Hair 101 – Dermal Papilla

This is the first installment in a series called Hair 101. I will try and explain everything in a manner that is easy to grasp. However, if I do not succeed with this objective, please feel free to let me know.

We begin with the dermal papilla - it is located at the bottom of the hair bulb.e

Source

The Science - techie stuff

The Dermal Papilla acts like an umbilical cord by delivering glucose, nutrients and oxygen to the hair follicle.

Breaking it down:

Imagine a pregnant woman. Once she finds out that she is pregnant, she goes on a diet of pre-natal supplements and baby friendly food. She also stops drinking and tries to drop any bad habits that will affect the baby. All this is done so that she ensures that her baby gets exactly what (s)he needs to develop properly. Some go the extra mile by taking supplements that are supposed to build the baby’s brain function so that it is born with advanced cognitive function e.t.c .

Imagine, if you will that the mother is trying to grow not just a healthy baby, but a good quality baby.

Using this to your benefit

One of the things that contribute to the quality of your hair is what sort of nutrients you provide it. Your diet, exercise or lack there-of all play a role.

When you exercise, you get oxygen circulating within your body. When you eat your leafy greens, vegetables and fruits (in the right amounts), you get vitamins and hair growing nutrients.

I have said here "in the right amounts" because when your body draws nutrients from food, it delivers them to different parts of the body in a certain order. Hair is one of those that get served last so if you take one carrot a day, don’t expect that it will do a lot for you hair-wise.

To get a full listing of food that is good for your hair, please go to Sherese Ijewere’s part of the presentation here.

What you should do:

  • Exercise - it is not only great for your body, it is good for your hair.
  • Eat the right amounts of fruits and vegetables -Look into taking a green smoothie a day, or making carrot juice at home as a drink. Liquidizing your veggies means that you absorb more nutrients and you can "eat" more of them.
  • Only if you can't get the right amount of vitamins and nutrients from your diet should you consider supplements. 
  • Eat less processed foods as they do absolutely nothing for you nutrition -wise.
Please note: 
This information is also true for those desiring better skin and a generally healthier body!

Sources:

The Science of Black Hair by Audrey Davis-Sivasothy. 

Wnt signaling maintains the hair-inducing activity of the dermal papilla by Jiro Kishimoto Robert E. Burgeson, Bruce A. Morgan

24 thoughts on “Hair 101 – Dermal Papilla

    1. 9jaFOODie

      Lol… you probably get some value from the Efo and the egusi. On the Efo scale, you probably wont get as much as required for a balanced diet, you need a variety of greens, not just spinach ( as we use in Efo). Try efo riro with variety of veggies( shoko, tete ( spinach, watercress, Yu choy, rapinni, collard green ) (without palm oil).

      Reply
  1. Natural Nigerian

    Post author

    You made me laugh! I guess Efo Elegusi counts in a way but it is scientifically proven that to get the most from your veggies they should be eaten raw and if they can be blended that would be excellent. The reason for blending is that it has been determined that we don’t chew our food properly enough to break it down to a point where we get the most from it.

    Reply
  2. aloted

    Hmm ok then… but chei..raw veggies…Oh mine!

    i only, in recent years, started eating salads and veggies,,,maybe one day i will get to the level of liquidizing them.

    thanks again

    Reply
    1. Natural Nigerian

      Post author

      You are not alone in not liking veggies. Liquidize 1 part veggies with 2-3 part fruit and you would have cut the veggie taste. You will also still have a really nutritious drink

      Reply
      1. aloted

        I am back o :)

        pls do u mind giving us a simple recipe of what vegetable and fruits to blend together, maybe something you have tried out that you’ll recommend…not sure what goes with what. thanks!

        Reply
  3. AdeOla @ JostWrite

    This is a good post. We need to learn all of these as women taking care of out bodies. Isn’t it amazing that the quest to take care of one part of your body can ultimately benefit the rest.

    Reply
  4. eka

    great info!m soooo happy i found ur page!its not bin easy transitioning 2 natural hair!m so glad v found my natural naija sis!!thnk u

    Reply
    1. Natural Nigerian

      Post author

      Good question. It is thought that because of our fast paced life, we simply do not chew as slowly and therefore properly as we used to. Gone are the days when people actually sat down to dinner and lingered over a meal…taking it slowly. These days we eat on the fly.

      If we were to chew our food properly, then we would get more out of them.

      Reply

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