Multiple hairs in one follicle – Why?

Multiple hairs in one follicle – Why?
October 26 12:37 2016

Ever wondered why you have multiple hairs coming out of one follicle while shaving? Well this is because you might suffering from a rare condition known as Pili multigemini. We normally don’t pay close attention to hair follicles as we view it is a waste of time. Sometimes while shaving ourselves you might notice that the hair shadows are not aligning. After inspecting the hair shadow you will note that there multiple hairs are coming out of one pore. When one notices this they might be alarmed and think that it because of the razor but this is not the case.

Is having multiple hairs normal?


This is a rare disorder since people rarely notice it and report it to the relevant authorities. However it quite common among Asians and southern Europeans. This condition is referred to as Pili multigemini and is characterized by the presence of multiple hair within individual follicles. If you look closely it will resemble a brush, where multiple strands are fixed in one place. Researchers found out that hair follicles that grew very closely to each other eventually join in the base canal. Individual hair strands will still grow after their canals join and this contributes to pili multigemini. Multiple hair strands will grow from the root canal but the exit has now become one. The body is not accustomed to having multiple hair strands some people might experience inflammations at the root canal. This condition is harmless and we will hardly ever notice it. Pili multigemini can be characterized by two or three hair strands emerging as one follicle. However it is not normal to have pili multigemini and you can result to various hair removal techniques to get rid of this problem.


2 hairs in 1 follicle – how does it happen?

The hair strands are usually growing apart in the beginning but as we age their roots merge together. The hair follicle and its root will merge with another ending up with multiple hairs growing out of one root. As it grows out of the root, the papilla will split into separate cuticles as it comes out of the canal. Researchers have not found the actual cause of this condition but they have come up with a few theories as to why it occurs. Regrowth of embryonic cells along the root results into the merging of the roots. Regrowth might be because the roots are close together. This theory does not tell us why this condition is common with people from a certain region. The second theory is that it is led by the inflammation of the scalp. Inflammation of the scalp causes scarring which leads to the dissecting of the root which causes them to join.
Inflammation of the scalp makes this condition noticeable in the beard region of men, kids scalps and women are likely to get it in their armpits and legs. Scalp inflammation affects the root of the hair and brings them close together thus resulting to this condition. The root canal are brought together and eventually join. As new hair grows out of the root it will appear as one but will later split into separate cuticles.


How should I deal with it

Some people are not bother by it since noticing individual hair cuticles is tough. Pili multigemini might give some people some discomfort and result into an infection. Others are plainly bothered by the stubby look that is a result of this condition. Here are some solutions on how to deal with it:

  • Plucking – You can pluck out the multiple cuticles growing together. This is more painful because the hairs are deeply rooted compared to other normal hair. Waxing is one common way of plucking the hair together rather than picking hair one by one. It is important to note that the hair will grow back again. Plucking offers a temporary painful solution but it does the magic.
  • Shaving – Shaving is helpful in reducing multiple hair cuticle growth and stops infections to the hair root. You can shave the region where one has been affected or your entire hair. Shaving also offers a temporary solution as hair will grow back later. You can opt for the electric shaver or a razor. A razor does a more decent job and leaves your skin looking smooth.
  • Electrolysis – Electrolysis is an effective way of getting rid of this problem. Electrolysis involves destroying of the individual hair’s root either by chemical or heat. A very fine probe is inserted into the hair follicle killing it off. This ensures that no hair cuticle will ever grow back. If the condition is quite widespread, you can opt for electrolysis and have a permanent solution. Electrolysis is expensive and does not guarantee us that this condition will appear in other regions. Slight reddening of the skin will be noticed in areas that have undergone electrolysis.
  • Cryosurgery – This is the complete removal of the hair follicles through surgery. Cryosurgery is quite expensive and offers a permanent solution to this condition. You can opt to have surgery if the condition is widespread and worried that the hair cuticles might sprout in other regions.


How to prevent it

If the condition is common within you family members then there is very little you can do about it. It will mean that Pili multigemini is genetic and cannot be prevented. However if your family does not suffer from this condition you can avoid getting it through the following ways:

  • Use gentle skin products for your skin – Lotions, shampoos, conditioners and some soaps might irritate the skin causing inflammations. Skin inflammation might trigger this condition and it is wise to ensure that we protect ourselves.
  • Keep you hair short – Keeping your hair short helps as it doesn’t add excess weight to the hair follicles. Weight of the hair contributes to the joining of hair cells together. Hair growing in new regions should be kept short as it will reduce the chances of pili multigemini occurring.
  • Clean yourself with warm water – This reduces the chance of your blocking your hair pores. Visiting the steam room or a sauna will help open up your pores thus reducing the chances of multiple follicles growing from one pore. Ducts blockage actually contributes to this conditions.


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