• Hair is a filamentous outgrowth of dead cells from the skin, found only in mammals. Although many other life forms, especially insects, show filamentous outgrowths, these are not considered "hair" regarding the accepted meaning of the term. The primary component of hair fiber is keratin. Keratins are proteins, long chains (polymers) of amino acids. Keratin proteins form the cytoskeleton (miniature skeleton within a cell) of all epidermal cells. Keratin filaments run within a cell from the inside of the outer membrane to weave a "basket" around the nucleus of the cell. Keratins are a principle part of the cells in the epidermis, hair, nails, feathers, hooves, horny tissues and the enamel of teeth.

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