Hair Growth Stages. Your hair goes through three distinct phases, every few years, stages of hair growth, and hair loss. It’s both natural and a good thing. As one old hair drops out a new one comes in to replace it.
Hair Growth Stages
Hair Growth Stages
Hair Growth Stages and How Minoxidil Will Help
Throughout your whole life, your hair and follicles go through well-known and well-described stages of activity and non-activity. The average male hair growth cycle can last anything from two to seven years, with the hair going through three phases, the ‘Anagen’, ‘Catagen’ and ‘Telogen’. We describe them briefly here.
Image from activilong.com.
Anagen Phase – Growing Hair
By and large, healthy hair grows at a rate of around half an inch a month. Growth tends to be more in the summer than winter. The Anagen Phase is the ‘growth phase’ of the follicle, when hair will grow at a natural rate. This phase can last anything from two to seven years.
Catagen Phase – Preparing for Shutdown
When the Anagen Phase comes to a natural end, your hair will enter what is known as the ‘Catagen Phase’. This is a short period of just a few days, perhaps a week or two, when the hair follicles begin the transition to the dormant Telogen Phase.
Telogen Phase – Rest and Shedding
Think of it as a ‘rest period’. After some months of growth, your hair will go in to a dormant or resting phase, when the hair is released by the follicle. This period usually lasts around three months, until the follicle reawakens for the next round of healthy hair growth.
The Hair Growth Cycle
This process happens in each follicle, with each follicle having its own cycle. If they all went through the same phases at the same time, everyone would suddenly go bald, every few years, then grow their hair back again. Clearly, that doesn’t happen.
Each follicle goes through this cycle individually, in its own merry time, so we all shed hair, every day, as each follicle goes through its own routine. As mentioned above, think of it like baby teeth, dropping out to make way for healthy regrowth.
As the healthy new hairs grow, they push out the older, weaker hairs, resulting in shedding.
How Minoxidil Helps
Studies on some – now rather hairy – rats show that minoxidil specifically stimulates the follicles in the telogen phase, resulting in rapid progression back to anagen follicles. While the length of the anagen phase was not significantly increased, the hair follicles during this period grew very rapidly and the size of anagen follicles were markedly enlarged. You can read the whole article (although it’s a bit dry), here.
So, Minoxidil use boosts the growing ‘Anagen’ stage and lessens the ‘Telogen’ shedding phase.
- Read More About Minoxidil
- How to Use and Apply Minoxidil
- Does Minoxidil Really Work?
- How Long Does it Take?
- Are there Side Effects with Minoxidil?
- Foam or Topical Solution? Which is Best?
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