Each individual hair is formed inside a bulb deep in a hair follicle. The follicle is a tiny but powerful factory, which works continuously throughout your lifetime. From birth onward the follicle continues to produce hair. Each hair grows for many years: during this time it will be shampooed, conditioned, cut, blown dry, exposed to sun and wind, colored, bleached or permed. None of these treatments affect the growth of the hair in the hair bulb, even though some may seriously damage the hair shaft. Finally the hair spontaneously falls out. The follicle rests for a little while, and then starts to produce yet another new hair.
There are basically 3 stages that each hair follicle has to go through around 20 times in your life.
The ANAGEN Phase:
This is the ﬁrst phase of your hair growth cycle which is also known as the growing phase. At any one time, 80 -90 percent of the hair follicles on your scalp are in the ANAGEN phase. During this period:
- Your hair grows continuously
- The growth will continue for 3 to 7 years
- Growth is at the rate of half an inch a month
- The hair bulb produces your hair pigment
- Blood supply provides nutrients and minerals to your hair
- Hair looks thick and nourished
The CATAGEN Phase
After the ANAGEN phase, your hair will go into a brief transitional phase before going to rest. This short phase is known as the CATAGEN phase and it lasts for 2 to 4 weeks. During this time:
- Your hair detaches from the blood supply
- The detached follicle slowly shrinks to about 1/6 its size
- The hair bulb stops producing the colour pigment
- The bulb is pushed upwards towards the surface by the new hair being formed
- At any given time, approximately 2 – 3 % of the hair on your scalp are in this phase
The TELOGEN Phase:
This is the ﬁnal phase of your hair growth cycle. It is also known as the resting phase where your hair follicles will slowly fall off to be replaced by a new hair. Around 10 – 15 % of the hair on your scalp is in the TELOGEN phase.
- 50 – 100 hairs shed daily
- This period lasts for 3 months before the hair falls out
- The hair follicles become weak and thin and you can easily pull them out
- New hair follicles emerge once the hair falls