So you might have a luscious head of hair at some point that you love. We all want a great head of hair since it boosts our confidence! But, have you ever considered how your hair develops, regardless of its length? No one bothered to think about the process of growth of hairs. Some people take the growth of hair for granted.
This process is very complicated than you think. The cycle of hair growth has four distinct stages. The hair has to pass these stages to grow at its full length.
An understanding of the growth of hairs is necessary. It makes you realize that why your hair gets thin and why hair falls at old age. It is also beneficial for preventing baldness. It also helps you in regrowing your hair if you are in the phase of hair loss. Let’s have a look at the hair growth process from the beginning to the end.
What are the stages of hair growth?
Hair, like other parts of your body, goes through several stages of development. The hair has two separate structures, each plays its role in the growth. The hair follicle, which is located beneath the scalp, is the first one. The hair follicle is a living structure that produces new hair. Hair grows with a complex process that involves cell generation.
The second structure of the hair is the hair shaft. This part of hair grows out of the skin. The hair shaft grows from the hair bulb. Do you know what a hair bulb is? The area of the hair follicle that converts nutrients into the keratinized cells that make up your hair is a bulb. Each hair growth phase in detail:
The Growing (Anagen) Phase:
During this phase hair actively and continuously grow. 85-90% of your hair grow at this stage. All hairs of the body go through an anagen phase. The duration of the phase varies depending upon the location of hairs.
On average scalp hair grows for between two to six years before the end of the growing phase. The difference in the length of hairs of different body parts from the scalp is due to the length of the anagen phase.
The Regression (Catagen) Phase:
Each hair follicle enters the catagen phase after passing through the anagen phase. This period is also known as a regression or transition period. The club hairs formed in this growth cycle of hairs.
A club hair is a hair shaft that is detached from the blood supply of the hair follicle. At this phase, the active growth of your hair stops. The hair follicles which have to provide nutrients to the hair slightly shrinks. This period lasts for several weeks.
The Resting (Telogen) Phase:
The hair follicles rest in this growth phase. The hair shaft is also dormant and does not grow. Like the anagen phase, this phase also varies in length. There is a short regression phase in most hairs of body parts which lasts for several weeks.
The telogen phase for scalp hair can be up to one year. Some health issues like fever may cause hair to stay permanently in the telogen phase. This results in the loss of hair known as telogen effluvium.
The Shedding (Exogen) Phase:
Old hairs reach the exogen phase when new hair begins to develop. The hair fiber detaches from your skin and falls out. The shedding of 50-100 hairs is normal in this process. The falling hair is replaced by new hairs so, it doesn’t cause male pattern baldness.
How fast does hair grow?
Your hair goes through the catagen phase for 2-3 weeks before entering the telogen for 100 days. This process is shorter with other hairs such as eyebrow and leg hair.
We are born with the complete number of follicles that we will use during our lives. On our bodies, there are roughly 5 million and, on our heads, there are 100,000 million. With age, some follicles stop producing hairs, which cause baldness and hair thinning.
Hair grows half an inch a month, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Hairs grow at a rate of 6 inches every year. It can be encouraged by using supplements, shampoos, serums, and conditioners.
What can you do to grow hair faster?
Genetics plays a vital role in the growth of hairs but there are other factors too. There is no magical potion that can speed up your growth of hairs. The story of magical potion is just true in fairy tales. The chemical that promises rapid growth of hairs only damages them. There are certain things you can do to encourage your hair to grow.
Don’t go on a diet that is too strict:
We are not able to control everything which affects our growth of hairs. However, there are several things we can do to improve the growth of hairs and prevent shedding. Restrictive dieting decreases the resources and nutrients for the growth of hairs. Hair shedding continues for several months after starting a balanced diet.
Have a healthy protein intake:
A balanced diet having protein is necessary for optimal growth of hairs. 50 grams or more intake of protein is necessary per day.
Use products that have caffeine:
We all know that caffeine is a source of an energy boost. A study found that it may have growth-promoting effects on hair. Caffeine may help in promoting the growth of hairs at the cellular, molecular, and organ level in both men and women.
Experiment with essential oils:
A study proved that daily intake of 400 mg pumpkin oil in the form of capsules improves the growth of hairs in men. After 24 weeks, men who took pumpkin seed reported a 40% rise in hair count. According to research, the group of people who has taken peppermint oil showed more growth of hairs.
Essential oil is a gray area to step in if you don’t know what works where, consult with your dermatologist or a guide to essential oils.
Increase the nutrient profile of your body:
The energy required for hair growth is provided by specific vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. The profile of the nutrients include:
- Biotin (Vitamin B)
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
Develop a habit of scalp massage:
The scalp massage reduces stress and induces relaxation. It may also help in boosting the health of the hair. The study examines the effectiveness of the daily 4-minute massage. As a result, the nine men have thicker hair than before. But the study didn’t show a noticeable difference in the growth of hairs.
It’s assumed that massage may dilute blood vessels under the scalp. This can lead to thicker hair which is less likely to break off and damage.
Avoid the heat:
The heat from the hairdryer, curlers, and straightener iron can damage and break your hair. Complete avoidance from heat styling is not an option. But you can limit the frequency of using these tools. Temperature decrease of hairstyling tools can also help in preventing hair damage.
This also applies to sun exposure. Do use sunscreen to protect your hair from harmful UV rays.
Go easy with the hair coloring process:
The dying of the hair or changing the texture with the chemicals put pressure on the hair and causes hair fall. That’s because the chemicals present in the dye negatively affect hair to the extent which hair dye can also cause hair loss.
What slows down hair growth?
The knowledge of factors that causes adverse effects on hairs is important. It would be simple for you to stay away from the factors. Some factors are negatively affecting the growth of hairs:
- Hormonal changes
- Lack of nutrition
- Other diseases
It is critical to seek medical advice if you are experiencing severe and unexplained hair loss. Certain illnesses or health conditions can cause hair loss. Don’t take hair loss lightly. Because the damage done to your hair takes time to repair.
We now have a good understanding of the hair growth process. There are many factors that can help speed up or encourage hair growth.
On the other hand, there are also factors that can slow down your hair growth or even cause hair loss, it’s important to protect your hair.
These certain factors include stress, medications, traumas, and other diseases. If you are experiencing hair loss for an unknown reason, you should see a doctor. If they decide your hair loss is severe, you might have to opt for a hair transplant.