Although it may seem like a cut and dry topic, hair growth is actually an intricate process with many layers. The following is a closer look at this process.
The Hair Shaft
The hair shaft is composed of three layers: the cuticle, the cortex, and the medulla. The cuticle is the protective layer that is made of overlapping cells. The cortex is composed of long keratin filaments and helps to give the hair shaft its color. Lastly, the medulla is a thin core of the shaft that is composed of air spaces and transparent cells.
The Hair Growth Process
The hair bulb is a term used to describe a structure of actively growing sales which eventually result in hair growth. A hair growth cycle happens in three phases: the anagen phase, the catagen phase, and the telogen phase.
The Anagen Phase
The bulk of your hair growth occurs during the anagen phase. The hair shaft grows approximately a half an inch monthly. Therefore, it typically takes 3-5 years for the hair follicle to reach its growth potential, and it can actually last for up to 7 years for those whose hair is able to grow up to a meter long.
The Catagen Phase
Once your hair has finished growing, it enters into a transitional phase which is known as the catagen phase. This phase can last for up to 10 days.
The Telogen Phase
Lastly, the telogen phase, which is a resting phase in which your hair is released and falls out. The follicle remains inactive for a period of 3 months, and from there, the cycle is repeated. Each hair follicle is independent and experiencing these phases on its own time.
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