Understanding the Science of Hair Growth

They say that a person's hair is their crowning glory. That is why they are always after the latest haircare routine that can help them maintain their gorgeous locks. For some women, achieving long hair is only natural for them. But for the rest, achieving that feat means entirely changing their haircare habits to see what fits them best. Whether it is using thinning shears or a different brand of shampoo, it is crucial to understand how hair growth works and what you can do to promote it.

Primary parts of hair

Hair is a lot more complicated than you could ever imagine. Aside from contributing highly to a person's appearance, it can also help transmit crucial sensory information and sometimes even create gender identification. Your hair comprises of two different structures. These are the follicles, which you can find in the skin, and the shaft, which is the one that you can see above your scalp.

The hair follicle refers to a tunnel-like segment of the epidermis that goes deep in the person's dermis. It contains several layers, each with its unique functions.

The part of the hair found at its very bottom is the bulb. An inner and outer sheath protects the follicle and forms the strand, which we call the hair shaft. The hair shaft consists of keratin made in three distinct layers. The inner layer is the medulla, the second layer is the cortex, and the outermost layer is the cuticle. The cuticle consists of overlapping scales, which tightly form its structure.

Understanding hair growth

A person's hair found on the scalp typically grows .3 to .4 mm per day or at least six inches every year. Unlike other mammals, human hair does not shed or grow in a pattern or season. Hair growth is entirely random and often goes through three stages of growth. These are anagen, catagen, and telogen.

During the anagen phase, a person's hair grows at least 1 cm every 28 days, and it can stay in the same stage for at least two to six years. But there are a few people who have difficulty growing their hair past a certain length. Meanwhile, others with excessively long hair tend to have a more prolonged anagen phase.

The catagen phase is when the period stops growing, and the outer root sheath shrinks. It is also the time when a person can experience a forming of hair called club hair.

Telogen is the resting phase of hair growth and usually accounts for at least 6 percent of all of the hairs. It often lasts for at least 100 days for hairs growing in the scalp and longer for hairs found on the eyelashes, arms, eyebrows, and legs.

Understanding the science of hair growth is only the first part of learning how to take care of your hair. If you feel like your hair does not proceed to the next phase of hair growth, then consulting a doctor is necessary. They will perform the required procedures to know the root cause of your problem.

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