatologist may pull on your hair. Sometimes a dermatologist needs to pull out a hair to get the necessary evidence. And sometimes a dermatologist needs to look at the hair on the rest of your body to see whether there is too little or too much hair in other areas.

Central centrifugal cicatrical alopecia: If a woman is concerned about hair loss, she should see a dermatologist. The earlier treatment begins, the better the outcome.*

Sometimes the evidence lies in your scalp. The dermatologist may remove a small piece of the scalp. This is called a scalp biopsy. A dermatologist can quickly and safely perform a scalp biopsy during an office visit. A scalp biopsy can be essential to solving the case. Sometimes, a blood test is necessary.

Because so many things can cause hair loss, it can take time to find the cause. You may need to make a few appointments.

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How do dermatologists treat hair loss?

Just as there are many causes, there are many treatments for hair loss. Dermatologists recommend treating hair loss early. Early means before you lose a lot of hair. Hair loss is harder to treat when a person has a lot of hair loss. One or more of the following treatments may be part of your treatment plan.

Treatment available without a prescription

  • Minoxidil: This medicine is applied to the scalp. It can stop hairs from getting thinner and stimulate hair growth on the top of the scalp. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved minoxidil to treat hair loss. It is the only hair re-growth product approved for men and women. A dermatologist may combine minoxidil with another treatment.
  • Laser devices: Brushes, combs, and other hand-held devices that emit laser light might stimulate hair growth. These devices might make hair look more youthful in some people. Because the FDA classifies these products as medical devices, the products do not undergo the rigorous testing that medicines undergo. The long-term effectiveness and safety for these devices are not known.

Prescription medicine

  • Finasteride: The FDA approved this medicine to treat men with hair loss. It comes in pill form and helps slow hair loss in most (about 88%) men. It helps stimulate hair re-growth in many (about 66%) men. Finasteride works by stopping the body from making a male hormone, dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
  • Corticosteroid: If your hair loss is caused by inflammation in your body, a dermatologist may inject a medicine called a corticosteroid into your scalp. This can help stop the inflammation that happens when a person has alopecia areata. A corticosteroid is different from an anabolic steroid.
  • Hair transplant : It is a method of re-locating follicles from the donor area to the recipient area carefully where in hair remains permanently on the balding area.

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