Monday, 8 April 2019

Hair : Parts of the body

                                        A to Z 2019

Cambridge Dictionary describes hair as the mass of thin thread-like structures on the 

head of a person. Hair is also referred to a girl's Crowning Glory. 

Hair is simple in structure. Hair is made of tough protein called keratin. A hair follicle 

anchors each hair into the skin. The hair bulb forms the base of the hair follicle. In the hair 

bulb, living cells divide and grow to build the hair shaft. Blood vessels nourish the cells in the 

hair bulb, and deliver hormones that modify hair growth and structure at different times of 


Human beings have several different types of hairs. The first to develop is the lanugo, a 

layer of downy, slender hairs that begin growing in the third or fourth month of fetal life 

and are entirely shed either before or shortly after birth. During the first few months of 

infancy there grow fine, short, unpigmented hairs called down hair, or Vellus. Vellus 

covers every part of the body except the palms of the hands, the soles of the feet, 

undersurfaces of the fingers and toes, and a few other places.

On the scalp,  hair is usually densest and longest. Hair is continually shed and renewed by 

the operation of alternating cycles of growth, rest, fallout, and renewed growth.

Human hair has little protective value, even in hirsute (excessively hairy) persons. With 

aging, pigment cells die, and hair turns gray.

Eyelashes, eyebrows, and the hairs inside the external ears and nostrils have obviously 

useful functions. The beard and mustache, though, are embellishments, which establish 

maleness and are likely to be concerned with sexual or social communication.

The Indian Maharajas (Kings) and aristocratic members kept their hair long, groomed and 

adorned their head with golden crowns embellished with diamonds and precious stones.  

                                   Image result for Indian Kings who wore their hair long

Silk turbans were worn by the courtiers. The barber (Nai) kept their hair trimmed in 

proper shape. Long lustrous hair is considered a sign of beauty in India. 

The Queens had maids to groom them and they adorned themselves in crowns and tiaras. 

A veil or purdah covered the head of royal ladies. 

Perfumed oil was applied to the hair to keep it smelling fragrant.

Combs were made of wood and ivory with elaborate carvings. Hair accessories made of 

silver, gold and precious stones were part of the dressing and grooming. Common ladies 

adorned their hair with jasmine flowers. Later roses replaced jasmine flowers.

  Image result for hair adorned with jasmine flowers'                                       Image result for royal indian hair accessories

Indian mothers and grandmothers have an elaborate ritual for hair-bath. Oil ( usually 

coconut oil) is generously applied and massaged to the scalp to ensure proper blood 

circulation and growth. The oil-soaked hair is washed with warm water and homemade 

Indian shampoos ( Shikakai) and dried later with soft cotton towel. 


An eyelash is one of the hair that grows at the edge of the eyelid. It grows in three layers 

on the edge of the eye lids. Eyelashes protect the eye from debris, dust and small 



The eyebrow is an area of thick, delicate hair above the eye . Their main function is to 

prevent sweat, water, and other debris from falling down into the eye socket, but they 

are also important to human communication and facial expression. It is common for 

ladies to shape their eyebrows. 

                                 Problems of the hair

Hair loss or alopecia affects both men and women, although it is normal to shed 

some hair each day. People who experience more than normal hair loss may have the 

inherited tendency to "common baldness." Male pattern baldness is the most common 

cause of hair loss in men, with a receding hair line and baldness on the top of the 

head. Women may develop female pattern baldness in which the hair becomes thin 

over the entire scalp. Sudden and temporary loss of a large amount of hair may be 

related to the stress of an illness or recent delivery of a baby (telogen effluvium). 

Alopecia areata causes hair loss in small, round patches while tight elastics or braids 

may cause hair loss at the hairline (traction alopecia). Certain diseases (eg, thyroid 

problems, diabetes, and lupus), medicines, or poor nutrition may also cause hair loss.
Infections of the scalp include bacterial infection of hair follicles (folliculitis), 

infestation of head lice (pediculosis capitis), and fungal infection of scalp ringworm 

(tinea capitis). 

Itching and excessive flaking of the scalp is seen with both dandruff (seborrheic 

dermatitis) and psoriasis.

Chemotherapy affects hair and there is loss of hair or baldness.  
Until it's gone, hair is  taken for granted. But modern hair techniques include hair 

grafting, Hair rejuvenation , colouring, perming , straightening , curling etc. Hair parlours 

cater to all sections of the society with varying results. One is pampered here at a price.

Wigs are also available in synthetic and natural form.

                                                     Indian Culture

                              Image result for tirupati balaji

                                             Lord Tirupati Balaji 

Hair is offered to Lord Tirupati Balaji (Indian God) as oblation by both men and women 

devotees. Shaving off the hair/ tonsuring or donating a part of the hair ( in case of 

women) is a sign of forgoing material beauty and false ego. Read HERE for more details.


                                              Three is not company.

Renuka beckoned her nephew to follow the Zamindar. The eight year old always 

accompanied his uncle in the horse drawn ornate carriage citing the reason of joyride. 

