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The Hair Growth Cycle
- How Does It WORK?

The HAIR GROWTH CYCLE seems complicated to many people, that’s the bad news.

The good news is that it’s really not difficult to understand when you get a clear explanation.

So before you start doing hair growth methods like the inversion method, let's first get you an education on the mechanics of your hair and scalp cycles.

That’s what you’ll get right now.

hair growth cycle anagen, catagen, telogen phase, new anagen phase

Once you better understand the cycle of hair growth you’ll be equipped with knowledge that most people simply don’t have.

So let’s get into it, shall we?

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The 3 Hair Growth Cycle Phases

People often wonder how to make hair grow faster without considering the fact that there are 3 stages of hair growth in the cycle.

Starting with the actively beginning growth from the root to the phase where your hair naturally sheds. These 3 stages are known as the Anagen phase, Catagen phase and Telogen phase. Let’s discuss each phase and its purpose one-by-one.

The Anagen Phase of Hair Growth Cycle

The Anagen phase is the period of growth. The cells in the hair bulb divide rapidly creating new hair growth. When we talk about the anagen hair growth phase, we are talking about the strands on an individual basis.

For example, a full head of hair will ALWAYS have hair that actively grows from the roots for an average of 2-7 years before hair follicles become dormant.

In this time, hair can grow anywhere between 18-30 inches depending on various internal and external factors.

The length of this active hair growth phase is dependent on your maximum hair length limitations, which varies between people due to health, genetics, age, hair care practices and many more factors.

The Catagen Phase of Hair Growth Cycle

The second phase of your hair growth cycle is Catagen. This period is short, lasting only 14-21 days on average.

In this transitional catagenic phase, hair stops growing and detaches itself from the blood supply and is then named a club hair.

The Telogen Phase of Hair Growth Cycle

Finally, hair enters its 3rd and final stage called the Telogen phase. This phase begins with a resting period, where club hairs rest in the root while new hair begins to grow beneath it. This hair growth cycle phase lasts for around 90 days.

After this time, the resting club hairs will fall out to allow the new hair strand to come through the hair follicle.

So for people who want to know what is the reason for normal daily hair loss, the telogen phase is your answer.  This is nothing to be alarmed about and is a natural process that should go completely unnoticed.

Some have wonder if the inversion method works to stop this part of the hair growth cycle, unfortunately it doesn't.

Each follicle is independent and goes through the growth cycle at different times so you don’t lose patches of hair all at once and only shed 50-100 hairs each day.

Meanwhile, the other 80-90% of your hair strands will be growing in the Anagen phase.

Each hair follicle is independent and goes through the growth cycle at different times — otherwise all your hair would fall out at once! Instead, you only shed a certain number of hairs a day – 80 to 100 hairs on a healthy head of hair.

Hair loss, hair thinning and problems with hair growth may occur when your growth cycle is disrupted. This can be triggered by conditions such as metabolic imbalances, illness, mechanical stresses (like traction alopecia) or improper nutrition.

Understanding Hair Follicle Structure

Hair has two distinct structures - first, the follicle itself, which resides in the skin, and second, the shaft (AKA strand), which is what is visible above the scalp.

The hair follicle is a tunnel-like segment of the epidermis that extends down into the dermis. The structure contains several layers that all have separate functions. At the base of the follicle is the papilla, which has tiny blood vessels (called capillaries) that nourish the cells for hair growth.

The living part of the hair is the very bottom part surrounding the papilla, called the bulb. The cells of the bulb divide every 23 to 72 hours, faster than any other cell in the human body.

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ANSWER SECTION: About Hair Growth Cycle Phases 

So let’s answer some of the most commonly asked questions about the hair growth cycle and its various phases. 

How long is the hair growth cycle?
The Anagen hair growth phase, or anagen phase, can last as long as 7 years. On average though, between 3-5 years — so a full-length hair strand averages 18 to 30 inches long before naturally shedding. Research shows that people of Asian descent generally have a longer Anagen phase.

Does anything speed up hair growth?
If you suffer from abnormally slow hair growth there are things you can do to speed up growth. The key just might be your diet. Hair thrives with ideal nutrition, a healthy diet plentiful in nutrients will help keep hair healthy and growing faster. The foods you eat should contain vitamins and minerals known to support healthy hair growth, such as vitamin C, biotin, niacin, iron and zinc.

What are the 3 stages of the hair growth cycle?
The 3 stages of hair growth cycle are known as the Anagen phase, Catagen phase and Telogen phase. The hair growth cycle begins with active strand production and growth emerging from the root to the final hair shedding phase. The cycle repeats continually.
hair growth cycle phases fast

How can I increase my hair growth cycle?
To increase the appearance of hair growth during the Anagen phase of the cycle, focus on length-retention. Use growth stimulating herbs & oils such as cinnamon leaf, bay and peppermint oil to boost circulation and delivery of hair growth nutrients to the scalp, increasing follicle health for faster results before reaching the transitional Catagen phase.

Does MSM lengthen Anagen phase?
Yes, MSM helps lengthen the Anagen hair growth phase by aiding in the suppression of the Telogen (resting) phase, and helping to reactivate the Anagen (hair growth) stage. As added Sulfur from MSM supplements starts to build up in the middle layers of the scalp and follicle, it acts as a bio-signal for your scalp to allow your hair to grow longer before entering the resting and shedding phases.

How do you get your hair in Anagen phase?
You’ll never get all of your hair in the Anagen phase at once. While some of your hair strands will be growing in the Anagen phase of the hair growth cycle, others won’t. You’re better off focusing on scalp health to reach your hair growth goals no matter which phase your hairs are in.

What percentage of hair is in the Anagen stage?
The percentage of your hair that will be in the Anagen stage of the hair growth cycle at any given time is between 80-90%. Normally up to 90% of the hair follicles are in Anagen phase, while 10–14% are in Telogen and 1–2% in Catagen.


I hope you enjoyed my guide about the hair growth cycle and its various phases. .

Understanding your hair growth cycle can help you realize that shedding hair is natural and that you always have hair that is growing, even when you don't notice it.

If you want longer hair your focus does not need to be on the phases of hair growth, but instead, the retention of it. That is where you will actually see and enjoy the fruits of your hair growth cycle.

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Melissa Lee is a Contributing Editor to NHP and a former owner of the BlackhairOMG website. She formed 4C Trichology Growth Services, LLC., a US based hair care consultation service. She has also contributed as a writer and consultant for various hair and beauty websites. Melissa can be followed on Twitter here.

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