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Hair follicle

Hair follicle, illustration. Hair is formed from the protein keratin. It is a dead tissue that is pushed up by growth from the bulb at the base of the follicle, which lies in the dermis layer of the skin.

A hair follicle is an organ that produces hair from stem cells located within the organ. The hair matrix at the base of the hair shaft is a collection of epithelial cells which produce the hair, and melanocytes which produce pigment. The matrix contains some of the fastest dividing cells in the human body. The hair fibre itself is composed of keratin.Near the top of the follicle is a sebaceous gland (right).  Sebaceous glands secrete an oily fluid called sebum onto the hair, which waterproofs and protects it.