Hair Falls Out: What is the Mechanism?

why does hair fall out?Have you ever wondered about the mechanics of hair loss? Why did those hairs decide to “let go”?

There are many underlying reasons for hair loss. Ultimately, regardless of the underlying condition, hair typically falls out because the inner root sheath degrades.

In the past, it has been widely believed that this degradation is directly related to the sebaceous gland. This theory is based on the fact that, when fibers of hair follicles that do not have sebaceous glands are grown in the laboratory, the inner root sheaths appear to remain attached.

New research indicates that inner root sheath degradation may not be directly related to the sebaceous gland. A study found that a new hair follicle that does not have a sebaceous gland develops a degraded roots sheath. The hair falls out, and any new hair in those follicles also falls out.

Therefore, it is possible that the sebaceous gland does not itself participate in the process of hair falling out. However, “the sebaceous gland has many vital functions, including the production of oil, which plays a role in the quality of hair,” said dermatologist Dr. Larry Shapiro, who offers a line of “Help Hair” shampoos, conditioners, vitamins and nutrition shakes for hair health. “The proper shampoo and conditioner can remove or add the right amount of oil for the hair,” he said.

The study suggested that inner root sheath degradation may be a function of the follicle itself, and it might be linked with the processes of cellular differentiation when hair begins to grow.

Source: “Degradation of the hair follicle inner root sheath” by Gill Westgate, Steven Goff, Paul Slusareewicz, Preyesh Parmar; Westgate Consultancy, Stevington, Bedfordshire, Life Science, Unilever R&D, Colworth, Sharnbrook, Bedford, UK.