Every person has a different hair type, length, thickness, and texture, which means that everyone’s hair grows a little differently. However, regardless of hair type, there are three distinct phases of hair growth and a fourth shedding phase that all hair follicles go through.
1. Anagen Phase
Hair growth begins with the anagen or growing phase. In this phase, the hair forms in the follicle and can continue growing for about two to seven years. The length of this phase will differ depending on the hair type. For instance, your eyebrow and arm hair will have significantly shorter anagen phases than the hair on your scalp. One scalp hair can typically grow 18-30 inches, depending on your maximum hair length, which varies based on:
During this phase, cells divide much faster than other cells in the body and push the older cells up to the surface, where they die. Usually, about 80-90% of hair follicles are in the anagen phase at any given time.
2. Catagen Phase
The catagen phase is a transitional phase between the anagen phase and the telogen phase and is the shortest phase of your hair growth cycle. This transitional period tends to last about 10 to 14 days. During this time, the hair’s growth slows, and it separates itself from the blood supply, becoming known as a club hair.
3. Telogen Phase
The telogen phase is known as the resting phase, where the club hairs are at rest while new hair begins to grow beneath it. This phase lasts for about three months, with an estimated 10 to 15% of your scalp hair being in this phase at any given time.
4. Exogen Phase
Following the three phases of hair growth, your hair reaches the exogen phase, which is an extension of the telogen stage. This stage is when the hair begins to shed from the scalp, often about 50 to 100 hairs per day.
How the Hair Growth Phases Affect Hair Loss
When you experience hair loss, it is often due to a disrupted stage of the hair growth cycle. One of the most frequent causes of hair loss is alopecia. Alopecia is a condition where someone experiences hair loss due to a variety of reasons:
- Androgenetic alopecia: also known as male-patterned baldness or hereditary hair loss, and is the most common cause of hair loss worldwide
- Alopecia areata: when the immune system attacks the body’s hair follicles
- Scarring alopecia: when hair follicles are destroyed by inflammation
- Traction alopecia: when continual pulling on the scalp causes hair loss
When people experience androgenetic alopecia, the anagen cycle shortens while the telogen phase lengthens, causing the entire growth cycle to shorten in duration. When this process occurs, hairs are shed at a faster rate, and hairs become shorter and thinner with each cycle. This process is known as miniaturization and often arises from hair follicles’ interactions with the hormone DHT.
Hair loss can also occur due to several factors, such as:
- Scalp psoriasis
- Hormonal imbalance
Healthy Hair Tips
Although certain hair conditions are genetic and out of your control, there are a few ways to boost the anagen phase of your hair cycle. Try the following treatment methods at home, such as:
- Eat healthy foods
- Limit heat application
- Use a sulfate-free shampoo
- Condition your hair regularly
- Wear loose hairstyles
- Protect your hair when swimming
Grow Your Hair with LaserCap
At LaserCap, we understand how difficult it can be to live with hair loss. Fortunately, understanding the phases of hair growth is the first step towards prioritizing your hair health. If you begin noticing that your hair is shedding more than normal, contact LaserCap to learn about our hair restoration solution.