Different stages of hair growth

Different stages of hair growth: Hair is a stratified squamous keratinized epithelium. It is made up of multiple layers of flat cells. The rope-like filaments in it provide structure and strength to the hair shaft. Human hair grows everywhere except the soles of the feet, the lips, palms, some external genital areas, and the navel. Like any other thing of the human body, hair follows a specific growth cycle. It had three distinct phases: anagen, catagen, and telogen. Each phase has its own specific characteristics that determine the length of the hair. All three phases occur at the same time.

The body has different types of hair.   Each hair type has its own cell structure. This difference in structure  gives the different hair types their unique characteristics. Humans develop the most hair on their scalps and faces (beard and mustache in males). The hair on the head grows to a few feet if it’s healthy.

The three stages of hair growth are, the anagen, catagen, and telogen. Currently, every strand of hair on your body is at its own stage of development. Once the cycle is complete, it again starts  to form a new hair. The rate of hair growth is about 6 inches or lesser, per year.

The different stages are :-

Anagen

It is the phase of growth. This is the phase in which there is hair growth. It grows approximately 1 cm per month. It begins in the papilla.  It may  last from two to six years. The time of this stage of growth is determined by genetics. The longer the hair stays, the longer it grows. The papilla cells  divide for the production of new hair fibres. The follicle goes into the dermal layer to support for the nourishment of the new hair. About 85% – 90% of the hair on your scalp  are in their anagen phase right now!

Catagen

This is the phase when the follicle is in transition. The follicle renews itself.  This phase spans for 2 weeks at most. The hair follicle disintegrates, leading to shrinkage. The nourishment from the dermal layer is laid off by the detached papilla. This the beginning of the catagen phase and the biological end of anagen. The hair bulb doesn’t produce melanin. The follicular melanocytes die. There is no actual growth but, the follicle pushes the hair shaft out.

Telogen

It is known as the resting or shedding phase. It lasts for 1 to 4 months. The hair follicle remains at rest. But the epidermal cells in the inner lining of the hair follicle grow. They sometimes accumulate at the base to give temporary support. They also help in preserving the hair follicle without being dependent on the dermal nutrients like in the anagen phase.

After some time,  the follicle begins to grow again.  This softens the epidermal cells, which were giving support at the base of the hair shaft. This will break it from the hair root in the dermis. The shaft will finally be shed. After the telogen phase is over, a new hair shaft appears in two weeks. This phenomenon is called shedding (natural hair loss).

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