Hair Structure Basics

Understanding the structure of hair empowers you.

It gives you the advantage of knowing how to take care of your hair.  This means you can maintain it using the right ingredients and products in a way that benefit your hair so that you can achieve your best  hair.

Hair is composed of 5 elements:

Oxygen, Hydrogen, Nitrogen, Sulfur and Carbon.

Which form a tough protein called keratin formed by 18 amino acids.

Hair has trace minerals:

Cooper, Zinc, Manganese, Calcium, Iron and Lead

Hair is made up of two separate structures: the hair follicle, which exists below the skin, and the hair shaft, which is the hair that we see.

Hair Follicle

The hair follicle is the living part of the hair. It is the point from which the hair grows. A hair follicle anchors each hair into the skin.

The terminal part of the hair follicle within the skin is called a hair bulb.

  • The hair bulb is the structure formed by actively growing cells.
  • These cells produce the long, fine and cylindrically shaped hair fibers.
  • The hair bulb has special cells, which produce the pigment that gives hair its        color called melanin.
  • Androgens, which are receptors for the male hormones, are located on the cells of this structure.
  • The dermal papilla that feeds from the bloodstream provides nourishment to form new hair and is found at the base of the hair bulb.
  • The bulb is the stocking-like structure that surrounds the papilla and germinal matrix. It’s fed by the capillaries. The bulb is home to several types of stem cells that divide every 23 to 72 hours, faster than any other cells in the body. It also contains hormones that affect hair growth and structure during different stages of life, like puberty.

Adjacent to the hair follicles are glands. The most important one of these glands is the sebaceous gland, as it produces and secretes the natural oils called sebum which lubricate the hair.

Hair Shaft

The hair shaft—the hair that we can see—is actually dead. It’s made up of three layers of keratin, a hardening protein.

The innermost layer: This is called the medulla. Depending on the type of hair, the medulla isn’t always present, only seen in large and thick hairs.

The middle layer: This is called the cortex, which makes up the majority of the hair shaft. Both the medulla and the cortex contain pigmenting cells that are responsible for giving hair color.  The cortex provides the strength and texture of a hair fibre aswell as holding in moisture to help it feel strong and resilient.

The outermost layer: This is called the cuticle, which is formed by tightly packed scales in an overlapping structure that resemble roof shingles serves as protection to the hair. And the cuticle layer determines how shiny or dull the hair will look.

Considering the structure of the hair you can understand what is involved in how hair grows and what is necessary to nourish hair. With hair being made of amino acids and trace minerals it would make logical sense that adding substances with these elements would be beneficial to hair.

Earth Tonics Herbal Hair Tea is made solely of organic minerals, vitamins and emollients that are small molecular substances that can travel through to the hair follicle, the living area of the hair.

Herbal Hair Tea does not contain any polymers, preservatives or other ingredients that could diminish, hamper or block absorption of the vital nutrients. Herbal Hair Tea makes your hair it’s natural best!