The Three Cycles of Hair Growth: The Technical Truth About Your Tresses

| February 22, 2013 | 0 Comments


All hair grows in cycles.  Some African-American women complain that their hair simply will not grow.  There is nothing farther from the truth.  Everybody’s hair grows, but because Black hair is extremely fragile, it is highly susceptible to breakage.  That is why we must handle our tresses with care in order to actualize growth.

There are three continuous cycles of hair growth: anagen, catagen and telogen.

When hair is in the anagen cycle,  80%-90% of your hair is growing.  Follicle activity is accelerated which contributes to the elongating of the hair shaft.  This cycle can last between 3-10 years.

The second cycle, catagen , is a transitional period where follicle activity ceases.  This stage can last anywhere from 1-3 weeks.

The third and final stage, telogen, is the resting period.  The follicle shrinks, hair loosens and falls out.  This can last between 3-5months.  10-20% of your hair is in a stage of rest at one time.  Circumstances such as poor diet, surgery, anemia, etc. can prolong the telogen cycle causing hair growth to slow down or stop completely.

 You may also notice changes in your hair when the seasons change.  Summer months tend to bring about accelerated hair growth, while hair loss frequently occurs in the fall.   On average, human beings lose approximately 50-200 strands of hair on a daily basis.  This is considered normal and should not raise any major concerns.  Hair is constantly regenerating itself as it falls.  However, if you notice an exorbitant or abnormal amount of hair loss, you should consult with a dermatologist or trichologist to determine the cause and possible solution.   Hair loss can be an indicator of a more serious health problem.

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