The Science Behind Human Hair Growth

hair growth

hair growthOn average, each human has around 100,000 hair follicles on their head. Being a filamentous outgrowth of the skin, this process only occurs in mammals and tends to reflect the natural aging process.

For those wondering about hair growth, this mini-guide outlines this complex, yet interesting process.

Here’s How Hair Grows

A common misconception is that hair grows from the end, when in fact, it is “fed” at the follicle. As each strand goes through the stages of hair growth, a number of factors impact the overall growth cycle, including age, genetics, hair type, and overall wellness.

Each hair itself is broken down into two key structures — the follicle (found in the skin) and the shaft (which is visible above the scalp). Growing approximately six inches per year, random hairs will be in one of three stages at any given time.

These phases of growth and shedding include:

Anagen — Known as the “active” phase, this is when the cells found in the root of the hair rapidly divide. As new hair forms, hairs that have stopped growing are pushed up the follicle and are eventually replaced.

Catagen — Only around 3 percent of hairs are in this “transitional” phase at any time. Lasting around two weeks, this signals the end of the active growth period.

Telogen — Known as the “resting” phase, this stage lasts around 100 days for scalp hair. During this time, hair is released and naturally falls out.

Once issues arise within the hair growth cycle, this is when hair loss and hair thinning occur. For example, when the body is subjected to extreme stress, up to 70 percent of hair can enter the telogen phase, resulting in noticeable hair loss. Some of the common triggers include improper nutrition, illness, and metabolic imbalances.

Related: How to Cope with Stress-Related Hair Loss

Tips to Limit Telogen Effluvium

Although there are many variables to consider in regards to rapid hair loss, changes in hair can reveal potential health concerns. The best way to limit the impact of “telogen effluvium” is to maintain healthy hair from the inside out.

Whenever possible:

Eat a balanced, nutritious diet, reducing your exposure to chemical additives

Get enough sleep to ensure optimal hormonal balance

Practice effective stress management

Talk to your doctor about any medications you’re currently taking in terms of the potential side effects

Whether you strive to reduce the thinning of your hair or would simply like to improve the overall health of your hair, understanding how your hair grows and sheds is a critical step.

If you’re suffering from hair loss, Custom Hair Tampa Bay specializes in wigs and hair replacement for men, women and children. Our specialists will help you customize a hair replacement solution that matches your lifestyle. To schedule a free consultation at one of our three locations click here.



Photo Credit: Pezibear Via Pixabay


For more information, please references the following resources:

Ladies, Here Is Your Guide to Hair Loss Prevention

5 Dietary Deficiencies That Cause Hair Loss

Men’s Hair Loss Facts and Myths