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Morphology and Fine Structure of Hair

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Studing the coats of für animals gives insight into nature’s solutions to problems of thermal protection in environmental conditions. Within one species of für animal living in open country, the respective adaption to the climate occurs by means of programmed and subtle modification of the texture of the hair coat, and efficient alterations in the keratinic structure of the hair. Winter für is composed of very fine, relatively stiff and short, tightly packed crimped hairs. Thermal insulation is achieved by a large volume of air trapped in the hair coat between fine fibers. In summer there is less packing density. The steady movement of long and flexible hairs prevents the formation of air pockets in the coat and provides more efficient cooling. In the spring hair grows rapidly, producing long and coarse hairs. In the autumn numerous secondary follicles form complementary short and stiff hairs, mostly with a pronounced crimp. The increase in hair diameter that occurs in the spring causes a remarkable change in the scale pattern on the hair surface (Fig. 1). Examinations of ultrathin sections of different keratin fibers and hairs by electron microscopy showed that many scale patterns on hair surfaces had their origins in the molding of the shape of the epidermicular cells of the inner root sheath onto the surface of the cuticle.


  • Human Hair
  • Radial Pressure
  • Wool Fiber
  • High Sulfur Content
  • Root Sheath

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  • DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-81650-5_9
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© 1981 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg

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Kassenbeck, P. (1981). Morphology and Fine Structure of Hair. In: Orfanos, C.E., Montagna, W., Stüttgen, G. (eds) Hair Research. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-642-81652-9

  • Online ISBN: 978-3-642-81650-5

  • eBook Packages: Springer Book Archive