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Hair follicle

Hair follicle

Overview

Each hair sits in a cavity in the skin called a follicle. Over time the follicle can shrink causing the hair to become shorter and finer. Ordinarily, the hair should grow back but in men who are balding the very small follicle ceases to grow any hair. The cause of baldness is not well understood, but is thought to be related to the genes and male sex hormones of the individual.

Review Date 4/16/2019

Updated by: Michael Lehrer, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.