If you’re one of the millions of Americans who suffer from hair loss, you’re probably looking for a solution. But before you jump into problem-solving mode, it helps to understand the Stages of Hair Growth.
The 4 Stages of Hair Growth
Hair growth might seem rather straightforward, but it’s actually a complex biological process that occurs in a series of 4 unique stages. It begins in the follicle underneath the skin. These follicles are nourished by blood vessels in the scalp. Each follicle can produce multiple hairs over a lifetime – passing through the following series of stages multiple times:
Anagen (Growth) – This is the growth period. It’s during this phase that the cells within the hair bulb divide to create new hair growth. Hair usually remains in this stage for a period of two to seven years before the follicle eventually becomes dormant. The length your hair reaches is highly dependent on genetics and hair care regimen.
Catagen (Transition) – After leaving the anagen phase, hair enters into a transition phase known as the catagen stage. This period lasts for just a couple of weeks. Hair growth stops, and hairs become detached from the blood supply.
Telogen (Resting) – This resting phase is very important. It’s when the hair rests in the root so that it can eventually regrow. You can expect this phase to last for roughly three months (on average). Roughly 10 to 15 percent of all hair is in this phase at a given time.
Exogen (New Hair) – During the exogen phase, old hair sheds and gives way to the new growth process. (Many people think they’re going bald when they see signs of hair on their pillow or in the shower, but this is just part of the exogen phase. It’s expected.)
How to Jumpstart a Sleepy Hair Growth Cycle?
It’s totally normal for somewhere between 50 to 150 hairs to fall out on a daily basis. However, hair loss occurs when you lose more hair than you grow (over a period of several weeks or months).
If you’re thinning or balding, it’s important that you address the underlying issue and jumpstart the growth cycle. Here are some tips:
Better Diet Plan
A good diet can help you overcome a long list of health issues, including hair loss. Your hair is largely made up of protein, so you’ll want a diet that includes plenty of lean meats, beans, legumes, fish, and low-fat dairy products. It’s also important to consume vitamin D, vitamin C, Iron, folic acid, zinc, and vitamin B12.
If you’re looking for a good long-term solution that jumpstarts your hair growth and leads to thicker and fuller hair, a laser cap may be the answer. Laser therapy works by:
- Increasing blood flow stimulation
- Propelling cell absorption and protein synthesis
- Regenerating hair follicle cells.
Best of all, it’s totally safe (FDA approved) and can be done in the comfort of your own home.
There are two approved hair loss medications on the market: minoxidil and finasteride. Minoxidil, which is often marketed as Rogaine, can be purchased without a prescription. (It comes in both oral and topical applications.) Finasteride, which is usually sold as Propecia, requires a prescription. This pill is taken once a day. In some scenarios, doctors may actually recommend using both medications at once to simultaneously slow hair loss and jumpstart growth. You should speak with your doctor to develop a treatment plan that works for you.
Improved Hair Care
Your hair is resilient, but it needs to be treated with the right care. The wrong products and harsh styling can actually accelerate hair loss and prevent you from having a thick appearance. Look for products that contain natural ingredients and use a conditioner that’s made for your hair type. Avoid extremely hot water when washing and gently towel-dry. If using a blow-dryer, turn the heat down as much as possible.
There’s no perfect solution to overcoming hair loss. But once you understand the 4 stages of hair growth, you’re able to tackle the issue from a much more logical angle. Hopefully, this article gives you a solid framework to address the issue moving forward.