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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 5/2/2017

Updated by: David L. Swanson, MD, Vice Chair of Medical Dermatology, Associate Professor of Dermatology, Mayo Medical School, Scottsdale, AZ. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.