Your hair normally cycles through 4 phases. Anagen, Catagen, Telogen and Exogen. Each phase of hair growth has its own timeline. When the timeline is functioning optimally you will shed up to 100 hairs a day. However, this timeline can be disrupted for multiple reasons including illness, age and nutrition. When this happens you may start to see in excess of 125 hairs start to shed daily. These are some of the tips I give my patients when we are trying to maintain a healthy growth cycle.
(Source: Cleveland Clinic)
Hair Growth Phases
Anagen (Growing Phase)-At any time 90% or more of your hair is in this active growth phase. It is the longest phase and can last between 3-6+ years. The length of this phase determines why some people can grow their hair super long and why others say they can’t seem to get it past their shoulders.
Catagen (Transition Phase)-This phase lasts less than 2 weeks and is when your hair gets the signal to slow growth and begin to loosen from the hair follicle. Normally around 5% of your hairs are in this transition phase.
Telogen (Resting Phase)-Once your hair stops growing it will enter telogen. It is no longer actively growing and a new hair is beginning to form in the follicle below. This new hair will eventually help to push the old hair up and out of the follicle. About 10% of your hairs will be in this phase at any time.
Exogen (Shedding Phase)-This is the phase where the body pushes out the old hair and a new one replaces it. These are the 100 or so hairs that it is normal to lose everyday.
Tips to Maintain Healthy Hair
Your genetics, hormones, age and also your diet contribute to the health of your hair.
In our research we have found that while you can’t control your genetics, there is much we can do to manage the other factors that contribute to your hair health.
Nutrition: Hair is one of the least important organs in the human body. What that means is that when your nutrition is not optimal your body will choose to give that nutrition to more vital organs like the heart and muscles and your hair will get what is left over. Diet plays a big role and given that hair is one of the fastest growing parts of our body the correct supplement can bring about visible changes in just a few months.
A balanced diet with good sources of protein is important to hair growth. One of the most common causes of hair loss I see in healthy individuals is restrictive dieting or long term ketogenic diets.
We have added Type II marine collagen to Inner Glow Hair, Skin & Nails which is important for hair nutrition along with all of the Vitamins that your hair needs as building blocks to grow strong hair.
Stressful situations or chronic stress actually signal your hair to stop growing and move into the telogen phase. Finding what is relaxing for you is important, for some this might mean yoga and deep breathing and for others it might be reading a book in the bath. Stress relief is not one size fits all but getting enough sleep and trying to exercise is important for everyone.
We have included Ashwagandha in our formula as it is known to decrease stress and the resulting cortisol release that signals the hair to stop growing.
Almost 50% of women will experience hair loss around the time of menopause but there are many other hormones that contribute to hair loss as well. Saw Palmetto is included in our formula to help regulate the hormone(DHT) that leads to hair loss and hair follicle shrinkage.
Gentle hair care is important for those patients that are noticing hair loss. Be especially careful when styling because your hair is most vulnerable to damage when it is wet.
We have included zinc and selenium in our formula because not only are these important for hair growth they also help control sebum & dandruff and contribute to scalp health.