The Hair Growth Cycle Explained
May 31 2021
Hair loss can be very upsetting, and it’s tempting to just accept it as your fate. But the more information you learn about a problem, the more you can take control of your own outcomes, and that’s true for hair loss as well. Learning about the different stages of hair growth is the place to start, so you can understand what is happening and how effective hair replacement treatments can help you.
What is the basic structure of hair?
The first thing to understand is the hair’s structure. Hair growth starts in the hair follicle on the scalp. Think of the follicle as a tube that pushes out the hair as it grows. At the bottom of the follicle is the hair bulb, which is nourished by blood vessels. Near the top of the follicles are oil glands, which produce the natural oils that keep hair soft and moisturized.
How does hair growth happen?
Hair grows from the hair bulb at the bottom of the hair follicle. As it is nourished by nutrients delivered by blood vessels, cells inside the follicle begin to divide, forming hair. As more cells divide, the hair shaft is pushed up until it breaks the surface, creating your hair.
What are the stages of hair growth?
Follicles don’t produce hair all the time. Even in people without hair loss, hair follicles enter different stages of production and rest.
- The anagen, or growth phase. This is where hair grows in the process described earlier. Cells divide in the bulb and push out, forming a hair shaft that continues to grow. This stage can last for many years.
- The catagen, or transitional phase. Hair growth starts to slow in this phase, which lasts a few weeks. Because hair growth is slowed, the follicle shrinks in this stage.
- The telogen, or resting phase. This is where hair stops growing from the follicle. The hair that was growing detaches within the follicle. But this hair doesn’t shed until the growth phase starts again and the new hair pushes it out, which is called the exogen phase. In the exogen phase, people normally lose about 50 to 100 hairs per day, but new growth has already started under those lost hairs. Normally, the entire telogen phase, including hair shedding, lasts several months, then the anagen growth phase starts again.
Normally, not every hair shaft is in the same phase, so you’ll notice a few hairs in your hairbrush or shower drain, but it’s not enough to notice thinning areas on your head.
What happens to the growth process that causes hair loss?
In conditions like male and female pattern hair loss, several of the follicles enter the resting phase at the same time, and some no longer grow hair. When this happens, you’ll start to notice thinning areas where the follicles have stopped growing hair. There are a number of reasons why this happens, and hair replacement treatments should begin as soon as you notice these areas so you can take control of your hair loss.
What kind of treatments can help?
The good news is that there is help for you to restore your hair in all stages of hair loss!
In early stages of hair loss, the goal is to stimulate growth and try to return hair follicles to their anagen stage of growth. Several treatments, such as PRP therapy at the Hair Restoration Institute, use growth compounds to help restore the health of your hair follicles and stimulate growth.
If hair loss is more advanced, other options like hair transplantation or non-invasive hair replacement treatments like the Hair Restoration Institute’s Dermal Lens systems.
These are just examples of the many treatment options available. The important thing to remember is that there are several options available in every stage of hair loss! The first step in taking control is to schedule a free, discreet consultation appointment at Hair Restoration Institute. Our professional hair loss experts can assess your individual needs and design a hair restoration plan that will work for you. The power is all yours to take control of your hair loss. Find us at 1201 West Lancaster Avenue in Fort Worth, Texas, or call or 817-854-HAIR (4247) for your complimentary consultation to get started.