Most people want longer, fuller hair. All of us – at one point or another – have employed various methods to “speed up” our hair growth (e.g. maintaining low stress levels, supplements, living a healthy lifestyle, oils, creams, shampoo, etc.). We’ve received countless emails from people around the world seeking advice on how they can grow their hair longer.
Well, let’s get back to the basics. We first need to understand how human hair grows.Every hair follicle lives in a cyclical manner. There is a long active growth phase, a transition phase, then a rest phase. These phases are called: anagen, catagen, and telogen. Understanding the stages of hair growth is essential. Not only will it help you understand what each hair follicle endures, but you will have a greater appreciation of your lengthy tresses.
The stages of hair growth is accomplished in three phases:
Anagen (growing) phase
Each month the human hair grows about a half an inch (six inches in a year). Some people may notice their hair grows faster during the summer season than the winter. All growth takes place in the anagen phase. This stage lasts between two to six years. Averaging 18-30 inches of hair growth. In general, people who have a long anagen phase will have longer hair and vice versa. Your genetics will help determine the length of this phase.
Catagen (intermediate) phase
After the anagen phase, it is the catagen phase. This phase is a transitional phase. It is the shortest phase and lasts between one to two weeks. The hair follicle will not grow in this stage. Instead it will shrink and detach itself from the dermal papilla. Preparing itself to be renewed.
Telogen (resting) phase
The telogen phase is the last stage. It is commonly referred to as a resting phase. In this phase, the hair follicle becomes inactive for about three months before the growth cycle begins again. During this stage, your old hair follicle will shed to make room for a new one. Then the cycle will begin again.
Due to the independence of each hair follicle, each hair strand undergoes the growth cycle at different times. This is the reason why a healthy individual will not lose their hair at once. Research indicates that a healthy human will shed up to 100 hair strands per day. This is important to remember. Hair fall (or shedding) is natural.
In cases where the hair growth cycle is disrupted and hair loss or thinning occurs, please consult a medical professional for treatment.