What Is Hair Made Of?


Ever wondered what hair is made of? You’re not alone. Though we all have hair, many are unclear on what it truly is. But don’t worry. This article will educate you on everything you need to know about hair composition. Let’s get right into it!

This is What Hair Is Made Of

Without wasting your time, all human hair is made up of about 95% protein. But not just any protein - keratin. Keratin is a natural substance that lends both strength and substance to the hair, among other things. And interestingly enough, it’s also present in our nails and skin. 

The Components of Hair

The hair’s composition is a little more complicated than protein. Here are the two main components of hair: 

  • The hair follicle - The hair follicle is where all the growth happens. It’s the base where all your hairs get their start (more about this in the next section). It receives nourishment from your bloodstream as well as topical products you apply directly to your scalp.  

  • The hair shaft - The hair shaft is the portion of the hair you can see. It bears the brunt of damage in most cases and receives nourishment from scalp sebum, hair products, or both. 

How Does Hair Grow? 

Every hair you have grew from a follicle – a tiny tunnel or hole in your skin. The average person has around 100,000 hair follicles on their head and millions more on the rest of their body.

The growth process starts in the follicle’s hair bulb. These cells divide repeatedly and are pushed out of the follicle over time. Throughout the process, the cells stick together and harden into a strand of hair.  

Is Hair Dead?

One of the most common questions people have about hair is, “Is it dead?” The answer is clear. Yes, hair is dead - at least the part you can see. As soon as your hair strands reach the surface, the cells that make up the hair strand are effectively dead. Yet, the portion underneath the surface (the hair follicle and its components) is very much alive. 

How to Care for Hair

Though your body has its own way of caring for hair, there’s no denying that most of us put our hair through the wringer regularly. On top of that, the more textured our hair is, the less effective natural scalp nourishment is. Plus, your hair won’t cleanse or detangle itself. Here are some tips to keep in mind to keep your hair in tip-top shape: 

  • Wash your hair as needed with a gentle shampoo - don’t overwash it. Always follow up with a conditioner. 

  • Ensure that you’re staying hydrated by getting around 8 cups of water per day. 

  • Use a heat protectant before applying heat to the hair.  

  • Trim your hair every two months or so. 

  • Gently detangle using a wide-tooth comb and detangling product to reduce stress on your hair. 

  • Use a deep conditioner every now and again whenever your hair is overly dry. 

  • Add a leave-in conditioner to your hair product stash and use it as needed for a quick moisture and manageability boost.  

So, there you have it - what hair is made of. We hope you found the information you were looking for, and we wish you the best with your hair! 




Author: Andrea Reyes

Andrea is a mother, wife, writer, and natural hair enthusiast of 15 years. Currently on her natural hair journey, she’s been trying countless products and techniques to understand and embrace her natural hair. She is the creator of NaturallyTextured.com, a new website featuring informative articles that share tips, tricks, and techniques aimed to help others learn to love their hair through proper hair care. She writes with the hope of making hair care easier to understand and implement.


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