We should all know more about men’s hair structure. For example, as strange as it seems, your hair is an appendage of your skin. It takes the form of slender, threadlike outgrowths of the skin and scalp. Men’s hair structure is composed largely from a protein called keratin which also makes up the majority of nails, claws and hoofs of animals.
It is probable that many of the Salt Lake City barbers would not be able to tell this fact about men’s hair structure, that hair is an appendage or outgrowth of the skin. It is just one of many interesting facts for students of men’s hair structure.
Another interesting fact about men’s hair structure is that full grown human hair is divided into two parts: the hair root and the hair shaft. The hair root is that portion of the hair enclosed with the follicle beneath the skin surface. The hair shaft is the portion of the hair we see extending above the skin surface.
Men’s hair structure of the root are the follicle, bulb, dermal papilla, sebaceous glands, and arrector pili muscle. The hair follicle is a tubelike depression or pocket in the skin or scalp that encases the hair root. Hair follicles are distributed all over the body with the exception of the palms or the hands and the soles of the feet. They vary in depth, depending on the thickness and location of the skin. They are usually set into the skin at an angle, allowing the hair shaft to flow naturally over the skin surface. There is a follicle for every hair, but it is not uncommon for more than one hair to grow from a single follicle.
In men’s hair structure the hair bulb is a thickened, club-shaped structure that forms the lower part of the hair root. The lower part of the hair bulb is hollow and fits over and covers the dermal papilla.
The dermal papilla is a small, cone-shaped elevation at the base of the hair follicle that fits into the hair bulb. It consists of many tiny capillaries that are responsible for supplying oxygen and nutrients to the epidermal tissue that lines the hair follicle.
As long as the papilla is healthy and well nourished, new hair will grow. External factors such as diet, blood circulation, emotional disturbance, stimulation of the endocrine glands and certain drugs will affect the health and growth of the hair.
In men’s hair structure the three main layers of the hair shaft are the cuticle, cortex, and medulla. The cuticle is the outermost layer of the hair shaft and should not be confused with the cuticle of the skin. A healthy cuticle layer is the hair’s primary defense against damage, protecting the inner structure of the hair and is responsible for the shine and silkiness of the hair.
The cortex is the middle layer of the hair. It is a fibrous protein core formed by elongated cells that contain melanin pigment. About 90 percent of the total weight of the hair comes from the cortex. Its unique protein structure provides strength, elasticity, and natural color to the hair.
The medulla is the innermost layer and is sometimes referred to as the pith or marrow of the hair. It is composed of round cells. Although mature male beard hair contains a medulla, this layer of the hair may be absent in very fine and naturally blond hair.
If a man wants to add coloring products to his hair, the part of the hair shaft affected is the cortex. The more you know about your hair, especially if you want to color it, the better you are able to take care of it both from within the body and from without. Any Salt Lake City barber should be able to give you good advice on men’s hair structure and how to maintain health and appearance.