Hair is a very visible part of the body and it plays a significant part in clearing your outward appearance. This is why you pamper it and become anxious when it starts to thin or shed. If you are starting to lose your hair, the most important question that you need to be answered is: how do hair follicles grow back? Hair care can be done more effectively if you have an understanding of its structure. In this way, you will know what substances cause damage and what nutrients provide benefits.
Studies have shown that an adult individual has approximately one hundred thousand hair follicles in his scalp. Each follicle is the point where a strand of hair grows. It is a long tubular structure that penetrates the scalp and extends towards the opening of the skin surface. The follicle has three main parts: dermal papilla, hair fiber and root sheaths. The dermal papilla or DP is made up of cells that signal the follicle to produce hair fiber during the growth phase of the hair cycle. Hair thickness depends on its size. When the DP is bigger, more cells can accumulate, resulting in a thicker hair fiber. When the follicles are normal and healthy, the DP's shape resembles that of a pear.
Hair grows when a follicle is activated and forms a fiber, assisted by other cells called cortex cells. These cortex cells multiply and as they increase in number, the new ones formed push the old ones upward towards the surface of the scalp. As the cells approach the surface, they harden and become keratinized and then die. Therefore, what you see as your hair is a combination of dead keratinized cells.
Hair fiber is surrounded by a layer of root sheath that protect it as it develops. The sheath houses stem cells which is where the follicle gets its cell supply when growing. It also anchors the hair fiber to the follicle to the scalp. The sheath is also where the sebaceous glands are located. These glands manufacture an oily substance called sebum that gives the hair fiber moisture and sheen. Sebum needs to be present is adequate amounts in the scalp. Too much of it leads to an oily scalp which is prone to acne and other infections. Too little sebum also leads to dry and brittle hair.
All these parts of the follicle play a role in the growth and loss of hair. The hair growth cycle involves the building up and teasing down of the follicle structure. After the resting period, it is build anew from materials supplied by your body. So, in order to keep your hair in tiptop shape, you have to make sure that all the parts are functioning properly. To do this, you have to supply it with the vitamins and minerals that it needs. Do hair follicles grow back? Indeed, yes they do; and it is your responsibility to keep them growing by keeping yourself and your hair healthy.