Understanding Hair Growth

Understanding Hair Growth

If you are currently suffering from thinning hair and want to stop this condition and hopefully even reverse it, you first have to understand how human hair grows. Just like working on a car, you need to know how the engine works before you can fix the problem. This article will be the owner’s manual for your scalp. Once you understand its functions you should be able to have it functioning like new in no time.

Hair Follicles

Even before we are born we have completely developed all of our hair follicles on our bodies. There are roughly five million of them from head to toe. Only about 100,000 of them are actually on the scalp. As we grow our hair naturally starts to thin which is caused by our scalps expanding with age.

The follicles are like little holes dug into your skin which holds the hair shaft. It contains glands that protect the hair shaft as well as condition it with natural oil.

Hair Shafts

Hair is made up of a protein called Keratin. It is made up of three layers; the cuticle, the cortex, and the medulla.

The cuticle is the outer layer and which is thin and colorless and is responsible for protecting the inner layers. The cortex contains melanin which is responsible for giving the hair its color. The medulla reflects light giving hair the many color tones which can change depending on how much sunlight we are exposed to.

Hair Growth Cycle

Human hair grows roughly at the speed of half an inch per month. It is not seasonal like some animals and at any given time our hair is in one of three different growth stages.


Anagen is the stage where new hair begins. The new hair is formed and begins to push the old hair, which has finished its growth cycle, from the follicle. When in this stage the hair grows roughly at about 1 centimeter per month. The hair can stay in this cycle anywhere from two to six years.


Catagen is a transitional phase between growth and shedding and can last between two and three weeks. The hair growth has stopped and the inner part of the hair follicle attaches to the root of the hair. Roughly 3% of hair is in this stage at any given time.


Telogen is the resting phase of the hair follicle. The hair has completely finished growing and will remain in this stage for roughly 100 days before the cycle begins again and the new hair pushes the old one out, or it falls out naturally. Roughly 50 to 100 hairs per day are naturally lost.

This brief description of the hair growth cycle hopefully should help you to understand more about your hair and help you to protect it and keep it healthy and strong. This is by no means everything you need to know on the topic, and you should continue to browse StopThinning.com for more in-depth articles on this and many other subjects of hair loss.

As always if you have enjoyed this article please share it with your friends and help everyone deal with and hopefully stop hair loss in its tracks.


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