If you've ever gone deep into the basement of a large building, factory or even a house, you will likely be amazed at how complex the machinery, wires, circuits that all work together are to make the building function optimally.
As far as the hair follicle goes, it takes a considerable amount of coordination by many cell types to finally produce a normal hair fiber. The dermal papilla (or "DP") has an important role in making it all happen.
The DP is found at the base of the hair follicle. It is made up of a group of very specialized cells known as fibroblasts.
The DP is an important control centre for the hair follicle. It tells another collection of cells known as the "hair matrix" exactly what to do in order to make a hair fiber.
The more cells the DP contains and the more active it is .... the bigger and wider the hair follicle that will be produced.
The DP has the remarkable potential to form brand new hairs when transplanted into other areas of the skin. DP are therefore said to be "trichogenic" (hair forming). One day, it could theoretically be possible to take a patient's skin and increase the number of DP cells they have and inject them back into their scalp. This could lead to an endless supply of hairs.
Dr. Jeff Donovan is a Canadian and US board certified dermatologist specializing exclusively in hair loss. To schedule a consultation, please call the Whistler office at 604.283.1887