Beginner’s guide to hair growth & anatomy

Reading time: 9 minutes (1564 words)

We all have to deal with our hair.

Maybe you braid it.

Maybe you wash it every day with the fanciest of shampoos.

Maybe you’ve dyed it every shade of the psychedelic rainbow.

Ooooorrrrrr maybe it’s been a hot minute since you’ve grown a full head of hair, so it’s not exactly a daily concern….

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I’m sure Patrick Stewart saves mad money on celebrity hairstyling.

Either way, we have all dealt with hair at some point in our lives. 

Yet we know very little about it.

Before I actually started studying hair, I probably spent a good 20 years of my life not knowing anything about it.

Clearly, I survived.

So I’m not gonna try and tell you that this is essential knowledge or something.

BUT, knowing something about what hair actually is and how it grows may help you make more informed decisions about the way you cut/dye/pluck/wax/treat/do whatever to it!

And (BONUS!) for those of you who want to understand the science of hair, a basic introduction to hair growth & anatomy will definitely come in handy.

Think of this post as the ‘How it’s made‘ of hair:

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Disclaimer: this is not how hair is made. I just really like this pasta making machine. How it’s made has excellent pasta GIFs, just saying.

Really, the point of this post is to teach you the basics and answer questions like:

  • “What is hair, even?”
  • “How does hair grow?”
  • “If I shave my mustache, will it grow back thicker? And if so, can I prep for Movember this way?”

I don’t know what your hair questions are… I’m just guessing here.

But without further ado, let’s get on with today’s lesson!

Overview of the stuff you’re going to learn:

  • Hair is part of the integumentary system and it is an appendage on the skin.
  • There are two parts to “hair”: the hair shaft and the hair follicle.
  • The layers of the hair shaft are the cuticle, the cortex, and the medulla.
  • The hair shaft is produced by the hair follicle, a complex mini-organ in the skin.
  • The hair growth cycle has an anagen (growing), catagen (resting), telogen (shedding) phase.
  • (If you’re really keen and want to read more, there are scientific references at the bottom that are cited throughout the post with little numbers)

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3 things I learnt during the 3 years I procrastinated this blog

Reading time: 13 mins (2678 words)

What better way to introduce a blog than by telling you all the ways in which I messed up?

Kind of joking, kind of not.

I seriously have been wondering about the best way to introduce this blog (but that’s not all I’ve been doing for three years, don’t worry, there’s plenty more I worried about).

However, it’s been 3 years, and it is comical at this point so I would like to share a distillation of the most important life lessons I have learnt while procrastinating this blog for few years:

1 . My to-do list is infinitely long, it’s growing exponentially, and tasks are not exactly getting crossed off. I remember when Facebook introduced the “save” button function. I. LOVED. IT. I remember thinking “Wow, this is so useful! Now my workflow won’t get interrupted by super interesting articles because I can just save them for later! Brilliant!”

Cue reality….

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This is who I am as a person and I have to come to terms with it. It’s honestly all done with the *intention* of actually reading/watching it, but I just never find the time!

My expectation was that I would somehow magically stop going through Facebook’s endless scroll (yeah, sure…) and THEN on a regular basis check my saved posts, read them and tick them off in an organized manner.

What actually happened was that I just kept on scrolling (endless scroll will do that to you…) and saving, scrolling, saving, scrolling, saving – until I was jolted upright by some kind of reminder of an immediate deadline or the realization that 3 hours had passed and I’d done literally nothing but Facebook my life away.

Funny thing is, I started noticing this happened not just with Facebook, but with everything.

I *love* me a to-do list. Mmmmm, good stuff! Pen and paper, app-based, check boxes on Evernote/Word. Doesn’t matter – love ’em all! Once it’s on your to-do list, it’s basically already done and you can chill!

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It makes me feel so organized. Like, look at it, there is a physical representation of all my good intentions! And we all know ah-MAY-zingly that works, right? (see all previous New Year’s resolutions for reference)

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