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Stages Of Hair Growth

June 21, 2019

Stages Of Hair Growth

The human hair grows out from the follicle, what we usually call the root. The root is made up of protein. For growth to happen, the hair takes nutrients and gets fed by the blood vessels beneath the follicles, taking as much nutrients needed for growth to happen. When the blood from the vessels lodged in the scalp feeds the root of the hair more cells are created, and this spurs growth. As the hair passes it is pushed through the scalp, it comes in contact with naturally generated oils stored in an oil gland in the scalp, the oil gland is what makes the hair soft, especially at the root. By the time the hair has poked out from the skin long enough, another starts growing inside the scalp to meet up with it to add to the already existent length.


A human loses close to 100 hairs per day, and this is not due to something bad, this is simply because each follicle at some point takes a break from producing hair, and when a follicle is not producing hair to add to the length of the one already attached to it, the attached one falls off, and the truth is, you may not even notice at all that this actually happens. As you grow older, so does your follicles, there will come a time when they will stop producing hair because just like you, they are old and tired, and this is why you meet old people who have shed most of their hair. This whole process is called the follicular morphogenesis (formation of the follicle).


In between the period when the hair grows and when the hair begins to shed, there are three stages the hair must pass through, the Anagen Phase, the Catagen Phase, and the Telogen Phase.


Anagen Stage:

This is described as the active growth phase of the hair follicles. During these phases, the hair grows about 1 cm every 28 days, dividing rapidly and adding to the hair shaft, while attaching itself to the one already there, giving it length. This stage of growth is for 2-7 years.  This stage, however, is determined genetically, in that if there is a case of alopecia or recessive hair growth in your family. Your hair might not grow as rapidly as the anagen stage allows. It will grow, just not as rapidly as it should normally.


Catagen Stage:

This starts just as the end of the Anagen Stage, it signals the end of the active growth of the hair. In this stage, something called a club hair is formed. Club hair is a hair that instead of the thin end that comes out of the hair follicle, they have a bulge instead. The club hair does not easily fall off, except during combing, washing or yanking, it wedges itself inside the hair follicle and only falls when it comes in contact with the force. However, this process leaves the hair lacking nutrients, as the bulge formed at the end of the hair blocks the flow of blood into the hair, the process that allows for the build of new hair. This process lasts for 2-3 weeks.

Telogen Stage:

This stage starts when the club hair has completely formed, it is also called the resting stage of the hair follicle. At this point the follicle is no longer in the production stage, it is resting. It is at this stage that hair loss begins, you lose about 50 to 100 strands of hair daily in this stage. The hair in this stage is dead.

This stage, however, can prematurely be reached, usually, when the body comes in contact with significant stress, about 70% of the hair can be shot into the telogen stage from this. When the hair prematurely enters the telogen stage it is usually characterized by a noticeable loss of hair, and this loss of hair is called the 'Telogen effluvium'.


Conclusion:

Understanding the stages of hair growth is important, as this would help you understand fully, the problems you have with your hair, thus helping you know how to handle your hair. These stages are a natural happening, so there is not much you can do to stop them, they can, however, take care of yourself and your hair properly, to avoid a premature move to the telogen stage. Your hair cannot stay at the anagen stage long enough for the type of growth you would have liked, so it's better to make sure it doesn't go straight to the telogen stage.





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