Finding out exactly how your hair grows is a fascinating process, and it begins with understanding what hair really is. Every strand of your luscious locks is composed of keratin, which is a protein. A single strand of hair has multiple layers, and the outermost layer is called the cuticle.
Under this section, the middle layer, known as the cortex, is found. The cortex part of each hair strand is denser and stronger than the inner or outer sections. The innermost layer of a strand of hair is called the reflective medulla, and this part of the hair is responsible for giving hair its glossy, healthy look.
Now that you know what hair is, you need to learn about how hair remains in place on your scalp. Each stand grows out of the follicle, which is also linked with special glands that produce oils that make your hair soft, silky and strong. The follicle triggers hair growth, while also acting as an anchor for its hair strand.
Hair Growth Happens All Over the Body
You’ve got follicles all over your body, not just on the top of your head. Only your mouth, the undersides of your hands, and the bottom of your feet are follicle-free. However, the sort of hair that grows from each follicle will vary.
For men, chest hair will have a different texture and look than the hair on their heads, and their beards may be quite different from head hair as well. Women will grow hair on their legs that is softer and finer than scalp hair. Both sexes will grow hair in the genital area during and after puberty. All hair grows out of the follicles.
How the Growth Process Works
When your hair begins to grow, it goes through a trio of stages, and the first of these stages in known as the Anagen phase. During this start of this cycle, your hair will start to grow about ½-inch every month. The entire cycle lasts for years. How long the Anagen cycle continues will vary from person to person. Some people grow hair very rapidly, while it will take others forever to see substantial and measurable growth.
Once phase one is complete, hair stops growing, and the Catagen phase starts up. This takes fourteen to twenty-eight days. While your hair is in the Catagen part of the hair growth cycle, your follicle will reduce in size, and vital circulation to the follicle will decrease. In time, there will be no more blood flow in this region. Most people have plenty of Catagen hair on their heads all of the time.
The last step in the hair growth cycle is the Telogen phase, which continues for several months. During the Telogen part of the process, hair begins to fall out, since the follicle no longer has the capacity to hold it in place. Fresh hair will then grow in to replace it, as the entire cycle begins anew.
Proper Hair Care May Strengthen Your Tresses
Now that you know how hair grows, you’ll understand why your hair seems to fall out sometimes, despite your best efforts to shampoo, condition and treat your tresses with plenty of tender loving care. Hair loss may also be related to hormonal changes or genetic issues, such as male pattern baldness. Men and women tend to have thinner hair as they age, but some prescription and over-the-counter products, such as Rogaine hair serum and Biotin shampoo, may have the ability to re-grow hair or to strengthen the hair that you already have.