The Biology of Hair Follicles

    Ralf Paus, George Cotsarelis
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    TLDR Hair follicle biology advancements may lead to better hair growth disorder treatments.
    The 1999 review article explored the complex biology of hair follicles, including their structure, function, and the processes of hair growth and cycling. It detailed how hair follicles are composed of matrix cells that produce the hair shaft, with the dermal papilla influencing hair size. The bulge area was identified as a critical site containing stem cells that regenerate follicles and possibly other skin structures. The review emphasized the significance of interactions between follicular components and the role of growth factors in hair development. It was noted that hair follicles do not form after birth but can change in size and distribution due to hormonal influences, particularly androgens. The review also covered the immunological and sensory functions of hair follicles. The authors concluded that advancements in the understanding of hair follicle biology could lead to improved treatments for hair growth disorders, mentioning the potential of therapies like minoxidil and finasteride, which target different aspects of the hair growth cycle and androgen effects.
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