There are all kinds of interesting things about our hair. Whether it’s wondering why some people have long hair and others do not or why some people’s hair stops growing as they age – a guide to the hair growth cycle may give you some insight.
Components of Our Hair
The hair has two main components: the hair follicle and the shaft. Now, the follicle has its own parts – the bulb and papilla. What the papilla does is carry blood to the hair follicle and nourish it with nutrients – the very nutrients that give us healthy, luxurious hair.
The hair shaft is the part you see on top of your head. Each hair shaft represents a strand of hair and is made up of a hard outer layer known as the cuticle and a hard protein called keratin – the same thing you see in some hair care products.
The Hair Growth Cycle and Phases
There are four phases of the hair growth cycle that include: the anagen phase, the catagen phase, the telogen phase and the exogen phase.
The Anagen Phase
This is the hair growth phase and the beginning of the hair growth cycle. This phase is approximately 2 – 7 years and results in new hair growth.
The Catagen Phase
This is a very brief phase, lasing about two to three weeks. According to Toppik:
During the catagen phase, the hair stops growing and detaches itself from the blood supply. The hair becomes what is known as a club hair.
The Telogen Phase
This is also known as the resting phase and this phase allows new hair to grow underneath the existing hair. It lasts about three months.
The Exogen Phase
This is where the resting phase hair falls out or sheds and it’s the reason you see hair come out in your comb, brush, or in the shower. It is normal to experience shedding of up to 100 hairs a day and it is only worrisome of there is a lot more than usual.
Once these cycles are done, the hair growth cycle starts all over again. Rinse and repeat, you might say.
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