What are hair follicles and why are they important?
First, let’s do a quick recap of what hair follicles are and why they’re so crucial. Hair growth begins under your skin, where cells come together to form keratin. This occurs at the hair root, which is housed inside of a follicle, a small tube in your skin.
Once your hair grows, it pushes all the way from the root, out of the follicle, and finally, through the skin, where it becomes visible. There are little blood vessels at the base of each hair follicle. These are tasked with feeding the hair root, which keeps it growing. The hair follicle is also usually attached to a sebaceous gland, which produces oil. This gives your hair its shine.
A hair follicle has several components.
- The first is the bulb, which is located at the root of the hair. This is where protein cells grow to create hair.
- Next, there’s the papilla, which is responsible for supplying blood to the hair follicle.
- Then, there’s the germinal matrix. This portion is where cells produce new hair. It’s in the lower region of your hair follicle.
- Finally, we have the bulge, which is located in the middle of the follicle. It has stem cells to regenerate follicles as well as sebaceous glands and epidermis. It also has muscle tissue that makes your hair stand on its ends when you get goosebumps.
Hair follicles may be tiny, pore-esque holes, but their importance is huge. They are crucial because they’re responsible for growing hair. That means if they’re not functioning properly, your hair will cease to grow.
How can I tell if my hair follicles are damaged?
You might be wondering how you can tell that your hair follicles are damaged. Luckily, there are signs to look out for. If you notice any of these, there’s a chance some of your hair follicles might be damaged. But don’t panic; once you figure out what’s going on with your hair, you can begin taking the appropriate steps to help it thrive again. If your hair follicles are damaged, you might notice one or all of these symptoms:
- Hair loss or hair thinning
- Extreme dryness
- Irritation, redness, or flakiness
Hair loss or thinning: A damaged hair follicle will be unable to create a strong piece of hair. Consequently, hair will become thin, brittle, and weak. You might notice that it’s breaking more frequently than it would or altogether falling out. Breakage can be a direct result of this.
Hair loss is the most obvious way you can tell that your follicles are in distress. Of course, some hair loss is expected every day, but if you’ve been losing an increasing amount of hair, this indicates that there might be damage.
Extreme dryness: We mentioned the sebaceous gland earlier and how it’s responsible for producing oil. If your hair is extremely dry, there’s a chance this gland isn’t performing as it should. The root of your hair is surrounded by the follicle, which is connected to this gland. If the follicle is damaged, this gland might not be producing enough oil, or it’s unable to reach your scalp. Hence why extreme dryness is a symptom of damaged hair follicles.
Irritation, redness, or flakiness could also occur as a result.We also want to note that shrinkage is definitely not a sign of a damaged hair follicle, but exactly the opposite.
Can I fix damaged hair follicles
Unfortunately, once your hair follicles have been deeply damaged, it is permanent. Your best bet is to spend your time, energy, and resources focusing on protecting and caring for the healthy follicles.
You can also take steps to support new hair growth. This will help rejuvenate your hair and can boost the number of strands you have on your head. There are some relatively simple ways to do this. Incorporating them into your hair care routine can help you take an active approach if you’re feeling discouraged about your damaged hair follicles.
How to support new hair growth
The first way that you can support hair growth is by incorporating a supplement into your hair care routine. A supplement can help your scalp while also supporting longer, thicker, healthier hair.
At Prose, our hair care supplements are customized to fit your own unique needs. Because everyone’s hair is different, everyone’s hair supplements should be too. And did we mention our supplements never contain synthetic dyes, fillers, coatings, or GMOs?
Another way you can support your hair is by not over-shampooing it. Your hair doesn’t need to be washed every single time you take a shower, and if you do this, you’re likely stripping it unnecessarily.
Finally, you can try a scalp massage. Not only is this tactic relaxing, but it’s also effective. Blood flows to your scalp, which helps to enhance the strength of the roots. It can also support your follicles to get the nutrients that they need more rapidly. We suggest you pair this with a customized Pre-Shampoo Scalp Mask. This product was formulated to restore balance to your scalp. It’s a two-in-one, detoxing and repairing all at once.
Combatting damaged hair follicles
Finding out that your hair is damaged can be upsetting but there are plenty of things that you can do to help your hair as it grows. We promise: you look great. And once you give your hair additional support, you’ll feel even better.
Thank you so much! I now know how to take care od damaged hair follicles! super useful read.
May the force be with you
Says “ Don’t Panic… you can help it thrive again when you find out what’s causing it” then goes on to not tell you how to help it thrive again… Then says if deeply damaged it’s permanent. Very unorganized and misleading article.
Can hair follicles be permanently damaged by prolonged use of baking soda? I used BS for straight 15 days almost regularly
my hairstylist as well as derm says as long as you’re breathing you have living hair follicles, i don’t believe this article at all, and it’s very misleading