Is Your Hair Dead or Alive?

Jun 21, 2011
I am certain many of you have heard someone say, “Your hair is dead, and so it does not matter what you do to it”. But is it dead or alive? Actually No and Yes. I will elaborate on my answer for clarification. The hair outside your scalp, physiologically speaking, is dead. It has no blood, nerves or muscles. In addition, when cut you feel no pain nor does it bleed or pull a muscle when stretched. However, for a dead fiber it is quite remarkable. A healthy hair strand will stretch up to 30% of its length, can absorb its weight in water and can swell up to 20% of its diameter. Many consumers get bored with their hair and alter its appearance frequently. This variety includes: changing its color, shape, curl pattern, twist and set it, braid and weave it, spray it in various styles, tease, pull it to an amazing heights and degrees. Yet despite all of this abuse, many consumers do not realize your hair has a tolerance level. There is a breaking point and Alopecia with excessive abuse to your hair, as well as pain, inflammation and scarring to your scalp.

Hair grows from a single follicle. Blood capillaries surrounding the follicle carry the nourishment needed for cell production and growth. The size of the follicle may produce one to eight strands growing from it. Each follicle has its own blood, nerve and muscle supply. The nerves and muscles give the hair its tactile properties, allowing the slightest movement to be felt. Important fact: each of us is born with a specific number or follicles, which cannot be changed. Put simply, hair is extremely sensitive to metabolic changes, and it is often a result of these internal problems that hair loss and scalp conditions may occur.

For additional information contact Dr. Linda Amerson, doctor of Trichology, Arlington, TX (817) 265-8854 or view our website at