Hair Growth Phases

| August 18, 2010 | 0 Comments

Our hair grows at an average rate of 0.30 to 0.40 millimeters per day. (This translates to approximately six inches of hair growth each year.) While the actual length of time for hair growth varies on different individuals, all types of hair undergo the same period of development.

These processes, referred to as “hair growth phases” involve three easily identifiable stages:

STAGE 1. ANAGEN: The Growth Phase.

  • Tagged as the “active phase”, this period is characterized by the hair’s continuous growth. This is the time when cells on the hair roots split radically, causing “new hair” to form. An active Anagen is desired because it will mean quicker hair development.
  • The Anagen phase takes about two to six years, with the hair growing one centimeter every twenty-eight (28) days.
  • Hair loss happens when this stage is disrupted by strong medications (such as anti-cancer drugs), or it may be a result of a hair disorder, known as Alopecia Areata.

STAGE 2. CATAGEN: The Transitional Phase.

  • Approximately three percent (3%) of our hair’s total strands undergo the Catagen phase at any given time. They go through this stage for about two to three (2 to 3) weeks.
  • Throughout this period, hair growth stops and the outer root sheath shrinks. The hair then starts “transitioning” itself into the “club hair”—the type of hair strands that develop lumps at the end of their follicles.

STAGE 3. TELOGEN: The Resting Phase.

  • Telogen covers about ten to fifteen percent (10% to 15%) of scalp hairs. It takes about one hundred (100) days until the club hair is completely structured.
  • If you try taking one strand of your hair while under this phase, you will notice a solid white material at its root—that is the fully formed club hair.
  • On the average, twenty-five to one hundred (25 to 100) hair strands are shed everyday. If you think you are loosing more than that number, you may be suffering from a disorder referred to as Telogen Effluvium. This hair disease is usually a result of taking strong medications, sudden weight loss or other drastic changes in the body (like being pregnant).

Each of these hair growth phases religiously takes place one after another. It is most important for people to be aware of their hair’s natural stages, so as to have an idea of how to improve the state of their locks. Hopefully, the basic knowledge of these hair growth phases will help one recognize if it is time to consult a hair doctor.

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