Hair growth is a fascinating process that not many people think about. While we all know that our hair grows, few of us understand the science behind it.
In this blog post, we aim to demystify the hair growth cycle by shedding light on the different stages, namely the anagen, catagen, and telogen phase, and what simple steps you can take to maintain a healthy hair growth cycle.
With this knowledge at your fingertips, you can increase your chances of having the thick and luscious hair you’ve always dreamed of.
The anagen phase
Also known as the growth phase, this is the first and longest stage of the hair growth cycle, typically lasting between three to five years. During this stage, your hair follicles actively push out new hair, which grows from the root and continues to lengthen until it reaches its lifespan or is cut. About 90% of the hairs on your head are in the anagen phase at any given time.
The catagen phase
After the anagen phase, hair enters the catagen phase, a transitional stage that marks the end of the active growth phase. During this stage, your hair follicles shrink, and hair growth slows.
In this phase, your hair follicle moves upward, away from the root, and the hair shaft narrows. Blood flow to the hair follicle decreases, and the follicle shrinks in size. Your hair stops growing and becomes what is known as club hair, which remains in place until the next stage of the hair growth cycle, the telogen phase.
The telogen phase
After the anagen and catagen phases of hair growth, your hair enters the telogen phase. This is the final phase of the hair growth cycle, which lasts approximately three months, during which your hair follicles take a break from actively growing hair. This allows your hair follicle to rest and prepare for the next anagen phase.
How to maintain a healthy hair growth cycle
While factors out of your control, such as genetics or hormones, do play a part in your hair growth cycle, there are other factors that you can control to ensure a thriving hair growth cycle.
1. Good nutrition
A healthy and balanced diet is essential in promoting healthy hair growth. Since hair is made up of a protein called keratin, it’s important to ensure you consume enough protein in your diet. Protein-rich foods such as lean meats, fish, beans, legumes, and low-fat dairy products can provide the nutrients for healthy hair growth.
In addition to protein, incorporating foods rich in iron, vitamin D, zinc, folic acid, and vitamin B12 can also promote hair growth.
2. Reducing stress
This is another crucial factor in promoting healthy hair growth. High-stress levels can contribute to several conditions related to premature hair loss.
When you experience stress, your body releases a hormone called cortisol, which can hinder hair growth by accelerating hair follicles into the telogen phase. This then leads to increasing shedding and conditions like telogen effluvium and alopecia areata.
Learning to manage your stress through relaxation exercises like yoga and meditation can help reduce cortisol production and promote healthy hair growth.
3. Proper hair care
One important aspect of proper hair care is choosing the right products for your hair type. Different hair types require different types of shampoos and conditioners. For example, if you have dry hair, you should look for products that add moisture, while if you have oily hair, you should look for a shampoo that controls excess oil.
Another key factor in promoting healthy hair growth is treating your hair gently. Hair is more vulnerable to damage when wet, so be sure to towel-dry your hair gently and avoid excessive use of heat styling tools.
4. Go for regular scalp treatments
While you can take various steps at home to enhance your hair growth, you may need regular scalp treatments to get the best results. Some treatments can target specific hair conditions that cause hair loss, like folliculitis and psoriasis. And other treatments can enhance hair growth for all hair types, as with our Youth-V Protect Scalp Treatment, which protects your scalp from harmful UV rays, while also stimulating hair growth and strengthening hair follicles.
Looking for a scalp and hair growth specialist in Singapore?
While good nutrition, reduced stress, and gentle hair care can all contribute to healthier hair, it’s important to remember that severe scalp issues may require professional treatment.
We offer personalised assessments to determine the right scalp treatment for your needs. Our doctors are ready to help you achieve healthy and thriving hair. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.