How does hair grow?

Does it seem like you are losing more hair than usual? Does it feel like the more stressed out you get, the more hair you lose? Stress, anxiety and even depression can cause hair loss – but first, it is important that you understand how hair actually grows.

The cycle

Stage 1: Anagen – this cycle of hair growth lasts anything from two years to seven years. Estimations of annual hair growth during this period are at around 5-6 inches.

Stage 2: Catagen – this is a fairly short stage in the hair growth cycle. It is a period of transition which lasts for around 2-4 weeks. During this stage, the shaft of hair detaches and moves up from the follicles.

Stage 3: Telogen – This part of the cycle does not involve much activity. Also referred to as a resting phase, the hair prepares itself for the ‘falling out’ period. This stage lasts for around 3-4 months.

Stage 4: Hair shedding – this is the part of the hair growth cycle that everyone hates. Keep in mind that no matter how scary it is to see strands of hair on your hair brush that it is normal to shed around 10% of your hair. This 10% means around 100 strands of hair per day.

It is time to worry when it looks like you have shed more than the normal 100 strands of hair for the day. While counting is of course impossible, if the amount of shedding looks more than the usual – then yes, you should worry. You should immediately seek the advice of a doctor.