About Your Hair

Learn More About Hair Loss

Understanding the makeup of your hair can help in understanding how hair loss happens and ways to treat it.

The hair you can see is the hair shaft. Each shaft grows from a follicle, an area below the surface of the skin. Each hair is attached by a root; the root is nourished by blood vessels.

Hair, as the rest of the body, is made of cells. Hair grows by new cells forming at the root, which pushes older cells out of the follicle. Only the cells inside the follicle are living; the hair we see is hardened protein called keratin.

Hair thickness is determined by the size of its follicle. As we grow from childhood to adolescence, our follicles increase in size, while as we become elderly, they shrink, resulting in finer hair.

What causes baldness? 
There are a number of reasons for baldness. Hair loss can result if any stage of hair growth is disrupted. Cancer and other aggressive drug treatments can also temporarily stifle hair growth.