Hello Lovelies and welcome to a new post. Hope you are enjoying this hot weather, wherever you are.
Having a fundamental understanding of hair growth and limitation is important, it helps us to remain encouraged and set realistic expectation and obtainable goals on our hair journey. Each hair stands grows from its own follicle independently of the next to it. The average hair grows ¼ to ½ inch per month from a hair follicle situated roughly 4 millimeter below the surface of the scalp. This monthly growth rate is an average, therefore some of us may experience more or less growth than this each month.
The dominant growth factors for hair growth include; Genetics, Age the time of year, the part of the body from wish a particular hair grows, and of course personal hair practices.
Our hair ( all hair) goes through three specific phases in its lifetime:
– A growing phase ( anagen): the average growing phase lasts for four to seven years and may be as short as one year or as long as ten years. As we age, our anagen phases slowly begin to shorten. At anyone point, more than 88 percent of our hair strands are in the anagen phase.
– A resting phase ( catagen): during this phase, our hair simply takes a growth break and is preparing to be shed. This phase can last from four weeks to as long as four month, and at any time approximately 1 percent of our hair is in this phase. Our hair follicle stops producing melanin in this phase, hence, why the roots of hair that shed in the telogen phase appear white or clear.
– Shedding stage ( telogen) : during this phase our hair naturally sheds, about 11 percent of our hair are this phase waiting to either fall on their own or to be pulled out as a result of our hair care practices. The greatest percentage of our hair is in this phase during late summer or the beginning of fall months. This stage last for as long as four months. If a hair is simply yanked from the scalp before it has entered it’s natural shedding phase, a new hair will not emerge from the follicle for roughly 130 days. ( This is why it is important to gentle when styling your hair, and hold your hair when you comb).
And fourth phase ( exogen: This is the phase that follows the shedding of hair from the follicle. The hair follicle lies dormant for a time after shedding before starting a new anagen growing phase. This phase can last anywhere from five to seven months. As we age, our natural exogen periods begin to lengthen. Only 80 percent of our hair ever enters an exogen phase, where the length of our hair these phases is genetically predetermined and differs for various types of body hair.
Hair growth factors:
I believe that knowing the processes that are truly responsible for hair growth and maintenance will put you in a better position to evaluate hair care product claims and get the information you need to adapt your regimen over time.
Factor of Hormones:
Hormones is one of the primary drivers of hair growth, they are powerful regulators of cell processes within the human body. As their levels in our bodies fluctuate, hormones have the ability to lengthen or shorten hair growing and resting stages. For example, during pregnancy hormone activity levels locks the hair into its growing phase, helps hair to grow longer, and thicker with minimum shedding of hair, during pregnancy, hair is in catagen ( resting) phase longer.
Between three (3) to six ( 6) months after the baby is born, postpartum hormone levels abruptly send the hair into telogen phase, and massive shedding can take place.
Some contraceptive/medical use can also trigger the same hair- shedding phenomenon.
Low estrogen levels have been linked to premature hair thinning and hair loss.
Terminal length is the longest length that any hair on each individual head can grow, given our monthly hair grow rate and the length of our anagen ( growing phase). This is the length that our hair would reach if it was never cut or broke off, but was allowed to simply grow freely without any interruption. After a hair has completed its growth period, it will shed naturally and be pushed out by new, growing strand. This process repeats all over our head, for every single strand of hair, everyday- it is a lifetime process.
Each strand of hair is at different point in its personal growth phase, therefore, hair that have reached terminal length are rarely blunt or even. This length is more about time than it is about length, ( Just because your hair is uneven does not mean it’s unhealthy, I have seen that people will trim or cut their hair for this reason. Please, don’t. I will be doing a post on how and why hair trimming is needed).
All hair on our bodies is subject to predetermined genetic growth rate, resting phases and terminal lengths. It is very important to keep in mind that terminal length is not determined by the current length of your hair at any point. Our hair doesn’t stop growing because it is a certain length- it stops growing after a certain time period that is genetically determined, not the hair length itself. We can maximize growing opportunities and prevent breakage to maintain length.
In order to determine your genetic predisposition to length, you would need to examine the growth of all the women in your family from generations back, and also hair care practice. Hair growth has a lot to do with how healthy our bodies are, then comes the maintenance and retaining length.
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Love & Light