Basic Structure Of Human Hair Knowledge

Hair plays an important role in enhancing the beauty of not only women but men also.  Recently, researches have shown that a healthy, shiny and smooth hair will bring more confidence and happiness to people.

Therefore, understanding your hair to find out the best way to protect and take care of hair is very essential, especially for color-treated hair which is weak, damaged and easy to get broken. In today’s post, Luxshinehair will help you to have a closer look to structure of human hair. In this post, we mostly focus on hair shaft, hair root and follicle (known as hair bulb).

Structure of human hair

Structure of human hair (hair shaft)

Hair is made up of keratin which accounts for 70-95% of the total mass of the whole hair.

Hair shaft is the keratinized part of a hair that extend from a hair bulb beyond the surface of the epidermis. Structure of human hair can be divided into three parts: medulla, cuticle and cortex.

Cuticle is the thin outer layer of a hair which is very important to nourish hair growth. It is composed of cells shaped like scales that overlap. These cells will prevent damage to hair inner layers when having chemical processes.

The middle of hair shaft is cortex containing long keratin chains known as polymers (polymeric structure of human hair) which has many different functions. It helps add elasticity and strength to the hair. The cortex also contains pigment (melanin) that give natural color to hair. When we get older and older, the pigment cells will die and hair turn gray or even white.

Medulla is the innermost layer of hair shaft which is composed of a soft and oily substance. It is only present in large thick hair which means that if your hair is thin, it will not have medulla.

Structure of human hair hair shaft

Many people always wonder “Does chemical lightening affect the structure of human hair?” or “Does bleaching affect the structure of human hair” Now you may know the answer, right? It’s definitely YES.

Chemical over- processing can cause damage to cuticle layer (outer layer) of hair which contains of cells like scales overlapping to keep hair smooth, soft and shiny. During chemical process those cells are raised to allow solution to enter into the cortex layer. That’s how your hair can get temporary color. And as a result, your hair will be dry, weak and gradually broken and fall out.

Cuticle Diagram


Structure of a human hair follicle

Hair follicle is the tube that surrounds hair root and extends inter the dermis. It consists of an outer connective tissue sheath that comes from the dermis and an external epithelial root sheath and an internal epithelial root sheath. At the bottom of the follicle in the hair bulb is the growth zone (germinal matrix) which consists of epithelial cells.

Protruding into the germinal matrix is the hair papilla which includes connective tissues, houses nerves and blood vessels that nourish the growth zone of hair.

Structure of a human hair follicle

A hair follicle anchors hair to the skin and hair bulk forms its base. What’s more, it helps to deliver hormones to modify hair growth and structure at different time of life. Different people will have different rates of hair growth, normally the average is one and a half inch per month. Hair growth occurs in cycles including 3 stages.

The first stage is anagen (growth phase). During this phase, each hair spends several years to grow. Second is catagen or transitional phase when hair grows slow after a few weeks. The last phase is telogen (resting stage) hair stop growing and the old hair removes from hair follicle. A new hair begin growing and push the old hair out.

Human hair growth

Hair is simple in structure but not many of us know clearly about it. Understanding the structure of human hair will help people easily control hair diseases as well as find the most suitable way to take care of their hair. The cuticle layer can’t recover by itself so hair care products will help it better.


It can be denied that hair is an essential part of us. The more you take care of it, the more beautiful it will help you to become. Through this post, Luxshinehair believes that you already got a deeper understanding about the structure of human hair and your current hair’s condition. If you love colored hair, you can try colored hair extensions. Beside trendy color, it’s also safe to your scalp and your natural hair.

Visit our store Luxshinehairstore.com to receive further information and advices.

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