Hair keratin-associated proteins (KAP) are a major component of the hair fiber, and play crucial roles in forming a strong hair shaft through a cross-linked network with keratin intermediate filaments (KIF), which are produced from hair keratins. Recently, the study of human KAP has advanced significantly. So far, five clusters of human KAP genes have been characterized, leading to the identification of more than 80 individual human KAP genes. In situ hybridization studies have demonstrated sequential and spatial expression patterns of these KAP members in differential portions of the hair fiber cortex and cuticle. Furthermore, several human KAP genes have size polymorphisms that are mainly because of variable numbers of cysteine-rich repeat segments, and the patterns of some of these size variants are distinct between different human populations.