Have you ever stop and wondered why your hair never seems to grow any longer than your shoulders, or any hair problems you may encounter. I don't know about you but there are so many articles out there that will tell you why your hair is not growing and what you need to do, which is fine, but I like to peel back all the layers and understand how hair grows and whether it is these stages as to why we may encounter any hair problems we may have. To me, it is very important to understand the hair growth cycle for us to pinpoint and understand many of the problems we can encounter with our hair.
Let's get into this...
Did you know that your hair grows on the scalp about half a millimetre a day, that is about 6 inches per year, hair growth loss is not a seasonal thing or cyclical it happens at random stages. There are three stages of hair growth that you need to know and understand how each stage works, and they are called Catalan, Anagen and Telogen.
Let's start with the Catalan Phase known as the transitional stage, in this phase, 3 per cent of all hairs are in this stage at any time and it lasts for about 2-3 weeks. It is this stage you will find that hair growth slows down and what happens is the outer root sheath shrinks and attaches to the root of the hair that forms "club hair".
What is "club hair"?
A club hair is a hair that is formed during the Catagen phase of the hair growth, but it is hair that stops growing, it is hair that has been cut off from its blood supply but you will not see it come away from the scalp until it sheds. The shed hair will be pushed out when the actively growing Anagen phase takes place and newly growing hair pushes the dead hair out. The shedding process happens when hair goes into the Telogen Phase known as the " resting phase" where a certain amount of hair gets shed and then the whole process starts again where hair enters back into the Anagen Stage.
Anagen stages are known as the active or growth phase, most hair grows and remains in this stage for about 3 to 4 years in this phase. New hair gets formed and pushes the "dead hair" known as the "club hair" out of the follicle allowing hair to grow approximately 1 centimetre every 28 days. Not everyone will see the benefits of this hair growth, as most people have difficulty growing their hair beyond a certain point, why? Because they have what is called a "short anagen phase". In reverse to this problem, others that have hair growth and long hair has no problem in growing their hair because they have what is called "long anagen phase".
If your hair is constantly being challenged for instance doing a restrictive diet or triggered conditions such as metabolic imbalances, illness or improper nutrition, you will experience problems with hair growth known as the "short anagen phase", and the hair growth cycle gets disrupted which in effect means that because you have not allowed the hair to stay in the anagen stage ( the growing stage) long enough, you will not experience hair lengths that you desire and instead you will experience hair loss.
Telogen Stage is known as the "resting phase" this is where your hair follicle rests and the club hair becomes completely formed. ( Remember what was explained about "club hair). This is when your hair is released and falls out, this phase is known as the shedding stage where only a certain amount of hair gets shed and not all of your hair. Each hair follicle goes through the growth cycle at different times to prevent all your hair from falling out at once. This stage can last around 3 months and accounts for 10-15 per cent of all hair.
HAIR GROWS ON AVERAGE HALF AN INCH A MONTH
Let me just summarise the above points:
1. Anagen Phase is where your hair grows around half an inch a month and faster in the summer seasons than the colder seasons. Hair in this stage lasts around 3 to 4 years so you will see the full length of hair averaging at 18 - 30 inches. Not everyone will experience this hair growth due to metabolic imbalances, illness or improper nutrition as so the hair growth cycle has been disrupted and you will not see your desired hair length known as the short anagen phase.
2. Catagen Phase known as the transitional phase is where the hair enters this stage at the end of the anagen for 10 days. Growth stops and the outer root sheath shrinks and attaches to the root of the hair. This is the formation of what is known as a club hair.
3. Telogen Phase called as the "resting phase" is where your hair gets released and falls out, the hairs follicle remains inactive for 3 months and the whole process restarts. Although I used the expression "fall out" this phase is called "shedding" and only a certain amount of hair gets shed in this phase. So the whole cycle starts again in this sequence.
What are the causes of "Short Anagen Phase?
If you happen to fall into this phase and you're not experiencing desired hair growth, then these problems are contributors to this factor. Being on a calorie-restricted diet can shorten Anagen phase, stress, childbirth and any traumatic events can contribute to this problem. What happens when you experience shorten hair growth is that more hair follicles go into the Telogen phase at the same time and you will see hair loss. You can seek medical help on what forms of medication you can take to help resolve this problem, once you have gotten to the root of the problem you will experience less hair loss and more hair growth.
I hope this has helped you as this has helped me, just remember if you do fall into the "short Anagen phrase" you do not have to remain in that stage forever, chose to take action now, seek medical help and you will start to see real hair growth, all things are possible if you believe it to be, take action, take charge, it is time to perfect your hair care regimen.