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Getting to Know Your Hair Growth Cycle

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 1 0
Auburn hair
Credit: public-domain-pics.deviantart.com

At some point of your hair’s life, it dies and detaches itself from your body. This is actually the main concept of this article. Getting to know your normal hair growth cycle is essential if you're coping with alopecia. This is also valuable if you’re trying to grow long tresses. Why is that so? Basically, by knowing and understanding this natural human body process, you will be able to verify if you’re suffering from mild to severe baldness or not. In addition to that, you can also set-up a definite timeline on how long it will take to grow your tresses. These are only  some of the benefits you will gain from reading this article. To be honest, there are a lot of interesting facts to learn about the human hair. It all starts with its life cycle.

Anagen stage

Anagen is the stage where your hair is full of life. At this stage, it is capable of growing an average of 0.4 mm per day or 1 cm every month. However, not all of your strands are undergoing this stage at the same time. More or less about 85% of your strands are under this stage while the remaining 15% are either under stage two or three.

Depending on several variables such as your genes and your lifestyle, this phase can last at least two years or an utmost of 8 years. This time frame is not applicable for the hairs in your arms, legs and face. They have a shorter anagen phase. Typically, their growth period would only take 3 to 4 months. Regardless of that fact, there are other considerations namely your diet, a certain disease or the use of certain medications that  can affect the optimum growth of your locks. Hence, you cannot simply rely on this valuable information about the growth cycle of your tresses. To have healthy locks, it also need a daily dose of nourishment and care. 

Catagen stage

In the catagen stage of your hair growth cycle, the growing phase ends. At this point, your hair is preparing itself to enter the resting phase. Typically, this will only last for about 14 to 21 days.

During this stage, each strand starts to detach itself from your bloodstreams. When this occurs, essential nutrients necessary for growth and nourishment are no longer accessible. Nonetheless, at this point, each hair strand is still alive. It is just undergoing a point of transition. For that reason, any medications or change in diet would not affect these strands. Fortunately, only 3% of your total number of strands will endure this phase. 

Telogen stage

Lastly, before your strands fully detach itself from your body, it undergoes the resting stage also known as telogen. During this stage, hair follicles begin to recuperate, preparing itself to start a new growth cycle. This stage would usually take 90 to 100 days. About 6% to 8%  of your total number of strands undergo this phase. After the resting period, each strand will eventually fall. Basically, an average human being would shed 25 to 100 strands of hair a day. Hence, it is perfectly normal to find strands of hair on your brush or combs. 

How to identify hair loss problems?

Now that you know the typical growth cycle of your hair, how would you know if you're suffering from alopecia? Since hair fall is a normal daily life process, you cannot discern any hair loss problems based from shedding alone. So what now? The important stage of your hair growth cycle is obviously the anagen phase. With that said, you have to observe and inspect your scalp for new growths. This will make sure that the cycle is continuously going on. Another sign of a problem is when your scalp is visible to the naked eye. If you’ve noticed these signs, you might want to consult a physician to microscopically inspect your scalp and strands. Only through these methods would you be able to find the exact cause of your hair loss problems.

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Bibliography

  1. "Hair Loss: The Science of Hair ." Web MD. 13/11/2012 <Web >
  2. "Hair Growth Cycle." LA Science. 13/11/2012 <Web >
  3. Athena Hessong "Hair Growth Process." eHow. 13/11/2012 <Web >

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