Woman with long hair in red shirt

Nobody ever talks about the hair follicle, yet this underrated organ is essential to one of the things we value most: our hair. Without healthy hair follicles, hair can lose its color, volume, and thickness. Damaged hair follicles can stop producing hair altogether. Now, don’t start optimizing your lifestyle for hair follicle health just yet. Basic hair and scalp care can help your hair follicles stay alive and continue yielding new strands. To know more, read on.

Are My Hair Follicles Okay?

A hair follicle is a tunnel-like structure that plays a key role in hair growth.

A hair follicle is like a tunnel in the epidermis and the dermis. The "tunnel” leads to the skin’s surface, and this opening is where the hair grows through. Hair growth starts at the very bottom of the hair follicle. The bulb forms at the very base and as more cells grow within the bulb, the hair shaft emerges. So, hair follicles play a key role in hair growth, apart from anchoring the hair to the skin. 

How do you know if your hair follicles are alive and well? Look at your scalp. The human head has around 100,000 hairs. If you still see hair on your head, then your hair follicles are okay. Don’t be alarmed if you see strands on the floor regularly because humans shed hair. However, if you notice you’re shedding more than usual, perhaps it’s time to strengthen your hair by taking care of your scalp and hair follicles. 

Signs of Hair Follicle Damage

When we speak of damage, it usually concerns the hair and scalp. Hair follicle damage is not a popular topic, but it does happen. Because they are deep within the dermis, the only way we can tell if they are damaged is by the state of our hair and scalp. 

One tell-tale sign is an increase in falling or thinning hair. A damaged hair follicle cannot produce strong hair. Moreover, the hair that grows from it will be brittle and weak. Another sign is extremely dry hair. This means the oil gland that connects to the hair follicle is not producing enough sebum. Combined with hormones such as androgen, sebaceous glands produce sebum that protects the hair, according to the National Institutes of Health. Irritation and flakiness can also occur.

Can You Repair Damaged Follicles?

Taking care of your hair and scalp can help keep your hair follicles healthy.

Yes, hair follicle damage is reversible. As long as there’s still hair on your head, there’s hope. If you suspect your hair follicles are in distress, try these remedies.

Start eating for hair growth.

According to "The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Hair Loss,” published in the Journal of Dermatology and Therapy, vitamins and minerals can improve falling hair. These are essential to healthy cell growth and can support scalp health. For hair growth, eat a diet that is rich in iron, zinc, niacin, vitamins A, D, and E, and selenium. These are found in eggs, cheese, oily fish, shellfish, spinach, and avocados. 

Stop doing things that ruin your hair.

What damages your hair can also damage your scalp. Prevent further hair follicle damage by sticking to a hair-friendly routine. Avoid showering with hot water. This can strip the scalp of natural oils that help protect our hair follicles. Similarly, hair drying, hair dyes, straighteners, and other harsh chemicals can also dry out your scalp. Avoid tight hairstyles as well, as these can tug at your follicles. 

Massage your scalp to improve circulation.

Blood carries oxygen and nutrients to all the organs in the body, including hair follicles. It also carries away waste that can damage the hair follicle. This is why stimulating blood circulation in the scalp can help the hair become stronger and healthier. You can do this by using your palms to gently massage the scalp. Don’t use your fingers to avoid pulling at your hair. You could also use a scalp massager 10 minutes a day to achieve the same effect. 

Use strengthening shampoo.

Strengthen your scalp and hair with a shampoo that addresses hair fall. Use Dove Hair Fall Rescue Shampoo for strong, resilient hair. It has Keratin Tri-Silk Serum and DynaZinc that fortify hair fibers and scalp. To restore damaged hair, use Dove Intense Repair Shampoo that makes hair 10 times stronger. It’s formulated with Keratin Repair Actives that restore hair from roughness and dryness.

They may be out of sight, but hair follicles shouldn’t be out of mind. Get to the root of hair follicle damage by taking care of your hair and scalp. Keep them healthy by feeding your body enough nutrients and minerals, as well as steering clear of scalp drying habits.