Updated: Dec 21, 2020
Are you stressing about why you’re losing hair every day when you brush or wash it? The simple answer is; Every hair strand on our scalp goes through a hair growth cycle and the length of growth varies on each person. Factors that can affect the time of a person’s growth cycle can be their hair colour and the follicle shape.
As a general guide every strand of hair on the scalp grows on average 0.3 mm per day, while this hair is growing a new cell is developing underneath which begins to push the visible hair up the hair shaft, it eventually sheds and is replaced with the new hair. The average daily loss of hair on the scalp is between 25 and 100 hairs per day!
What are the phases of a hair strand growth cycle?
So let’s get you up to speed with understanding the three phases each hair strand goes through the growth cycle.
1. Anagen - The active or growth phase of the hair, (3 – 7 years)
2. Catagen – The transition stage or phase of change (2 - 3 weeks)
3. Telogen - The resting phase (2 – 4 months)
Anagen - The active or growth phase of the hair
Is the active growth stage of the hair where the cells in the bulb are dividing rapidly to create the hair fibre to grow and elongate out of the follicle to the scalp. Most of the hair on the scalp is constantly in this stage growing and usually lasts between 3 to 7 years.
As mentioned before the growth stage varies from person to person. Those who find their hair won’t grow past a certain length have a shorter active phase of growth to those who have very long hair, whom are lucky and have a long anagen phase.
Catagen – The transition stage or phase of change of the hair growth cycle
Is unfortunately where the active growth comes to an end and the hair growth stops as some changes being to occur in the follicle.
The hair stops growing and becomes detached from the base of the follicle forming a club hair. This process cuts the hair off from its blood supply and from the cells that produce new hair. This stage lasts for about 2-3 weeks and only a small percentage of 1% to 3% of hair are in this phase at any one time.
Telogen - The resting phase of the hair growth cycle
Is the resting phase of the hair follicle and the club hair is completely formed and keratinised. The follicles are dormant for the duration between 2 to 4 months and approximately 10% to 15% of all hair follicles are in this stage at one time.
Hair shedding is a normal part of the process to allow the replacement of old hair. At any one time, around 25 to 100 telogen hairs are shed normally each day.
Up to 70% of hair can 70 percent of hair can prematurely enter the telogen phase and begin to fall when the body is in extreme stress, causing a noticeable loss of hair than usual.
As a new hair is forming in the telogen phase, the old hair is gradually released and pushed out and the growth cycle begins again.