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Hair shaft

Recommended video: Scalp and hair [28:45]
Histological features of the scalp and hair.

The hair shaft is the visible, nongrowing portion of a hair protruding from the skin. This part of the hair is not anchored to the hair follicle. 

The hair shaft has three layers:
a central medulla, a keratinised cortex and an outer layer, known as the cuticle, which is highly keratinised and forms the thin hard cuticle on the outside of the hair. These keratinised layers are made by proliferating cells in the hair matrix at the base of the hair follicle. 

The rest of the hair is anchored in the follicle and it lies below the surface of the skin. This is referred to as the hair root. The hair root is enveloped by the hair follicle which is a skin appendage that lies deep in the dermis of the skin. 

Terminology English: Hair shaft
Latin: Stipes pili
Location Part of the hair protruding from the surface of the skin

Learn more about the hair shaft in this study unit:

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