Understanding the hair growth cycle is important for those who are considering hair restoration. At Arcanum we offer hair restoration services to help with you hair loss concerns
About the Hair Growth Cycle
To most people, hair growth seems to be a linear process. Hair grows out, sheds, and new hair grows in its place. The hair growth cycle however, is actually a bit more complex. The estimated 100,000 to 150,000 hairs that you see on your head are “terminal hairs,” meaning that they are in the last stage before shedding. Younger women have thick, full hair because they have an abundance of terminal hairs.
Hair loss and thinning begins when the number of terminal hairs diminishes. This may be triggered by aging, genetics, pregnancy, medical conditions, side effects, hormonal changes and a myriad of other causes.
Have you ever noticed the soft, fuzzy hair on your face? Those are vellus hairs. In men, the vellus hairs on a man’s face develop into whiskers, which are thicker, more coarse hairs. Women, though, maintain vellus hairs. These soft little hairs are also found on areas of the body and head. A characteristic of hair loss in women is that terminus hairs are replaced by vellus hairs. This is why you may notice some short, fuzzy hairs where you once had thicker, fuller hair. If 75 percent to 100 percent of your terminus hairs are replaced with vellus hairs, the condition is known as “alopecia.”
Benefits of Hair Restoration
Patients who have alopecia on the scalp experience areas of thinning and balding. Hair restoration replaces the terminus hairs. Most commonly associated with male pattern baldness, hair restoration is gaining popularity amongst women and men who have decided to come forward and seek treatment rather than live with the embarrassment of hair loss.
Hair Growth FAQs
What Are the Stages of Hair Growth?
Hair goes through three distinct stages of growth.
- A period of active growth known as “anagen.” Cell division in the root of the hair is occurring quickly, which lends to the extension of the hair shaft. During this stage, the hair will grow approximately 1 cm every 28 days. A single hair on the scalp is in the anagen stage for two to nine years, whereas leg hair eyelashes and other types of hair are in the anagen stage for only 30 to 45 days.
- The hair loss stage known as “catagen” that lasts approximately three to four weeks. The dead hairs are shed to make room for new hairs. In a healthy scalp, approximately 3 percent of all hairs are in the catagen stage.
- Telogen, the resting stage of hair growth, is when the hair is neither growing nor shedding. This stage accounts for 6 percent to 8 percent of all hairs in the scalp.
How Does the Hair Growth Cycle Affect Hair Restoration Treatments?
We evaluate your scalp to determine why you are losing hair. The stages of hair growth give cues as to the cause. The hair growth cycle also affects hair restoration after the treatments. You may notice some shedding, and this is no need for alarm, as it only indicates that the hairs are functioning as intended.
What Changes the Hair Growth Cycle?
The hair growth cycle can be affected by several factors, such as:
- Genetic predisposition to hair loss
- Medication side effects
- Medical conditions
- Products and treatments that damage the hair
- Nervous conditions
- Hormonal changes
- Thyroid disorders