The Telogen Phase: What Are the Stages of Hair Growth?
Everyone sheds approximately 100 hairs per day. This loss is normal, natural, and a part of life. We often don’t even notice the hair loss because it’s so minimal.
But sometimes, we experience large amounts of noticeable hair loss. This extreme shedding can happen due to stress, puberty, or pregnancy. But it can also occur because of a condition called telogen effluvium.
Learn about how your hair grows, beginning with the telogen phase. If you’re experiencing hair loss, use these tips to keep your hair healthy throughout every growth phase!
Around 90% of your hair is in the anagen phase at this very moment. This phase is the growing part of the cycle and lasts about three to five years for the hair on your head. But different types of hair on your body have varying anagen cycles.
During this phase, your hair follicles push the hair out. Most human hair grows at a rate of about 0.35 mm per day. That means one year of growth, on average, will add an extra six inches!
A transitional phase occurs once the hair has reached the end of its natural growth cycle. The catagen phase of hair growth lasts about ten days and affects roughly 3% of your hair at any given time. During this phase, the blood supply to the hair strand is cut off.
Hair follicles shrink, which slows down natural growth. The hair strand separates from the follicle but stays in its spot until it sheds.
The telogen phase is the resting period of the hair growth cycle. It can last around three months and accounts for 10% to 15% of your hair at any given time. The original hair strand stops growing but doesn’t shed quite yet.
At the same time, new hair strands start to pop out of the follicles. This resting stage means your old hair isn’t shedding, but new hair isn’t growing either.
The final stage is the exogen phase, where shedding begins while new hair grows. At this time, you’ll start to see a loss of 50 to 100 hair strands per day. Brushing and washing your hair often helps the process along.
The exogen phase lasts about two to five months. After that, the hair growth cycle begins again with the anagen phase.
How Do Hair Cycle Disruptions Occur?
Each hair strand on your head is currently in a different phase of the hair growth cycle. But cycle disruptions can occur, leading to greater hair loss during the exogen phase. Some common causes include:
- Poor diet
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Sudden weight loss
- Illness or chronic disease
- Treatment for illness
Even a high fever due to illness can cause temporary hair loss. Most people will see this loss two to three months later when too much hair enters the exogen phase.
What Is Telogen Effluvium?
Sudden hair loss may occur when hair enters the telogen phase before it’s ready. This condition is telogen effluvium, and it’s usually temporary. But telogen effluvium can also turn into a less common chronic issue.
Telogen effluvium can be a shocking experience for people with healthy hair. They might see chunks of hair on the shower floor or feel like it’s coming out in handfuls. But the good news is that this condition isn’t permanent!
The treatment for this sudden hair loss consists of medicated products, lifestyle changes, and time. The main symptom of this telogen effluvium is sudden hair loss, but you should also look out for these signs:
- Hair loss during styling (washing, drying, combing)
- All over hair thinning
- Unhealthy scalp
- Texture changes (drier, lack of shine)
- A visible white bulb on shedding hair
Some people also experience color changes during the process. Dark hair may lighten to soft brown or red tones, and lighter hair may verge on becoming blonde.
Maintaining Hair Health Through All Phases
The body needs a healthy lifestyle to stay in good working shape. Your hair also requires a wellness routine to maintain a proper hair growth cycle. Use these tips to manage hair health through the entire process.
Keratin is the main ingredient in building strong hair strands. Since keratin is a protein, your diet should include healthy protein like:
- Seafood like shrimp and mussels
- Fish like salmon and tuna
- Lean meat like chicken and turkey
- Beans and legumes
Vegetarians can use plant-based protein powders to up their intake. Most doctors recommend that 10% to 35% of your daily calorie intake comes from a source of protein. So if you’re losing hair, take a look at your diet first!
Hair loss supplements can also benefit your hair health. Vitamins D, C, and B12 are essential nutrients you should include. You can also up your mineral intake by increasing your iron, zinc, and folic acid.
Gentle Hair Care
Being gentle with your hair is a good idea, regardless of its health. But for people suffering from hair loss, gentle hair care is vital. Start by overhauling your hair care products!
Many hair care products contain chemicals and additives that cause damage. Consider switching to a fortifying shampoo formulated for telogen effluvium. And show your hair some love during the styling process.
Be gentle when towel-drying your hair, and always brush with a wide-tooth comb. Turn down the heat on your styling tools to prevent excess heat damage.
Reducing stress is the number one priority when it comes to hair health. Some stress, like pregnancy or illness, isn’t avoidable. But daily mental stress is!
Incorporate relaxing activities like meditation, journaling, or yoga into your day. Devote time to self-care and do whatever makes you feel rested and well. As stress levels lower, your hair growth cycle has a better chance of running on schedule.
The Stages of Hair Growth Explained
The hair growth cycle is usually a well-oiled machine that keeps your hair healthy. But disruptions around the telogen phase can occur, prompting excess temporary hair loss. Keep your cycle on track by maintaining a nutritious diet, minimizing stress, and being gentle with your hair.
If you’re experiencing the effects of telogen effluvium, hair loss products can help. Shop our line of Tricovel products to improve your hair’s growth, thickness, and health!
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