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An Explanation of Hair Growth Phases

An Explanation of Hair Growth Phases

If you’ve ever wondered why your hair seems to grow at certain times but completely stop growing at others, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Today we’re going to discuss the various phases of hair growth and what you can expect during each one. If you are like most people, then there is little doubt that you have questions about the rate at which your hair grows, and sometimes, even more importantly, why it’s not growing.

After you attend cosmetology school in West Palm Beach, you will most definitely be able to answer these questions, but we’re going to help you out a bit right now; this is information that you will be able to use for yourself, and information that you will eventually be able to pass along to our own clients.

What are the Hair Growth Phases?

It all starts with the hair shafts, actually, so what is hair, and what is it made of? Hair is comprised of a hard protein known as keratin, divided into three layers:

  1. Inner Layer: Medulla
  2. Second Layer: Cortex
  3. Outer Layer: Cuticle

Something important to keep in mind is that the hair you see, made from keratin, is already dead, meaning the hair you see is not a living structure. In addition to that, both the cortex and the medulla are responsible for holding the hair’s pigment. Now, moving onto the growth cycle, did you know that hair grows about six inches per year? You can experience shedding at different times but it’s not seasonal. In fact, we’re the only mammals that can shed at any given time, and it’s all due to the phases that we’re going to discuss below.

The Anagen Phase

Woman with soft wave hairstyle for fallThis is the hair’s active phase, and it’s when you’re going to start experiencing growth. During this time, the cells in the hair root will begin to divide, and new hairs are formed. You experience shedding during this phase because the new hair pushes through the old hair. Hair will grow about 1 CM every 28 days during this phase, and you will remain in the anagen phase for two to six years. Something to keep in mind is that some people will have trouble growing their hair beyond a certain length due to having a short anagen phase. Then, you have those with very long hair because they have a longer active phase – it all depends on who you are and how your body works.

The Catagen Phase

This is known as a traditional phase, and over the surface of your entire head, 3% of the hairs are in this phase at any time. This phase will last for about three weeks, and during it, growth ceases, with the outer root sheath shrinking. This forms what is known as a club hair, and it is the hair that sheds first when new hair grows in.

The Telogen Phase

Unlike the Catagen phase, the Telogen is a bit more widespread with 6% to 8% of all hairs engaged in this cycle at any given time. Throughout this phase, which lasts for 100 days (roughly), the follicle is completely at rest with club hair fully formed. Every day you will shed 25 to 100 Telogen phase hairs, which explains your clogged shower drain.

There’s a Lot to Learn

This is just one of the things that you are going to learn at our school of cosmetology West Palm Beach, and you can rest assured that there is quite a bit more. Now would be a great time for you to give us a call and get your career started – it’s a great industry that’s fun and extremely satisfying!


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