All about the Hair Growth Cycle
At MONPURE we’re about treating hair loss at the root cause. But to learn more about hair loss, it’s important to learn about hair growth. Our resident dermatologist Dr Sue Ann Chan explains the hair growth cycle further…
How does hair grow? Like skin cells, our hair undergoes a cycle of growth, transition, rest and renewal. This consists of the anagen phase (growth phase), catagen phase (transition phase), and telogen phase (resting phase). It is important to understand our hair growth cycle in order to help diagnose and manage a variety of scalp conditions, which may result in hair loss.
A hair shaft (a strand of hair) grows within a hair follicle at a rate of 1cm per month on average in a healthy individual. The hair shaft consists of 3 main layers – medulla, cortex and the hair cuticle (which is the outermost layer of the hair).
Breaking down the hair growth cycle
During this time, the hair shaft is growing within a hair follicle. The anagen phase lasts an average of 3-5 years before the follicle becomes dormant, but varies from person to person as it's dependent on your genetics, age and health. Normally, 80-95% of your hair would be in its anagen phase.
This is a period of transition where growth of the specific hair shaft comes to a halt and the hair follicle shrinks. Around one to three percentage of our hair would be in this phase at any one time. This phase take approximately one to four weeks.
In the telogen phase, the hair follicle rests and doesn't grow. This phase takes approximately two to four months. At the end of the phase, the hair shaft is expelled from the hair follicle (i.e. the hair falls out) and this cycle starts again.
What causes hair loss?
Hair loss can happen when the anagen phase gets decreased and the hair shaft enters the telogen phase prematurely. This can be due to a number of factors, for example taking certain types of medications (certain contraception pills, anti-coagulants, epilepsy medications); after childbirth; or if an individual is undergoing radiation treatment such as chemotherapy.
Various skin conditions on the scalp can also cause hair loss (e.g. severe inflammatory conditions such as eczema and psoriasis).
What can I do to prevent hair loss?
I advise my patients to care for their scalp in the same way as they care for the skin on their face. Too often the scalp gets neglected, which can lead to hair loss and a dull appearance in the hair in general. That’s why regular cleansing, hydration and exfoliation of the scalp are so important.
I would also advise to minimise ‘wear and tear’ to your hair; for example avoiding blow drying your hair on a high heat setting; wearing your hair in tight hairstyles that can put pressure on the follicles; as well as using harsh chemicals on your hair and scalp.
Maintaining a good scalp care regime, with targeted products such as the scientists behind MONPURE have created, is so crucial to preventing these issues. Regular cleansing, hydration and exfoliation of the scalp are key - all of which MONPURE aims to address.
If you have serious concerns with regards to your hair loss, it would be advisable to seek advice from a doctor or dermatologist to obtain appropriate diagnosis and medical treatment for your scalp, preferably at an earlier stage, before hair loss becomes advanced.
Any more burning questions on scalp and haircare, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org and our hardworking team will be happy to assist.