Development of Hair Fibres

  • Duane P. HarlandEmail author
  • Jeffrey E. Plowman
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 1054)


The growth of hairs occurs during the anagen phase of the follicle cycle. Hair growth begins with basement membrane-bound stem cells (mother cells) around the dermal papilla neck which continuously bud off daughter cells which further divide as a transient amplifying population. Division ceases as cell line differentiation begins, which entails changes in cell junctions, cell shape and position, and cell-line specific cytoplasmic expression of keratin and trichohyalin. As the differentiating cells migrate up the bulb, nuclear function ceases in cortex, cuticle and inner root sheath (IRS) layers. Past the top of the bulb, cell shape/position changes cease, and there is a period of keratin and keratin-associated protein (KAP) synthesis in fibre cell lines, with increases, in particular of KAP species. A gradual keratinization process begins in the cortex at this point and then non-keratin cell components are increasingly broken down. Terminal cornification, or hardening, is associated with water loss and precipitation of keratin. In the upper follicle, the hair, now in its mature form, detaches from the IRS, which is then extracted of material and becomes fragmented to release the fibre. Finally, the sebaceous and sudoriferous (if present) glands coat the fibre in lipid-rich material and the fibre emerges from the skin. This chapter follows the origin of the hair growth in the lower bulb and traces the development of the various cell lines.


Hair follicle Anagen Hair shaft development Developmental zones Inner root sheath development 


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© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.AgResearch Ltd.LincolnNew Zealand

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