What Are The 3 Layers Of Hair?

Most people are not aware of the structure of their hair. Some, however, may find this interesting and would want to learn more. The hair is a very complex structure.

What are the 3 layers of hair? The main structure of hair consists of the root, hair follicle, and the hair shaft. Within the hair shaft, there are three layers. These layers are the medulla, the cortex, and the cuticle.

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I will break down the basic structure of hair and explain each part in this article. Also, I will talk about the three main layers of hair.

3 Main Layers Of Hair

The three layers of hair are not visible to the naked eye. These layers are all found inside the hair shaft.

The Medulla

The medulla, also known as the medullary canal, is the deepest and innermost part of the hair shaft. It is not highly pigmented, so you can only really see it in thick hair. This layer is also very fragile compared to the two other layers.

The Cortex

Itis the middle layer, and it makes up most of the hair fibers. The cortex is what gives hair its color and texture. It contains a pigment called melanin, which is also present in the skin. Aside from that, this layer determines how strong or brittle the hair is.

The Cuticle

The third main hair layer is the cuticle. It is the outermost layer, so it is closest to the surface. It is nearly invisible, though, and its primary purpose is to act as a protective scale for the cortex.

Basic Structure Of Hair

Hair is made up of protein filaments, and most of it is keratin. The structure of each hair strand consists of many different elements. If you only want to know the basics or the significant parts, those are the following:

Hair Root

Most of us are familiar with the roots on top of our head, the hair near our scalp. However, our actual roots are inside the skin. The hair root is also known as the hair bulb. If you were to look at a diagram, the root would be the rounded part.

Hair Follicle

It is the innermost part of the hair after the hair root. Follicles are located within the epidermis or the skin on our scalp. You will not be able to see it unless you pluck the hair out of your head. The hair follicle is vital because this is the point from which hair starts to grow.

Hair Shaft

The hair shaft is the part that we can see because it is above the skin. It is made up of dead cells, which is why we do not feel anything when we touch it. The pain you feel when you get waxed is due to the hair follicles being pulled out. It is why shaving is relatively pain-free. You are just cutting off dead hair cells.


Hairs are quite complex structures made up of many different elements from the major parts to the inner layers. The ones mentioned in this article don’t even include half of a hair fiber’s complete structure.

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