Two hairs in one follicle
If observed closely, may people notice that there are many hair strands on the scalp or on any other body part that are coming out of the same opening. In some cases, as many as five or ten hairs also come out of a single opening. It is often believed that a single hair follicles produces a single hair strand whereas that is not true. Sometimes hair follicles produce multiple hair strands which appear to be coming out in clusters. In some cases it might not be taken seriously, but this condition is also a symptom of folliculitis. It has been associated with conditions where multiple hairs grow in one hair follicle. Other reasons for two or more hair from single follicle are scarring alopecia and tufted hair follicles. The hair follicles in our scalps are grouped together in bunches of 1 to 5 hairs. These groups of hairs are called “follicular units.” Many people assume that there is no chance of more than one hair from a single follicle. It is a fact that less than 20 percent of the hair follicles only contain a single hair. Follicular units always contain 2 or 3 hairs; while a small proportion of follicular units contain around 4 to 5 hairs. The phenomenon of multiple hair follicles emerging from a single follicle is called tufting while these hair follicles are called compound hair follicles. However, the most common reason of two or more hairs is mostly due to permanent scarring alopecia. Tufting occurs because the scarring process leads to permanent destruction of hair follicles as well as the surrounding tissue. This destruction causes many follicular units to merge together. The end result is that multiple follicular units end up sharing the same follicular opening. This means that the hairs are taking nutrition from one follicle and therefore these divisions of nutrients leads to thinning of hair and causing them to eventually fall. This is the course of a disorder that is commonly known as alopecia. The term cicatricial alopecia refers to a diverse group of rare disorders that destroy the hair follicle and replace it with scar tissue. This causes permanent hair loss as the hair follicle loses viability and it becomes a skin patch. Hair loss in alopecia comes with severe itching and burning on the skin. The inflammation destroys the follicle and is below the skin surface due to which, there is no scar apparent on the scalp. The affected areas of the scalp may show some signs of inflammation, or appear red, while there may be scaling and pigmentation.