What is a hair shaft?
The Wikipedia definition of the hair shaft – “The keratinized portion of a hair that extends from a hair follicle beyond the surface of the epidermis.“
This is in simple terms is the nongrowing portion of a hair that protrudes from the skin. In layman term, the hair that grows from the scalp that we see on our head is a hair shaft.
Hair is made of a protein called keratin and the hair follicle holds each hair into the skin. The hair bulb forms the base of the hair follicle. In the hair bulb, living cells divide and grow to build the hair shaft. Blood vessels nourish the cells in the hair bulb and deliver hormones that modify hair growth and structure at different times of life.
Hair Growth Cycle:
- Anagen – The growth phase, each hair spends several years in this phase.
- Catagen – The intermediate phase or the transitional phase, in this time, hair growth slows and the hair follicle shrinks.
- Telogen – The resting phase, hair growth stops and the old hair detaches from the hair follicle. A new hair begins the growth phase, pushing the old hair out.
Any shift in these stages causes hair loss. so what are hair shaft abnormalities? Listing a few of the hair conditions.
Hair Shaft Disorders
- Alopecia areata: Alopecia areata is an autoimmune hair disorder that results in patchy hair loss. In most of the cases, hair falls out in small round patches.
- Male pattern baldness: The most common type of hair loss in men. Male pattern baldness usually includes either a receding hairline, hair loss at the crown, or both. This is also known as androgenic alopecia.
- Female pattern baldness: Women lose hair from all over their heads, starting at their part line. Hair at the temples may also recede. Women are less likely to go completely bald, but they may have a lot of thinning throughout their hair.
- Dandruff: Dandruff is a skin condition that affects up to 50% of people. It affects the scalp, causes itching, tingling skin and greasy patches. Apart from these problems, it causes white flakes.
- Trichotillomania: Trichotillomania is also known as a hair-pulling disorder and is a mental disorder that involves patients continuously pulling out hair from their scalp, eyebrows or other areas of your body.
- Hirsutism: Hirsutism is a condition of unwanted hair growth in women. This condition results in excessive amounts of dark hair on body areas where women typically do not have hair – face, chest, and back.
What is hair shaft treatment?
Here is a list of hair loss treatments. At Nubello Care, all these disorders have been discussed along with treatment details. Feel free to check the links to know in-depth and treatments about the hair shaft disorders.
Diagnosis of hair shaft and scalp.
- Blood test. Medical conditions related to hair loss.
- Pull test. Your doctor gently pulls several dozen hairs to see how many come out. This helps to determine the stage of the shedding process.
- Scalp biopsy. Your doctor scrapes samples from the skin or from a few hairs plucked from the scalp to examine the hair roots. This can help determine whether an infection is causing hair loss.
- Light microscopy. Your doctor uses a special instrument to examine hairs trimmed at their bases. Microscopy helps uncover possible disorders of the hair shaft.
- Minoxidil (Rogaine). It comes as a liquid or foam that you rub into your scalp daily. At least six months of treatment is required to prevent further hair loss and to start hair regrowth.
- Finasteride (Propecia). This is a prescription drug approved for men. You take it daily as a pill. Many men taking finasteride experience a slowing of hair loss, and some may show some new hair growth.
- Other medications. For men, oral medication dutasteride is an option. For women, treatment may include oral contraceptives and spironolactone.
Platelet-rich plasma, or PRP, is used to promote healing when injected on skin. Plasma is a component of the blood that contains special proteins that support cell growth. Using this idea of plasma factor, PRP is injected into damaged tissues which will stimulate and help in regrowth of new, healthy cells. PRP therapy is a 3 step process with a 4-6 weeks gap in between treatments. The maintenance treatments are required every 4–6 months. Learn more at – What is PRP Therapy?
Hair Transplantation Procedures
Hair Transplant is a surgical procedure. This involves hair removal from the donor area and plantation on the bald spots. This technique along with other hair treatments gives long-lasting and permanent effects. Learn more at – What is hair transplant treatment?