What Is the Hair Cycle?
There are natural ways to speed up hair growth, such as leading a healthy lifestyle and trying to keep stress levels to a minimum. An adequate amount of sleep and exercise will help to control your stress levels. Physical activity encourages your body circulation including your scalp, promoting hair growth. Make sure to avoid fad diets, if you aren't eating enough protein and iron you will lack energy which will lead to hair loss as well as other deficiencies.
Understanding the hair growth cycle will help you identify problems that you may encounter with your hair.
An Overview of the Hair Growth Cycle:
Each hair follicle lives in a cycle of a long period of growth, followed by a relatively short period of rest. During the rest period the hair is still attached to the hair follicle, but it is not growing. After the resting phase the hair is shed and a newer hair begins to grow, starting a new hair growth cycle.
Genetics determine hair follicles' pattern of growth and rest. As we age, hair follicles are programmed to stop producing hair and spend more time in the resting stage.
Stages of the Hair Growth Cycle
The growth cycle of a hair consists of 3 stages:
1. ANAGEN (GROWING) STAGE
- The anagen stage is the growing period of a hair follicle.
- This stage typically lasts about 3 to 5 years.
2. CATAGEN (INTERMEDIATE) STAGE
- The catagen stage is the intermediate period of hair growth.
- Hair follicles prepare themselves for the resting phase.
- It lasts around 1-2 weeks.
- During this phase, the deeper portions of the hair follicles start to collapse.
3. TELOGEN (RESTING or SHEDDING) STAGE
- The telogen stage is the resting and shedding period of the hair cycle.
- It usually lasts 3 to 4 months.
- At the end of this period, older hairs that have finished their life will fall out and newer hairs will begin to grow.
Timespan of the Hair Growth Cycle
- The anagen phase constitutes about 90% (1000 days or more) of the growth cycle.
- The catagen phase (10 days) and telogen phase (100 days) constitute only 10% of the hair growth cycle.
- During the catagen and telogen phase of the hair growth cycle, as hairs are at the shedding and rest-from-growth period, no bald spots are shown as hairs are randomly distributed over the scalp.