Roots hairs are cylindrical extensions of root epidermal cells that are important for acquisition of nutrients, microbe interactions, and plant anchorage. The molecular mechanisms involved in the specification, differentiation, and physiology of root hairs in Arabidopsis are reviewed here. Root hair specification in Arabidopsis is determined by position-dependent signaling and molecular feedback loops causing differential accumulation of a WD-bHLH-Myb transcriptional complex. The initiation of root hairs is dependent on the RHD6 bHLH gene family and auxin to define the site of outgrowth. Root hair elongation relies on polarized cell expansion at the growing tip, which involves multiple integrated processes including cell secretion, endomembrane trafficking, cytoskeletal organization, and cell wall modifications. The study of root hair biology in Arabidopsis has provided a model cell type for insights into many aspects of plant development and cell biology.