We often get asked by our users about the process of hair growth, and it’s not as straightforward as it might seem. The hair growth cycle consists of four distinct phases, each with its own role in the journey to healthy hair. Delving into these stages can provide valuable insights into how to promote and maintain healthy hair.
1. Anagen: The Growth Phase
Anagen is where it all begins – the phase of growth. Lasting an average of 3 to 5 years for scalp hairs, this stage is characterized by the rapid proliferation of cells in the hair matrix. During this phase, hair follicles are hard at work, pushing out hairs that possess the potential for continued growth. Remarkably, a single hair could even continue its growth journey for as long as 7 years.
It’s important to note that the anagen phase isn’t a one-size-fits-all scenario. Different types of hair come with their own anagen timelines. Eyebrow and pubic hairs, for example, have significantly shorter anagen phases compared to the hairs on your head.
At any given time, about 90% of the hairs on your head are in the anagen phase. This makes it the most active stage of the hair growth cycle, responsible for the luxurious lengths we often strive for.
2. Catagen: The Transition Phase
As anagen gracefully comes to an end, the catagen phase steps in as a transitional chapter. This phase, lasting approximately 10 days, serves as the bridge between growth and rest. During this time, hair follicles undergo a series of changes.
One of the most notable changes is the shrinking of the hair follicles. Simultaneously, hair growth slows down, setting the stage for the next phase. While the hair separates from the bottom of the hair follicle during catagen, it remains anchored in place during its final days of growth.
The catagen phase is a transient period, with only about 5% of your head’s hairs experiencing this stage at any given time. It’s a necessary pause before the hair cycle moves forward.
3. Telogen: The Resting Phase
The telogen phase, often referred to as the resting phase, presents a unique contrast to the previous stages. Lasting around 3 months, this phase is characterized by a sense of tranquility in the hair follicles. During telogen, your scalp’s environment shifts – hairs don’t grow, but they don’t typically fall out either.
Around 10-15% of the hairs on your scalp are in the telogen phase at any given time. While the follicles rest, new hairs begin to form in the follicles that have just released hairs during the catagen phase. It’s a serene yet pivotal period of renewal in the hair growth cycle.
4. Exogen: The Shedding Phase
During the exogen phase, the shedding of hair occurs, often aided by everyday activities such as washing and brushing. Losing 50 to 100 hairs per day during exogen is considered within the normal range.
As the telogen phase winds down, the exogen phase takes the stage, bringing with it a shedding process. Exogen is often considered an extension of the telogen stage, signaling the natural progression of the hair growth cycle.
Lasting roughly 2 to 5 months, the exogen phase also marks the emergence of new hairs. As old hairs gracefully bow out, new growth takes center stage, continuing the cycle of renewal.
Understanding and Nurturing Healthy Hair through Every Phase
The hair growth cycle is a symphony of stages, each playing a crucial role in maintaining the health and vitality of your hair. While genetics and hormones have their say, you have the power to influence the trajectory of your hair’s journey through certain practices:
1. Light Therapy: Revian’s innovative light therapy is revolutionizing hair loss treatment through a dual-wavelength approach. By merging red (660nm) and orange (620nm) LED wavelengths, and utilizing 119 medical-grade LEDs for precise scalp coverage, Revian stands apart from conventional methods. The integration of the Smart App + Wireless Cap system enhances efficacy, delivering optimized light doses in quick 10-minute sessions. This technology not only triggers the release of nitric oxide but also comprehensively addresses androgenetic alopecia factors like blood flow, inflammation, and DHT levels.
2. Balanced Nutrition: Since hair is predominantly composed of protein, prioritize protein-rich foods like lean meats, fish, beans, and low-fat dairy. Nutrients such as Vitamin D, Vitamin C, iron (especially for women), zinc, folic acid, and Vitamin B12 are also key players in promoting healthy growth.
3. Stress Reduction: High stress can disrupt the hair growth cycle. Embrace stress-reducing practices like yoga, meditation, and counseling to foster overall well-being.
4. Proper Hair Care: Tailor your hair care routine to your hair type. Choose the right shampoo and conditioner, and treat your hair gently. Avoid excessive heat and use appropriate products for optimal results.
Explore the intricate journey of hair growth, understanding the significance of each unique phase. And remember, if you sense an imbalance or accelerated hair loss, consulting a healthcare professional can unveil underlying conditions and pave the way for healthier, happier hair.