But he had an underlying mission ordered by his aunt.

"Is her complexion as fair and smooth as mine?", questioned Reunka.

"She is wheat complexioned", the innocent answered.

"Is her hair as long as mine?", caressing her long lustrous tresses.


By now Renuka was tearing her hair out. What attracted her husband to that woman?, she 

wondered. She had everything in her, that could tie down her man to her. Reunka was 

always in the cross hairs of the other lady in her life.

"Aunt, it is her smile and laughter that captivates Uncle ", blurted out the boy.

 "And what is that?", she asked the little boy, rather irritatingly.

"Will my husband love his mistress when her face is wrinkled or her hair turns gray?", 

Renuka consoled herself with a question posed by her and she answered it herself.

Some things don't fade with age. But will Renuka ever realize the truth?

               Readers, how to you take care of your crowning glory?


            I am participating in the A to Z Challenge.

(Information courtesy Google)

(Google pics)

A to Z Challenge - Day 1. Arms : Parts of the body  

A to Z Challenge - Day 2. breasts : Parts of the body

A to Z Challenge - Day 3.Chin & Cheeks : Parts of the body

A to Z Challenge - Day 4. Dimples : Parts of the body

A to Z Challenge - Day 5. Eye : Parts of the body.

A to Z Challenge - Day 6. Feet: Parts of the body

A to Z Challenge - Day 7 . Gums/Gingiva



  2. The tradition of hair bath sounds great, I'd love to do it once!

    1. Do try the oil-bath ritual Andrea and you will love it. Thanks for visiting my blog.

  3. The hair-tale is amusing!:)
    Enjoying your description of body-parts in AtoZ challenge:)

    1. Thanks Aditi K. We are all enjoying each other's posts.

  4. Wow, I didn't expect that you would mention Lord Balaji also in your Hair article. Though I was expecting that you would talk about Hair today. Such a comprehensive article it is.

    1. How can we Indian talk about hair and not mention Tirupati Balaji? Thanks for your appreciation Suha V.

  5. Quite a unique topic you've chosen. Great in-depth knowledge on hair. Keen to read all pieces.

  6. Thanks for visiting my blog and please do read other posts.

  7. It is such a teasing post. Hahahaha. One look at my pic and you would know why. :D
    #ContemplationOfaJOker #Jokerophilia

  8. I recently encountered a folktale in which a giant's ear hair played an important role... :D

    The Multicolored Diary

    1. wow that folktale must have been fun to hear or red. Thanks A Tarkabarka H for visiting my blog.

  9. This is very fascinating. I never thought about beards and mustaches being embellishment. Some men have the best looking beards and mustaches. As for the hair bath, that sounds like a most wonderful experience!!!!

  10. Try the hair bath ritual. it is very invigorating experience. Thanks Alice G for reading and commenting.

  11. Hair sure is a crowning glory! The hair offered at Tirupati Balaji is converted into wigs and fetches a high price after sorting and grading. Most of it is exported to China.
    Hair care is very important. Even I use coconut oil for my hair.
    Thanks for the post.
    Read my H post here -

    1. Thanks for reading in detail my post, Kislaya G. Hair indeed is the Crowning Glory.

  12. My crowning glory is shortly cropped, I'm afraid! :P Oh, but you know who came into my mind on reading your post... 2 people actually...
    One was the Princess from Tangled (Rapunzel or something), and the other, our very own blog friend Raji (Rajlakshmi). Have you seen her profile pic on her blog? Hahahaha!
    My mom used to love those Jasmine flower malaas for her hair, by the way! :)

    Find my I post @ 15 Ways To Find Inspiration For Your Blog Content | How To Find New Post Ideas

    1. I too had a very short crop of hair a decade ago but now have grown it to shoulder'length. short hair is easier to manage.Thanks Chicky K for dropping by.

  13. I have had LONG hair all my life but chopped them real short a decade ago and I so love the ease and convenience of short hair. Of course, with coloured streaks and highlights, I have damaged them. Now, all I do is handle them with natural ingredients. I really dont want to lose my crowning glory. SIGH.
    Another interesting and informative post, Kalpana!

    1. Now my hair is thinning due to hair colour. have to colour to hide my gray hair. thanks Shilpa Garg for reading and commenting.

  14. You have really explained the details of hair growth the problems associated with it and covered it so exhaustively. You know when I was in college we got poor quality water and many students had hair fall problem and some went bald. I lost a lot of hair too. And we used to worry like anything. But fortunately I did not lose all the hair on my head and came out unscathed from my college days. But I expected to go bald by the time I was forty or so as my father went bald very early in life. But to my surprise even now when I am 52, though I am a bit thin on the top I have plenty of hair on my head and I am thankful for this.

    1. Water plays an important part in the quality and texture of hair and scalp. Luckily in Mumbai we have good quality of water yet i see premature graying and alopecia. guess lifestyle and genes play a dominant part.
      Thanks for visiting my blog, Jai.


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