Do you know that your hair is continually shifting through a cycle of hair growth? Everywhere on your body, hair is continually shedding and replacing itself. The more you know about what the hair growth cycle is, the more you’ll be able to keep your hair healthy and strong.
Anagen (Growing Phase)
If you were to look at a hair growth cycle chart, the anagen phase would take up the majority of the space on the chart. As the longest phase of hair growth, it can last anywhere from three to five years, and for some people, it may last as long as seven years. On average, around 90 percent of hair is in the anagen phase.
During this phase, hair follicles are continually growing and creating more hair. Even if you get a haircut, hair will constantly grow as long as it’s in the anagen phase. The easiest way to identify hair in the anagen phase is to see if it’s growing. While hair grows slowly (only about half an inch a month), it’s possible to measure the length over time.
The best help for hair, while it’s in the anagen phase, is to keep your hair and scalp healthy and clean. Don’t over-wash your hair. Use gentle shampoos and conditioners that don’t leave residue behind.
Catagen (Transition Phase)
At any given time, about 3 to 5 percent of your hairs are in the catagen phase. During this phase, hair follicles start to shrink, and hair growth slows down. The root of the hair follicle will separate from the scalp but remain in place while finishing up the final few days of growing.
This phase of hair growth is fairly short, only lasting about ten days, and is difficult to catch because it happens so fast. The only real way to identify the catagen phase is to closely monitor your daily hair growth, but it’s a change of such a small amount that it’s hardly recognizable.
The catagen phase is the most fragile phase of hair growth. Focusing on a well-balanced diet full of essential vitamins and minerals can give your hair the last boost of nutrition it needs before it stops getting nutrition from your scalp. Because the roots are starting to shrink, be gentle. Don’t tug, pull, or yank on your hair. With this shrinkage, the root isn’t anchored in your scalp and has a higher chance of falling out.
Telogen (Resting Phase)
The telogen phase is when hair is most fragile and at the biggest risk of being pulled out or broken. During this phase, which can last as long as 100 days, the hair remains in the follicle but is no longer connected to your scalp. This means that your hair is not receiving any nutrition, which is why it is at a higher risk of being damaged. At any point in time, up to about 10 percent of hair is in the telogen phase.
One way to identify the telogen phase is to look at any hair that falls out. If the root or base of the hair is a solid, hard, dry white material, the hair is in the telogen phase. Another way to check for this phase is to monitor your hair growth. When a strand of hair stops growing, it’s in the telogen phase.
During this phase, your goal is to keep the fragile hair in its follicle until the exogen phase. The best things to do are to be as gentle as possible, avoid excessive or abrasive washing, and gently style your hair.
Exogen (Shedding Phase)
A hair follicle that has dead hair in it can’t create a new strand of hair. During this phase, hair sheds from the scalp to make room for new hair to grow. The exogen phase can last anywhere from two to five months before a new hair has grown in the follicle and is ready to be in the anagen phase.
Hairs can, and should, shed on their own, but you’ll most likely discover which hairs are in the exogen phase as you brush and wash your hair.
There’s nothing more to do to keep your hair during the exogen phase since your scalp is trying to actively shed and remove hair. During this phase, the best thing to do is to make sure your scalp and empty hair follicles are clean and healthy for the new hairs to grow in. Any residue in the hair follicles can impact the hair’s health as it starts to emerge.
In What Month Does Hair Grow Faster?
Hair growth is at its best in March. The worst months for hair growth with the most follicles in the exogen phase are around August and September, with about sixty hairs being lost every day.
How Can I Increase My Hair Growth Cycle?
Your mental and physical well-being can directly affect your hair growth cycle and help your hair stay longer in the anagen phase and shorter in the telogen and exogen phases.
Events that can trigger the telogen phase can include:
- Severe illness
- Severe emotional stress or trauma
- Sudden or extreme weight loss
- High fever
It’s important to remember that each hair is in a different phase of growth from the other. Hair does not go through telogen or exogen universally at the same time. If your hair did share phases, there would be months where you’d be entirely bald. Instead, each hair is in its own phase, which ranges from anagen to exogen.
Fortero Helps with Every Phase of the Hair Growth Cycle
This mix of phases could make taking care of your hair difficult, but there’s good news. Proper hair care is universal, no matter which phases your hairs are in. The things you should do to help your hair in the anagen phase are the same things you should do when it’s in the catagen, telogen, or exogen phase.
Fortero can help at every phase of hair growth by keeping your hair, scalp, and follicles clean and buildup-free. Learn more about how Fortero can help with your hair care.