Introduction: Felix Pinkus' concept of the vitreous membrane (VM) published in 1927 describes circular folds protruding into the outer root sheath (ORS), which, in his opinion, serve as interdigitations between the outer root sheath (ORS) and the VM. This concept currently seems to have fallen into oblivion.
Objective: To determine the origin and possible function of the VM in the proliferation and vascularization of the hair follicle (HF). Methods: Serial investigation of healthy skin probes with histological (hematoxylin & eosin and periodic acid-Schiff) and immunohistochemical examination (Ki67, CD56, CD8, and collagen IV) were performed.
Results: Morphological variations of the VM in various HFs such as protrusions and folds, the latter unilateral, bilateral or circular, some acute-angled, were found. Similarly, protrusions of the VM into the ORS were observed, that consisted of capillary tissue together with perifollicular tissue and VM mimicking minimal variants of the dermal papilla.
Conclusions: Pinkus' concept of the VM is revisited, reproduced and possible functions are proposed. Since these structures are found in a HF region with a high metabolic dynamism, they may be involved in differentiation or nutrition, or else be formed as a result of pressure arising from outgrowing hair shafts.