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As all limbs of a human body have their functions and values, hair, though generally thought of lightly, is a unique feature of mammals, which has several functions ranging from skin protection to sexual and social communication. Catchy and cascading strands of hair speak a lot about your health, apart from bringing a women more attention and admiration from onlookers.


The cuticle is the hair's outermost layer; it does not give the hair its colour because that is the job of melanin which the cuticle does not possess. The colour of a person's hair depends on what type of melanin it has, which is found in the cortex.


Next comes the medulla, which is the innermost layer composed of large cells. Human hair is unique in that its medullary index (the fraction of the hair shaft's diameter that the medulla occupies) is very small: generally less than 1/3. Other species will have much larger ratios, usually at least 1/2. The medulla's presence in human hair and its patterns differ from person to person and from strand to strand on a single person's head. One hair may have an absent medulla, while another from the same person may have a complete or fragmented medulla.


Cortex is a layer between cuticle and medulla, containing pigment and keratin. Cortex determining the bulk and strength of hair, the pigment contained in it is melanin, which is also found in the skin. The distribution of this pigment varies from animal to animal and person to person. In humans, the melanin is primarily denser nearer the cuticle, whereas in animals, it is mainly denser nearer the medulla.

bulb of hair

Human hair anatomy - Structure and composition of your hair

Arterioles form an exemplary network with capillary branches supplying sweat glands, sebaceous glands, hair follicles and the dermis. The epidermis has no blood supply. It obtains nutrition and oxygen from interstitial fluid derived from blood vessels in the papillae of the dermis.



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