What Causes Hair Growth?
A human hair consists of two specific elements. The first is the follicle residing in the skin itself, then the shaft, which is what we see as it is above the scalp. The sebaceous gland, contained in one of two sheaths surrounding the follicle, is the key to healthy hair and nearby skin. It produces sebum, which acts as a conditioner and strengthener. As we age, we produce less of this nutrient.
To understand how hair grows, including in places where we don’t want it, we need to look at the three phases of the growth process to paint a clearer picture. These stages are as follows:
This is the phase when the hair is at its most active. Cells in the root divide and form new hairs as a result. During this process, club hairs – hairs that have stopped growing – are pushed up the follicle and out. Typically, hair remains in the Anagen phase for 2 to 6 years. Individuals with longer hair can sometimes experience a longer phase than this.
The Catagen phase is all about transition, and it lasts for about three weeks. At this time, growth will cease, and club hair will form as a result. Usually, around 3 percent of all hairs are in the Catagen phase at any given time.
This is the final phase of a hair’s life, lasting for around 100 days or so for scalp hair and longer for other areas on the face and body. At this time, we shed around 25 to 100 hairs a day, which will have a solid, hard, white material at the root. This phase makes room for new hair follicles to grow in their place.