Facts about hair growth. Suffering from hair loss or simply interested in biology and hair growth. To this end, this guide will help you achieve a basic understanding. Detailing the mechanics of hair and the hair follicle. As a result, helping to appreciate the natural hair follicle cycle. Including how hair differs around the body. Basically, facts about hair growth. The Hair Dr takes you through the facts about hair growth.
- Hair grows everywhere on the body except the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. As well as on the lips.
- Hair grows in cycles and these cycles differ in length depending on the area of the body. From scalp hair to beard hair to body hair.
- On average, hair grows .3 – .5 mm per day, 1.25 centimetres per month
- The hair growth cycle means we will naturally shed hairs every day. This commonly ranges between 50-100 hair depending on genre.
- A disturbance in the natural cycle can disrupt the hair growth. This disruption can be caused by genetic hair loss, stress, health and many other causes.
Hair characteristics to hair follicles
Hair characteristics differ around the body. With variations in texture, sometimes colour and how the hair grows. Hair can be curly on one part of the body and dead straight on other areas.
A good example of the differences in location is between the scalp hair compared to chest or leg hair. Scalp hair in often much thicker compared to leg or chest hair. The length hair grows also differs greatly with a much longer growth phase for scalp hair. Some hair is barely visible on the body but if stimulated can be encouraged to grow thicker and stronger. Scalp hair grows in groups or bunches made of one to four hairs.
These are also known as follicular units. They are naturally distributed around the head. With more one and two hair units around the sides and a greater number of three and four hair units around the back of the head. The same is true over the top of the head. The hairline being made up of single hair units and then building up behind with multiple hair units. Body hair also grows in bunches but mainly only one or two hairs in a group.
The hair cycle is made of different stages. From growth to the resting phase. As the hair follicle rejuvenates. With the old hair shedding, falling out due to “old age” and being replaced by a new hair. This is naturally occurring and synchronised between shedding and growth. Facts about hair growth, around 90% hair always growing and 10% in a resting phase. We commonly lose around 100 hairs per day. When we shampoo, brush and style our hair.
Understanding your hair
The shedding is matched by the hair follicles over the scalp growing the same if not very similar number of hairs. As a result, maintaining the 90/10 ratio of growth and dormant hair follicles. This natural cycle maintains a full head of hair. Therefore, seeing hair falling out does not always mean there is a cause for concern. That said, if there is a disturbance in the hair cycle the balance of hair growth will be interrupted. There are many reasons that can cause an interruption in the hair growth cycle. Some permanent while others possible to be reversed.
Genetic hair loss in men and women first starts with the interruption in the hair cycle. The effected hair follicles slow down hair growth. As a result, when hairs shed or fall out then less are regrowing. Overtime the dormant cycle of the hair follicle increases in length. This results in obvious thinning over the top of the scalp. This thinning is normally first seen along the hairline and often the vertex or crown. Other hair loss conditions can be induced by stress or medical concerns. These conditions increase the shedding cycle. This can often last for a few months before the shedding cycle calms down and the growth cycle balances one again.
Getting the right advice
Different hair loss conditions can require different treatment programmes. This can depend on the hair loss cause and stage or pattern of hair loss. While many conditions are shared between men and women it is important to first diagnose the hair loss cause before any treatment is carried out. It maybe possible to reverse hair loss naturally or rebuild areas of thinning. Genetic hair loss is progressive though. The long-term hair loss pattern is largely determined by hereditary factors. A consultation with a hair loss and hair restoration specialist can help determine the condition properly. From this it will be possible to decide whether a treatment, surgical or nonsurgical option is suitable.