Understanding how your hair grows is important in understanding why your hair may be thinning or shedding and what you can do to prevent or manage hair loss. The number of those seeking treatment for hair loss is thought to have more than doubled in recent years – between 2004 and 2008 it rose from 361,077 to over 800,000, worldwide – so this is an ever-growing problem.
On average, we have 120,000 strands of hair – blondes actually have more than red heads or brunettes – and we usually lose up to 100 strands of hair a day. The hair growth cycle is split into three separate stages and, unlike other mammals that may shed seasonally, our hair is continually in the process of growing and shedding.
The Hair Growth Stage
Known as the anagen stage, this can last for two to six years, and starts with the cells in the root of the hair multiplying rapidly until a new hair is formed which pushes the follicle up and then out through the scalp. Hair generally grows about 1 cm every month, although it grows faster in the summer than the winter.
If you have a problem growing you hair beyond a certain length before it sheds, then it’s because your growth phrase is shorter.
The Hair Cessation Stage
The catagen or cessation phrase will be affecting about three per cent of your hairs at any one time. Growth completely stops and the root shrinks around the root of the hair to form what is known as a ‘club’ hair. This phase lasts about ten days.
The Hair Resting Stage
This is known as the telogen phase and can last five to six weeks, affecting about 10 to 15 per cent of your hair at any one time. The club hair is completely formed and starts to shed. The follicle is then inactive for three months before the hair growth cycle starts again.
Hair Loss Help
Diet can definitely have an impact on your hair health. A few weeks to months after a particularly restrictive or faddy diet, you might see diffuse hair fall, called telogen effluvium. This occurs because the growth phase was affected and so more hairs than normal enter the telogen phase at the same time.
For more hair loss advice, get in touch with the experts at HisHair Clinic.