Of late, many male youngsters are requiring removal of white hair mainly from their face. These young males are in the age group of 20 to 35 years.
Causes of hair turning white
Human beings have millions of hair follicles on the skin and scalp of the head. The skin including the scalp of the head has tiny holes or pores (ostium) into the hair follicles. The function of the follicle is to grow hair. The hair follicle looks like a curved tunnel-shaped structure situated in the epidermis (outer layer of the skin). The hair growth starts at the bottom of the hair follicle. The bottom of the hair follicle is connected to the blood vessels from where the root of the hair is made up of protein (keratin) draws its nutrition. The sebaceous glands producing sebum or natural oil, located near the hair follicle keeps the hair and the scalp lubricated. The pigment cells in the hair follicle which contains melanin give the hair sharp black colour. As the human being ages, the pigment cells will gradually produce lesser melanin and hair will become more transparent in colour, like grey, silver, or white. Eventually, all the hair will turn to be completely gray.
Structure of Hair Follicle: the hair follicle and the hair shaft
The hair follicle has the following parts:
Bulb: The bulb is situated at the root of the hair where the protein cells (keratin) form the hair.
Papilla: The blood vessel is connected to the papilla, a form where healthy hair grows with vigour and vitality.
Germinal Matrix: At the bottom of the hair follicle germinal matrix is situated, where the cells produce new hair.
Bulge: In the middle of the hair follicle bulge is located. The hair follicle is regenerated by the stem cells present here. The sebaceous glands and epidermis are also regenerated by the stem cells in this region.
Arrector Pili Muscle: Arrector pili muscles, also known as hair erector muscles are tiny muscle tissues that attach to the base of the hair follicle at one end and to dermal tissue on the other end. When the body is cold the arrector pili muscles contract all at once to generate heat in the body, causing the hair to “Stand up straight” on the skin. The same effect is encountered when one experience goosebumps (piloerection).
Functions of Hair Follicle
Hair follicles play a vital role in deciding how hair should look, straight hair or curly hair. This is determined by the shape of the follicle. If the hair follicle is circular, it produces straight hair and if the hair follicle is oval, it produces curlier hair.
What colour of hair a person will get is also determined by the presence of a pigment called melanin, stored in the hair follicle. There are basically two types of melanin – eumelanin and pheomelanin. The colour of the hair depends on the quantum of melanin present in the follicle which is determined by the variation of hormones in one’s body. The presence of lots of melanin will result in the production of black hair, If the eumelanin is moderate, it will result in the production of brown hair. If the melanin is present scantily, hair will grow in blonde (pale yellow or gold hair). And if pheomelanin is present in sizable quantity the colour of the hair will be red.
However, when age progresses the ability of the hair follicle to produce melanin diminishes, and as a result, it is observed that hair turn to grey or white hair.
The part of the hair seen above the skin is called the hair shaft. The hair shaft consists of a cortex, cuticle cells and medulla for some type of hair.
Hair Growth Cycle
One needs to have rudimentary knowledge about the hair growth cycle to appreciate how does electrolysis hair removal work.
There are four stages of hair removal. They are Anagen, Catagen, Telogen and Exogen.
1. Anagen (growth phase)
The anagen phase is the active growth phase of the hair growth cycle. During this phase it is observed that within a period of 28 days the hair grows about 1 cm. The cells in the root of the hair divide rapidly during this phase adding length to the hair shaft. This rate is impacted by age, hair type, and overall health of the individual.
The duration of the anagen phase varies from person to person and it is genetically determined. Further it also varies based on different parts of the human body, viz., scalp, face,, neck, chest, back, stomach, bikini area, genitals, hands, legs etc., The duration of the anagen phase is the longest in the scalp compared to upper lip.
It is still not found out what causes the anagen phase to stop and catch up on the next phase that is catagen. An unknown signal causes the follicle to change the phase.
2. Catagen (transitional phase)
During the catagen phase, the hair detaches from its blood supply this occurs at the end of anagen phase and lasts for about 2-3 weeks.
3. Telogen (resting phase)
During the telogen phase the hair is not growing and the follicle rests for almost 3 months. After the 3 months period another new hair is grown from the papilla which is the beginning of anagen phase of the new hair.
4. Exogen (shedding phase)
Exogen is the final phase of the hair and it is only a few seconds when the hair is shredded off from the follicle.
White hair removal using electrolysis technology
Unwanted hair is permanently removed by giving electrolysis hair removal treatment. Electrolysis is the only FDA approved method of removing all kinds of hair permanently.
Hair removed in the anagen stage will never come back. Many people want to remove the white hair on their faces individually which is possible only by electrolysis and the white hair removed during the anagen phase will never grow back. The best thing about electrolysis is that it doesn’t depend on the pigment of the hair.
It has no side effects and is always safer to get the electrolysis treatment done by professionally trained electrologists.
The ability of hair follicles to produce melanin decreases as one age and as a result, grey and white hair strands are visible.
The Risk Factor of White Hair Removal
As already explained the hair grows to grey or white due to less production of melanin. And greying of the hair doesn’t happen overnight. Therefore, when grey hair is treated by electrolysis there is a possibility that more and more new hair is turning to grey which has to be treated and this will become a continuous process.
Sherly Kollannur Chief Consultant Electrologist, Director & Certified Trainer in Electrolysis LiLi Scientific Electrolysis Lase Acadamea Phone: +91 99 6161 3806 [email protected] | www.lilielectrolysis.com www.laseacadamea.org | www.lasecadamea.com