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hair

What is hair

Hair is made of the same material as fingernails and toenails: horn, i.e. dead cells. Hair contains neither blood vessels nor nerves and is called "skin appendages" by biologists.

The hair roots in the scalp produce the hair cells. These then move upwards and become so-called spindles. The spindles then form long fibers that twist among themselves and eventually become a hair.

Humans have around five million hairs on their bodies - of which between 100,000 and 150,000 hairs are the most important ones, namely those that they wear on their heads.

Blonde people have finer hairs on average, but they also have the most, namely a full 150,000 head hairs. Black-haired and brunettes have thicker hair on their heads, around 100,000, while redheads have to be content with around 90,000 hairs.

Every human hair has its own growth rhythm. It grows for around two to six years, by around 0.35 millimeters every day. When this active phase ends, a two-week transition phase begins. After that, after a period of two to four months of rest, the hair is repelled by a regrowing hair.

Hair is a reminder of our animal heritage. It is not yet clear why humans lost their previously thick coat of hair in the course of evolution.

Scientists suspect that our excessive perspiration may have something to do with it. Sweat can evaporate better on smooth, almost hairless skin - an optimal cooling effect in a hot savannah landscape.

But humans are not really naked even today: With the exception of the soles of the feet and palms of the hands as well as the mucous membranes and lips, hair grows all over their bodies - some more, others less.

This hair fulfills certain functions. The main hair acts as a heat regulator to protect the brain and shields the scalp from UV rays in particular.

Hair culture

The most important function of head hair is in the social and sexual area. Full hair has always been a mythical symbol of strength, eroticism, health and youth. In the mirror of world cultures, full hair is considered beautiful, while thin, thinning hair is not very popular.

It is rather the exception that a person with a liking has thinning hair or even a bald head. Yet this is exactly the problem facing millions of people. Every second German man has to expect hair loss in the course of his life.

Hair loss

Everyone has hair loss: a single hair can live up to seven years. Then it falls out, and after a short rest, new hair grows.

50 to 100 hairs say goodbye every day. With an average of 100,000 hairs on a person's head, this is hardly noticeable. It is only when much more hair is falling out over a long period that there is cause for concern.

Not every hair loss is caused by a disease. Hormonal changes in the body, for example after pregnancy or during menopause, can lead to hair loss. In these cases, however, the hair usually regenerates itself when the hormone level returns to normal.

Male baldness is also usually not one of the hair diseases. It is genetic and more of a cosmetic problem. Alopecia areata - the so-called circular hair loss - is one of the most common diseases.

Many factors

A variety of factors can trigger hair loss: scientifically recognized are poisoning, fungal infections of the scalp, chronic diseases and the use of certain medications.

Other causes are also mentioned: stress, environmental toxins or a lack of vitamins. And there are companies that benefit from the fears of those affected and offer them miracle cures. Unfortunately, they all have one thing in common: Their effect is - if at all - modest.

Instead of spending huge sums of money on empty advertising promises, a visit to the dermatologist is worthwhile. Many larger clinics also offer so-called "hair consultations" in their dermatological departments.

Perms, colorants, curling irons, scorching holiday sun, chlorine and salt water and tight headgear are enormous strains for hair and scalp. An irritated and irritated scalp, increased dandruff, dull and brittle hair can be the result.

Since the hair cannot regenerate itself, it needs special care depending on the type and problem. Here, too, most products promise more than they deliver. Homemade mixtures are an alternative, which should be of particular interest to allergy sufferers.

Unwanted pets

No matter how much you wash and care for your hair - no one is immune from head lice. It spreads wherever there are enough heads together. They have become an annoying pet for kindergartens and schools.

Their presence quickly becomes noticeable through uncomfortable itching. But don't worry: the times when you shaved your head are over. Today the problem can be solved easily - without unpacking the chemical club.