Make My Hair Grow (What's Normal Hair Loss And What's Not): The Hair Growth Cycle

Normal hair cycle is associated with the temporary loss of hair and the growth of new hair from the same follicles. The hair growth cycle in humans occurs in three phases:

hgc

Anagen-growth phase
Catagen-degradation phase
Telogen-resting phase

There is no break or discontinuity between phases; the hair cycle is a continuous process that occurs for the life of the hair follicle. A complete scalp hair cycle stretches over 2 to 8 years:

hgc1

Anagen (growth)-2 to 8 years
Catagen (degradation)-2 to 4 weeks
Telogen (rest)-2 to 4 months

The “dead” hair that was degraded during the catagen (degradation) phase is pushed out of the follicle when a new hair emerges in anagen (growth) phase. A healthy person with a full head of hair will shed on average 50 to 100 “dead” hairs per day. Shedding can be influenced by internal factors such as age, change in hormonal or nutritional status, skin disease and stress, and by external factors such as cancer chemotherapy, ionizing radiation, and exposure to some types of industrial chemicals.

All follicles, everywhere on the body, undergo hair cycle. The duration of each cycle may vary by body site; on the same person, scalp hair cycle may be slightly different in duration from body hair cycle.

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