• Question: hi im nancy and i am wondering some think it is how dose your body make the hair for you to grow ????

    Asked by nancyx to Anil, Blanka, Cees, Emma, Mike on 26 Jun 2012. This question was also asked by lionalmessi, persionsupreme, whmillyandcourtney, whserenandmacy.
    • Photo: Cees Van der Land

      Cees Van der Land answered on 26 Jun 2012:


      Hi Nancy, this seems to be a very popular question!

      If you look really closely to where your hair start you can see that the hair is growing from underneath your skin. A hair starts growing just below your skin in something called a follicle (the Dutch word for this is “hairpocket” which I like better!). The hair starts growing from the bottom, underneath your skin, about 6 mm per month pushing it through your skin outside. This means that the end of a hair is much older then the hair just popping out of your skin. If you have long hair, each section of 7.2 cm took 1 year to grow!

    • Photo: Blanka Sengerova

      Blanka Sengerova answered on 26 Jun 2012:


      A good answer from Cees. I will just add to it that hair is made out of a protein called keratin (very long protein, it is a bit like pieces of wire, which is why the hair is quite strong) which is produced in the follicle. So in order to make your hair grow, the protein keratin must be produced and assembled in the cells inside the hair follicle and then hey presto, what Cees has explained will happen.

    • Photo: Emma Trantham

      Emma Trantham answered on 27 Jun 2012:


      I’ve got nothing to add to Cees and Blanka except that if you want to learn about the cycle of hair growth or know why eyelashes and eyebrows don’t grow as long as the hair on our heads a question was answered here: https://niobiumj12.imascientist.org.uk/2012/06/26/why-dont-eyelashes-and-eyebrow-hairs-continue-to-grow-unlike-our-hear-on-our-heads/

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