Hair Growth Facts

| August 7, 2010 | 0 Comments

three stages of hair growthHair growth is a process that starts before we are even born and continues for a while after we die. The hair on your head grows by about a half an inch each month but hair on other parts of our body take a bit longer to grow. Hair growth cycles are influenced by a number of factors. These include hormones, genes and even the environment. Hair growth can even be affected by incorporating vitamins into your diet that are great for your hair. Our hair is actually a pretty fascinating subject and we sure as heck all have it. Here are a few fairly interesting hair growth facts for you to ponder.

There Are 3 Stages of Hair Growth
There are three stages of hair growth. These are anagen, catagen and telogen. The length of these stages depends on the location of the hair and the individual hair’s actual type. Anagen is the longest phase and the vast majority of your hair or about 90% of it is currently in this phase. This is the phase of hair production when hair actually grows. Anagen can last for around 3 to 5 years or even longer for some. People who easily grow hair to extremely long lengths most likely have a longer than average anagen phase of hair growth.

Catagen is the phase of hair growth when the hair begins to rest. It is the shortest of the three phases of hair growth and usually only last a few weeks. Less than 1% of the hair you have is currently in a catagen phase. Catagen is the brief phase of hair growth between healthy and dormant hair.

Telogen is the last phase of the hair growth cycle and is the phase when hair no longer grows and begins the shedding process. Around 10% of your hair is currently in a telogen phase. Usually it only lasts between 3 to 6 months before this hair sheds and is replaced by a new strand of hair beginning its anagen phase. One common myth about hair growth is that all of our hair is in the same phase at the same time. This is not true as our hair continues through these phases throughout our entire life. You are constantly shedding and replacing new hair through this ongoing process.

We Have 3 Types of Hair
Yes, there are a few different types of hair. And I’m not talking about wavy, curly or straight. The very first type of hair we have is called lanugo which is a Latin word which means wool. Lanugo is the hair found on a fetus or newborn baby and when we come into this world it is the type of hair we have. 3 or 4 months after we are born, this hair sheds and is replaced by vellus hair. Vellus is the hair present on most areas of our body up until we reach puberty. At puberty, vellus is eventually replaced by terminal hair, which is the thicker type of hair found on the head, face, armpit and pubic area of adults.

There Are 2 Parts of Human Hair
Each hair is made up of two parts. The root grows out of the follicle. This entire portion is buried under the scalp. Each hair follicle also contains a sebaceous gland. This gland secretes an oil known as sebum. Sebum is responsible for lubricating your hair, skin and scalp. Lubricating the scalp allows for proper hair growth. The other part of each hair is known as the shaft. This is the part that protrudes to the outside of the skin. It is the hair we can see. Each hair is made up of three regions or layers called the cuticle, cortex and medulla. People with extremely fine hair lack the inner medulla layer.

Androgen and How It Affects Our Hair
Some hair relies on the existence of androgen in our system to allow for hair growth. Androgen is also commonly referred to as an androgenic hormone or testoid. Testosterone and DHT are two important androgens that affect our hair growth. These androgens bind to hair follicles in facial hair, pubic hair and other areas. If androgens and receptors are absent from these areas of the body, hair simply will not grow. One major factor in male pattern baldness is the absence of proper levels of the androgren known as DHT.

Nutrition and Hair Growth
A healthy diet is crucial for proper hair growth. Your diet should contain specific vitamins and minerals to maximize your ability to grow healthy hair. Nutrients capable of influencing hair growth include Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, Vitamin C, Iron, Copper, Zinc and Protein. Deficiencies in these nutrients can result in a slowing down or temporary stoppage of hair growth. If you are experiencing low levels of hair growth, your diet could be to blame. Consult a nutrition before going down the road of considering hair treatments and remedies because many conditions can be fixed by merely adopting a proper diet regiment.

Hair Growth Disorders
Hirsutism is a disorder which results in the overgrowth of hair on the body, typically occurring as a male pattern hair growth found in female patients. It is somewhat rare, only affecting a small number of women. And the vast majority of cases are mild. Hirsutism commonly causes the presence of facial hair on the upper lip of women. This condition is responsible for the entire female hair product industry offering various remedies from waxing to electrolysis. It is caused by an excess level of androgen which is suspected to occur due to an increase in the levels of insulin which stimulates the production of excess androgen.

Another strange hair growth disorder is called hypertrichosis. This is also called ambras or werewolf syndrome, which involves the abnormal growth of hair across the entire body. And, no, it doesn’t actually turn you into a werewolf. People who suffer from this condition show extreme amounts of hair growth. The condition can either be considered congenital or something you are born with or can develop later in life. During the 19th and 20th centuries, it was common to find sufferers of hypertrichosis working as sideshow performers billed as wolf men or other types of animal human hybrids. But the reality was that they were simply affected by this extremely rare hair growth disorder.

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Category: Facts About Hair Growth, Hair Growth Conditions

About the Author ()

Kip Shives is the Contributing Editor for and like many of you personally struggles with male pattern baldness. Kip strives to cover quality information on hair growth topics to help you hang on to what you got and find ways to grow new hair. He's a graduate of the University of South Carolina College of Journalism and Mass Communications.

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