What are end sheets for hair made of?
How would we look without hair? Well, it's all a matter of getting used to, but hair is a body ornament for us humans, at least the one on our head! ;) We humans could do without hair on the body, because it somehow disturbs, because it is actually no longer useful for anything.
Our ancestors needed hair all over their bodies, for example to protect themselves from the cold. But then people began to make clothes so that hair was superfluous.
Today we have shed our thick coat and hair only grows on the head - and in adulthood in some other places .;) But we all, whether children, adults, men or women, still have hair all over our body, except for that Tip of the nose, the palms of the hands and feet or on the lips. But our hair is so thin that you can hardly see it. Some men still wear thicker coats of hair on their bodies, but this is hereditary.
But what is this hair made of?
Sure, the question is what hair is made of. Okay: Hair is more than 90% keratin. Keratin is nothing more than protein compounds, also called proteins. There are also substances such as trace elements.
Hair grows from so-called hair follicles, which are hidden in our skin (see graphic). The keratin-rich horn cells are formed in these hair follicles, which migrate upwards and form the hair shaft. The hair itself is nothing more than "dead" tissue, consisting of horn cells.
The structure of the hair
The hair consists of 3 different layers. The outermost layer is called Cuticle or Cuticle (see picture under the microscope on the right). This cuticle consists of small and flat plates that are lined up one above the other and next to one another. These scales are arranged like the outer seed pods on a pine cone. Since these scales lie very close and flat against each other, the hair appears smooth and supple to us.
Under the cuticle there is a layer of keratinized fiber cells, which one can Cortex is called. This spindle-like fiber layer makes up the main component of hair - 80%. The structure of this fiber layer determines the strength and suppleness of the hair. This fiber layer also contains the color pigments that determine the color of the hair. Because the top cuticle is transparent, so that the color pigments of the underlying fiber layer shimmer through.
Now the innermost layer of the hair is still missing, which Medulla is called. This medulla consists of marrow cells, which have a spongy texture.
Hair is dead tissue
Although hair is made up of 3 layers, it is very thin, only about 0.04 to 0.15 mm in diameter. But it is extremely tear-resistant and hard-wearing. Since hair is not "live" but is dead tissue, it does not hurt when hair is cut off.
Everyone has an average of 5 million hairs all over their body, which is quite a lot. As I said, these hairs are usually very thin, short and rather transparent, so that you can hardly notice them.
The hair on the head is thicker and more colored, of which each person has an average of 150 thousand. These hairs serve as headdresses and are styled and colored, depending on the state of fashion.
Hair on the head grows about 1 cm per month, i.e. about 0.3 mm per day. So if you want long hair, you need to let it grow for at least 2 years.
Graphic structure of the hair: © designua - 123rf
Hair under the microscope: licensed by Nicola Angeli / MUSE under [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
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