Science: The different stages of hair growth.

I know that the growth and loss of hair is very important but it is a scientific process and it’s not as easy as one thinks. It might look like you don’t use the right products but hair growth doesn’t revolve around haircare products always. The hair growth cycle composes of 4 stages. Once you get to understand these stages you won’t freak out when your hair stops growing or starts shedding at a particular time. These four stages are Anagen, Catagen, Telogen and Exogen. Each of these stages has its life span and can be affected by a particular lifestyle, nutrition and health conditions. All will be discussed in this post.

Stages of hair growth

Anagen.

This is the first stage of hair growth. When new hair is formed it pushes the old hair up the follicle and comes out. Hair grows 6inches a year, i.e ½ an inch a month. The anagen stage which is the active phase lasts for 3-5 years and 7 years for Asians. When you find out that your hair doesn’t grow past a certain length it’s because you have a short anagen phase. That explains why the Indians have long hair because they have a long active phase. This is different for the hair on eyebrows, arms, legs, pubic area. Their active phase is shorter of about 30-50 days. During this phase, hair follicles push out the hairs that keeps growing until they reach their life span or gets cut along the way. About 85-90% of your hair are in this phase.

Catagen.

This is the 2nd phase of hair growth. This stage starts immediately after the anagen phase it is also called the transitional phase. In this phase, hair growth stops because the hair follicles shrinks and the hair separates from the bottom of the hair follicle but remains in it’s position. This phase lasts for two weeks. It’s the shortest and just 3% of the hair is in this phase.

Telogen.

This is the resting phase. The hair strands are intact in the follicle but are not growing. This phase lasts for 90-100 days and it’s longer for the hair on the brows, lashes, arms and legs than scalp hair. The hair follicle will have all the time to rest and then it forms the club hair. When you pull out a hair at this phase, you will see a solid white material at the root. I’m sure you have noticed that before. This phase is divided into two: the telogen and exogen phase. Because hair neither grows nor is shed in this phase. It is also considered that it’s normal for you to shed 35-100 strands of hair daily. That is why this phase is divided into two.

Exogen.

This is the shedding phase. When you lose 70-100 strands of hair daily, maybe due to combing or washing, don’t be scared it’s a normal thing. This stage lasts for about 3-5 months and during this time new hairs are growing to replace the old ones that will fall off. That is the cycle of hair growth. At least your hair won’t fall off at once.

If you experience irregularities in hair growth then, it’s because of a change in lifestyle(nutrition), illness, stress and depression. These factors don’t let your hair remain in the anagen phase for long so that it grows to the appropriate length and forces it to go to a premature telogen phase and after some months it enters the exogen phase. That is why you experience serious hair fall.

How to maintain healthy hair growth.

How to maintain healthy hair.

Good nutrition: eat foods rich in vitamin C & D, Zinc, Iron.

Reduce stress.

Use the right haircare products.

Hope this was helpful? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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