We typically don't give much thought to how our hair grows. Of course, our hair plays a vital role in self-identity and appearance, but it also transmits information and affects how other people perceive us.
While it may seem like a simple process, your hair's growth is far more complex than it appears. Understanding how your hair grows can provide valuable insight into how thinning hair or hair loss can be treated and prevented.
The Hair Growth Cycle
Your hair grows in a predictable manner, known as the hair growth cycle. This cycle consists of four distinct phases, which researchers have studied in great depth. Each phase has a unique timeline, which is affected by several factors, including age, nutrition, and overall health. This knowledge enables us to take measures to ensure that your hair has a healthy growth cycle during each phase.
The Anagen Phase
Often referred to as the growing stage, the anagen phase is the initial growth period of a hair. This phase is the longest of the four and typically lasts about two to eight years for the hairs on your head. However, for some people, a single strand of hair may grow for seven years or more.
During the anagen phase, your hair follicles produce hairs that will continue to grow until they are cut or reach the end of the final stage of the growth cycle and shed. Approximately 90% of the hair on your scalp is in the anagen phase at any given time.
The Catagen Phase
The catagen phase is sometimes called the transition stage and typically lasts four to six weeks. During this phase, the hair follicles begin to shrink, and hair growth slows. Then, during its final days of growth, the hair separates from the hair follicle yet remains in place. About 5 % of your scalp hairs are in the catagen phase at any time.
The Telogen Phase
The telogen phase, also called the resting stage, typically lasts from two to three months. During this phase, your hair no longer grows but remains in place. Additionally, new hairs begin to form in the hair follicles that have just finished the catagen phase.
It is estimated that five to ten percent of your scalp hairs are in the telogen phase at any time.
The Exogen Phase
Also referred to as the shedding stage, many experts consider the exogen phase part of the telogen phase. Usually lasting two to five months, during the exogen phase, new hairs grow in the hair follicles as old hairs fall away.
Only a small portion of your scalp hair is in the exogen stage at any one time, and it's normal to lose between 50 to 100 hairs in this stage every day. The exogen phase accounts for the strands of hair on your clothes, bedding, in your brush or comb, and the drain when you wash your hair.
Keep Your Hair Healthy Throughout the Hair Growth Cycle
Maintaining a full, healthy head of hair depends on various factors. While some factors such as genetics and hormone levels are largely out of your control, others are manageable.
One of the best strategies for maintaining healthy hair throughout their lifetime includes a healthy lifestyle and gentle hair care. However, if you believe that you're losing hair faster than you used to or experiencing thinning hair or hair loss, our team of professionals can help.
At New Image Hair Clinic, we are experts in all aspects of hair care and can help you with looking at potential causes of hair loss in men and women and provide different solutions that are available for men and women. Contact us today to schedule your FREE initial consultation and learn more about how you can ensure healthy hair growth throughout the hair growth cycle.