The Hair Structure
The hair follicle is a tunnel-like segment of the epidermis (the outer, waterproof layer of your skin) and it extends down into the dermis (the layer of the skin below the epidermis). The structure of a follicle has a number of layers that all have separate functions.
A healthy scalp has hair follicles that produce around 100 thousand hair. The follicle is in the form of a group containing 1-4 hairs. There is 50 thousand to 65 thousand healthy hair in a healthy person’s head. Your hair grows around 12 mm each month. It grows faster in summer than winter.
The hair root is made of cells of protein. It grows from the bottom of the follicle, and the rest of your hair besides the root is nonliving. Blood vessels on your scalp feed the hair with blood which creates more cells and makes your hair grow.
Hair Growth Cycle
There are three stages of hair growth. First, the anagen phase which takes two to three years. Some people have difficulty growing their hair more than a certain length, while others can grow their hair more. This is because they have a shorter anagen phase. For instance, the anagen phase is generally longer in people of Asian descent and can last seven years. In this phase, hair grows continuously.
The second phase is the catagen phase. The catagen phase is the shortest phase that lasts only two or three weeks. In this phase, your hair stops growing.
The final phase of hair growth is the telogen phase. It lasts for about three months. This phase is also called the resting phase where hair rests in the root while new hair begins to grow beneath it.
Why Do You Lose Hair?
After these three phases, your hair falls out, and new hair grows from the hair follicle. Each follicle goes through its phases at different times, so you don’t lose your hair at the same time.
Hair growth problems may occur when your growth cycle is disrupted. Conditions such as stress, lack of nutrients or metabolic problems may lead to hair loss. For instance, six weeks of high fever or a strict diet that affects your body functions may cause sudden diffuse hair fall. This is because these conditions may cut your anagen phase short, so many hairs enter the telogen phase at the same time.
Your hair may become thinner after each cycle; that is why it’s important to take each essential nutrients to maintain healthy hair growth. It’s normal to lose 50-100 hairs in a day which means %80 – %90 of your hair is in the anagen phase, growing strong.