Hair loss and growth may seem like a normal process, but it actually isn’t. The hair growth cycle has four stages. These phases provide in-depth information about hair growth that enables actions to ensure strong hair. Furthermore, they help steer clear of any hair-related problems such as dry hair or hair fall.
The four stages of the hair growth cycle include Anagen, Catagen, Telogen, and Exogen. The first three phases cover the growth and maturity of hair, while the final one involves the replacement of old hair by new strands. Today, we’ll review each stage in detail, discuss the hair structure, and reveal some excellent tips to maintain healthier hair.
Stages of Hair Growth Cycle
The hair growth cycle has four stages. Each phase has its distinct timeline, though factors like age, nutrition, and health can affect it. To ensure healthy hair growth, you need to follow a variety of steps throughout the cycle.
Let’s delve into each phase in detail to understand their timeline and discover steps to maintain healthy hair growth.
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Also known as the Growing Phase, hair growth begins with the anagen stage. Its timeline is 3 to 5 years for the hair growing on the head, and it’s the longest hair growth stage. However, the hair growth time can vary from person to person, as some even experience the progress for up to 7 years.
Moreover, the anagen stage differs depending on the type of hair. Eyebrow and public hair tend to have a shorter anagen phase compared to head hair.
During the anagen phase, hair follicles push the hair out. The hairs would continue growing until they reach their end and fall out or otherwise cut. Anagen is a crucial stage for healthy hair growth – a study shows that around 90% of the hair on our head grows in the anagen phase.
Also called the Transition phase, Catagen begins as the anagen stage ends. It has a hair growth timeline of around 2-3 weeks only. During this period, the hair growth stops as they detach themselves from the blood supply.
Hair follicles have a different role during this chapter, shrinking and limiting hair growth. Although they remain in place for the final days of growing, the hair detaches from the bottom of the hair follicles.
According to research, around 5 percent of the hair on the head is in the Catagen stage.
Telogen is a resting phase in the hair growth cycle, lasting for about three months. During this period, the hair merely rests on the surface while new hair begins growing underneath it. The hairs do not visibly grow during this stage, and they do not fall out either.
The telogen phase also begins when follicles that have released hair during the catagen stage start to form new hair. Up to 15 percent of the hair on our head is in the telogen stage.
Some experts believe Telogen is also the shedding phase. However, most health professionals hold that the resting and shedding stages are different. We call them Telogen and Exogen, respectively.
The Exogen stage is an extension of the telogen phase. Also known as the Shedding Phase, during this period, the hair falls out from your scalp, often helped by washing and brushing.
This hair growth stage lasts for about 2 to 5 months, during which new hair grows in the follicles as the old ones fall out. In the exogen phase, losing up to 100 hair strands per day is common.
How to Get the Most Out Of Anagen Phase?
Now that we have discussed the four stages of the hair growth cycle in detail, the next most crucial question is how to have nutritious hair growth. Healthy hair growth depends on hormone and genetic levels, which are largely uncontrollable.
However, you can use some manageable factors like a suitable lifestyle and hair care during the anagen phase to ensure strong hair growth. As anagen is a period where all the growth takes place, following our effective tips can help you achieve dense hair growth.
Below are the top 8 practical strategies for wonderful hair development.
1. Manage Stress
A high-stress level can cause premature hair loss. Therefore, managing it is the first step toward nourishing hair growth. According to Mayo Clinic, the following three types of hair loss conditions result from stress:
1. Alopecia Areata: Hair fall arising from an attack on the healthy hair follicles by the immune system.
2. Trichotillomania: A psychological condition where anxiety causes you to pull hair out from different areas of your body.
3. Telogen effluvium: Condition where hair growth cycle speeds up from anagen to exogen phase due to stress, intensifying the hair fall.
To avoid these conditions, you must reduce tension and pressure. Breathing techniques, yoga, meditation, counseling, and dodging stressors are some worthy ways to manage stress. With these, you would not only see an improvement in your hair growth cycle but also in your overall well-being.
2. Hair Care
How healthy are your hair depends on the quality of care you give to them. Choosing certain hair products can also improve your hair’s condition. Find the right shampoo based on your hair type, hair growth pattern, and texture, such as dry and silky.
For better hair care, consider purchasing a conditioner as well. It is a rigorous process to find the right hair products, and it would take some tries to determine the one best suited for your hair.
Furthermore, treat your hair gently for healthy growth. Wet hair is more vulnerable to damage; therefore, always towel-dry your hair after taking a bath. Similarly, steer clear of hot water, as it can be detrimental, as well. When drying your hair, don’t expose them to high heat.
3. Good Nutrition
Balanced nutrition is fundamental to make the most out of the anagen phase. Protein primarily makes the hair, which means focusing on it can ensure strong hair growth. You can increase the protein intake by including the following in your diet:
- Dairy products (low fat)
- Lean meats
In addition to protein, a recent study shows that Vitamin D, Vitamin C, and Iron are also beneficial for healthy hair growth. Moreover, focus on nutrients such as Vitamin B12, folic acid, and zinc to take full advantage of the anagen phase.
4. Frequent Haircut
Getting eventual trims can help stimulate hair development. By getting a haircut, you get rid of the split ends detrimental to the growth. Breaking split ends can reduce the hair’s length and deprives them of smoothness, denseness, and shininess.
For a vigorous hair growth cycle, get a haircut every 3 to 4 months. By trimming the split ends that would break in the future, you ensure continuous hair development.
5. No Chemical Treatments
Stay away from any chemical treatments for a better hair growth cycle. Chemicals like bleach can be harmful to your hair, damaging the cuticles. Consequently, you experience more split ends and breakages. These split ends can reduce your hair’s length, eliminating the chances to grow long and strong hair.
Therefore, no matter how badly you want to die your hair blue, avoid these treatments for nutritious hair growth.
6. Brushing Hair
Another practical tip to benefit the most from the anagen phase is to brush your hair frequently. It’s vital because brushing can help disperse hair’s natural oil, promoting natural moisture. – Brushing is also advantageous for your scalp’s health, as it increases circulation. However, over-brushing can result in hair fall, especially when brushing wet hair, you must be careful not to overdo it. Also, consider brushes with spacious bristles for fewer chances of hair fall.
7. Get Scalp Massage
During the hair growth cycle, getting regular scalp massage is another way to boost development. Scalp massage is an efficient way to moisturize the head’s skin and the bulbs that nourish hair strands. It’s also the best solution to keep your hair roots healthy.
Furthermore, scalp massage is excellent for relieving tension and stress, which can contribute to stronger hair growth. Consider using hair oil for massaging to get a better and more relaxing experience.
8. Avoid Heat
Extensive heat exposure to your hair can be detrimental. If you use heat styling products, care about lowering the temperature and apply a heat protectant to avoid breakage and frizz.
Additionally, consider rinsing your hair with cool water before styling it. It would seal the cuticle and nourish your hair before shaping. By taking care of the potential hair loss caused by styling, you can stimulate a healthier hair growth cycle.
While the hair growth cycle appears simple, it has four distinct stages called Anagen, Catagen, Telogen, and Exogen. Each of these phases has separate roles in the hair development process. Although some factors determining hair health are out of your control, you can use few handy tips to ensure nutritious hair progress during the anagen phase. Some ways include stress management, scalp massage, avoiding chemical treatments, and getting frequent haircuts. Remember to take care of your hair properly – they require utmost attention like any other body part!