The Hair Growth Cycle – explained

The hair in our body is mainly comprised of a protein called keratin which gives it strength and structure. It is the same protein that can be found in our nails. Despite the thin strands, there are actually three different layers that can be found in hair. The core layer is called the medulla but it is just the thick strands of hair that has this.

The layer found at the middle is called the cortex which gives strength to the strands and determines the color and texture. The thin, protective layer of the cortex which is also the outermost layer is called the cuticle and this does not have any color.

Found right below our skin is the root of the hair that is wrapped in follicle. At the bottom of the follicle is found the dermal papilla which is responsible for growth of new hair. The dermal papilla is extremely significant when it comes to hair growth because the androgens in it dictate the hair development in individuals.

Growth of hair is governed by a specific cycle. The cycle can be broken down to three different stages:

The hair cycle is mainly focused on continuously increasing length but there is also a short period of rest. After that, hair falls off or sheds and then a new hair begins to develop.

As we grow older, the time spent on each stage changes. Maturity causes hair rest to become longer and growth reduces. Different individuals have varied patterns of hair growth because of the diversity caused by genetics.

- First stage of the hair cycle is the anagen or growing stage. This is the point when the hair continues to grow. What happens is that the cells that are found in the papilla split and come up with hair fibers. The follicles move deeper to the topmost layer of the skin so that proper nourishment may reach the rest of each strand.

- The second stage of hair cycle is the catagen stage. This is the intermediate stage wherein the hair stops growing and the follicles gear up for the resting stage. It is a transition stage for the hair which takes about one to two weeks. It is also when the follicles that are buried into the dermis are weakened and eventually disintegrates.

- The third stage of the hair cycle is called telogen. The hair rests and begins to shed. The strands that have completed its life begin to fall out to give way to regrowth. The hair and follicle goes into a halt for about one to four months before it falls.

So, no matter how much you take care of your hair, you will still see some of the strands falling off regularly. As long as it remains only to a few strands, you do not really need to seriously worry about falling hair.


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