All of us want long, strong and dense hair. We try all kind of stuff to maintain hair in healthy state without even knowing what do our hair actually need. To keep hair healthy you should know how does hair grow, what hair is made of, hair growth cycle. As knowledge of these things will help you to keep hair beautiful and healthy always.
What is hair made of ?
About 85% of hair is made of protein known as keratin. This same protein is found in nails and skin. Derma papilla absorbs nutrients from blood vessels and convert it into amino acids. The ground part of hair follicle is known as hair bulb. Hair bulb produces hair growth cells from these amino acids. These cells starts taking form of hair shaft. Along with protein other essential nutrients required for hair growth are Biotin, Zinc, Vitamin C, Iron. That’s why you will find these nutrients in hair growth supplements. So to keep hair healthy your diet must contain protein, biotin, zinc, iron and vitamin c.
How hair become long ?
As we know that hair is made of combination of cells which takes form of hair shaft. When the production of new cells takes form it pushes the older cells towards the scalp this process happens continuously thus our hair becomes long and become visible on the scalp. Remember the cells which take form of hair become dead. This growth cycle also known as Anagen phase happens for certain time period and then shedding phase comes into place. We will discuss about it in detail in next paragraph.
Hair Growth Cycle and its Stages
The growth cycle of hair is divided into three phases. Each and every hair on our body go through this cycle. But the time period of this cycle differ in different part of our body. Like hair on scalp has longer growing phase than hair on arms and other body parts.
Anagen (Growing Phase)
During this time period hair growth takes place. The cells production and division happens rapidly in hair bulb. It lasts for 3 to 6 years. This time period is only for hair on the scalp. Where as in other body parts like arms and legs this growth phase lasts for a month only. In anagen phase hair keep on growing. The new hair pushes the older one and thus takes its place. How long hair will grow depend on number of factors like genetics, weather, hormones, nutrition, age, medications. The growth length generally varies from 18 to 30 inches. Around 85% of our hair on scalp are in anagen phase. Rest of them are in other two phases which I will explain below.
Catagen (Resting Phase)
As the name indicates in this phase the hair comes into rest means hair stops growing. At this stage the supply of nutrients get cut off from the blood vessels and hair follicle start shrinking. Hair does not fall out. This hair is known as club hair. This stage lasts for 2 to 3 weeks. About 1% of hair on scalp is in resting or catagen phase. Then hair move towards last phase of its life cycle.
Telogen (Falling Phase)
In this phase the club hair which get detached from blood supply get thinner and weaker and fall out at last. This phase lasts for 3 months. At any time around 10% of hair are in the falling phase. That’s why it is said that if 100 hair falls in a day than it is normal. After that again hair follicle come into Anagen the growth phase and hair cycle repeat.
How to make hair long and dense ?
To keep hair in anagen for long time healthy diet and exercise is a must because these will supply proper nutrition to the hair follicles. You can find best natural ways to grow long, dense hair and stop hair fall in this article.
When does balding occur ?
If this hair growth cycle get disturbed, one can see bald patches on scalp. Like if the growing phase become short and falling phase become big then hair will fall out before reaching its maximum length. There are number of factors which can affect this cycle like
If someone in family is suffered with pattern baldness like male and female pattern baldness then it can also affects their children.
Lack of nutrition can also disturb hair growth because hair need nutrition to grow. Without proper nutrition hair can’t grow to the fullest result in short and dull hair in growing phase.
Hair grows more quickly in summer and slowly in winter also falls more in autumn than other seasons.
Medications, age, stress, are also responsible for this cause