Hair Growth Cycle
People are very fond of their hair, but most don't know much about it. They don’t know how it grows, how much it can grow, why it is thin, why it breaks, etc. At Hair 2.0, we like to educate our clients about hair, so they know how to take proper care of it. Understanding the growth cycle will help you come up with a good hair care routine and spot all abnormalities. Here's what you need to know:
Anatomy of the Hair
To understand growth, you need to understand the anatomy of a human hair. Hair consists of two parts-follicle and shaft. The follicle is located underneath the skin of your scalp and isn't visible from the outside. The hair shaft emerges from the follicle and forms a single strand of hair.
Your scalp contains as many as 100,000 follicles, and all of them must be in a healthy state to promote proper hair growth. A single follicle comprises two components- the papilla and the bulb. A papilla is a small collection of microscopic blood vessels that supply nourishment to the hair strand. A protective layer called the bulb surrounds it. Hair cells divide rapidly inside the bulb, which promotes hair growth.
The hair shaft is dead and made from a hard protein called keratin. The protein is surrounded by a protective layer called cuticle. Your hair will look dull and lifeless if the cuticle is damaged in any way.
Hair can grow at a rate of six inches every day, which is around 0.3 to 0.4 inches every year. This growth rate can vary slightly from one person to another, which is why some people can grow hair quickly while others are not. All strands have their own, independent growth cycle. They don't grow in-sync, and that's why we always have a full head of hair. If all strands experienced the same cycle, we'd have a completely bald head at the beginning of every cycle. Hair goes through these four distinct phases of growth:
- Anagen – Around 80% to 90% of the hair strands are in this hair growth phase at any given time. The hair cells in the bulb divide rapidly at this stage of growth, which can last for between 2 to 7 years based on a person's natural chemistry. People with very long hair often have longer anagen cycles. Your overall health and nutrition can influence this phase.
- Catagen – The hair strands transition from high growth to no growth during this period. During this phase, the hair papilla detaches itself from the blood supply, which stops the supply of nutrition.
- Telogen – Around 10 to 15% of your hair strands are at this stage at any given time. It lasts for around three months and is known as the resting period. The dead hair strands stay in place while new hair forms underneath them. Once the new hair is ready, it replaces old strands.
- Exogen – The exogen phase starts when the new hair is ready to grow out. The old strands detach from the root and fall, giving room for new ones to grow. It is normal for people to lose around 50 to 100 strands every day. Don’t be concerned if you have a few hairs in the shower drain or brush as some shedding is normal. It is a part of a healthy growth cycle.
If you experience excessive shedding, it is an indication of a disruption in this cycle. Hair loss happens if strands go from anagen to catagen phase at an abnormal rate. The strands die and fall out eventually, which leads to thinning and even bald spots. You can avoid this by improving your diet, getting proper sleep, and reducing stress levels. You should also exercise regularly to improve blood flow and remain hydrated. All of this will improve the blood flow and supply of nutrition to the hair follicle, which will extend the growth phase.
If you’re worried about thinning hair on your head, we at Hair 2.0 recommend our natural keratin fiber solution. Want to know more? Contact our team for queries or browse through our website for information on different products.