Every strand of hair on your head goes through stages throughout its life cycle. It is very important to know how this cycle works so you can better understand how and why your hair grows and falls and what adjustments to make in each stage of the hair’s cycle.
The first stage is called the anagen or growth stage. This may last between 2 and 7 years. In this stage, the follicles that are situated in the scalp and are responsible for producing your hair strands are constantly pushing out new hair to the surface of the head. This is the stage where provided that the right conditions are met, you can visibly see the growth of your hair. If your hair does not seem to be growing, it means that your hair is breaking at the same rate that it is growing. On average the hair on your head grows between 1/4 – 1/2 inch in length per month.
The second stage is called the catagen or changing phase. At this point, the strand of hair starts to send messages to the follicles to prepare it to produce a new bud of hair as the present one is making its way out. This may last a few weeks.
The last stage is referred to as the telogen or resting phase. At this stage, the hair would seem as though it is not growing at all but what actually happens is that the old strand of hair is making its way out and creating space for a new strand. At this stage, the hair is at its weakest and special care must be made when handling it as it is easy to yank out the strands. This stage can last from several weeks to a few months.
At the end of the 3 stages, the strand falls out. This is called shedding. Hair shedding is a normal process that each hair strand will go through at some point towards the end of its hair cycle. On average between 50 and 150 strands of hair are shed daily.
Learn your hair cycle and shedding pattern so that you can know if the hair in your comb or brush is normal. If it is not, try to find out the cause of the problem. If you have an underlying illness that affects your hair growth, it is advised that you seek medical help to get proper treatment.