How Does Hair Grow From the Scalp?
For many of us, our hair is a central part of our identity. Especially as part of how we present ourselves to the wider world. As we age our hair growth and health changes in accordance with our lifestyle or as part of our genetics. Sometimes it isn’t in the health we’d like it to be in.
So in order to improve the condition of our hair, we need to understand; how does hair grow?
- How Does a Hair Strand Form and Grow?
- What Helps Hair to Grow?
- How Can I Tell if my Hair is Growing?
- Is it Possible to Grow Hair Back?
How Does a Hair Strand Form and Grow?
Hair strands grow from the root of the hair follicle. Formed by cells multiplying and fed by blood vessels in your scalp, hairs are then pushed up through your skin as it grows.
As the hair follicle moves up through your scalp, it produces a hard protein called Keratin. This is a protective protein you find in your skin, hair, and nails. As it forms Keratin gathers oils from surrounding glands to keep your hair shiny and soft.
Finally, once your hair has reached the top of the hair shaft it emerges from your skin. At this stage it is no longer ‘living’ as it is external to the body. You may be wondering “how does hair grow if it’s dead?”
Although it’s dead after leaving the surface of the skin, the follicle and root are still alive, which continues the transformation of keratin into hair growth.
What are the 4 stages of hair growth?
Known as the hair growth cycle there are four stages for hair growth:
- Anagen (growth)
- Catagen (transition)
- Telogen (rest)
- Exogen (shedding phase)
What Helps Hair to Grow?
You can approach healthy hair growth both internally and externally. Maintaining a healthy diet and increasing your nutrient intake are important to stimulating growth. Increasing the amount of protein you consume for example can support the growth of your hair.
Externally, using growth-focused shampoos and treatments will also support healthy new hairs. Consider a head massage or deep conditioning treatment as part of your weekly scalp and hair care routine. Furthermore, avoid using too much heat on your hair and excessive brushing, tugging and styling.
How to grow hair faster
Specific products and ingredients can allow for improved hair growth. Caffeine is an excellent example of a growth promoting product.
Caffeine also counteracts DHT Dihydrotestosterone, a hormone that is known for rapid and early onset hair loss. Moreover, caffeine stimulates the blood supply to your scalp, which is a crucial step for hair growth. Caffeine enriched shampoos have been known to help grow hair faster.
How Can I Tell if my Hair is Growing?
You’ll start to notice that your hair is growing by seeing darker spots in your hair follicles where a new root is appearing; this is the anagen stage of hair growth. For increased hair growth, focus on your scalp which has a direct impact on your hair growth.
The two most important layers of the skin, the dermis and epidermis need to be carefully looked after to support the anagen hair. Especially the dermis as it features hair follicles, glands and blood vessels, which are all critical components of hair growth. Caring for your scalp allows both blood and nutrients to flow to their growth destinations, minimising shedding and hair loss.
When is my hair not growing?
Catagen phase follicles last for about two weeks and create a transitional phase between active growth and active resting. The resting phase of hair growth starts when a hair’s anagen and catagen phase has stopped.
Only 5% of the hair currently on your head is in the transition phase at any given time. This small amount of hair has a short 10-day window as the hair follicle shrinks and the strand separates from the follicle base. It’s then followed by a three-month resting phase known as the telogen phase, where it’s natural for your hair to shed.
This phase is reached when the hair follicle is fully formed. Once this cycle is complete, follicles return to the Anagen phase to restart the process in ‘Early Anagen.’
Is it Possible to Grow Hair Back?
If you’ve lost some hair (depending on how much you’ve lost and your hair health) you can get medication from a specialist to reactivate your dormant skin follicles. However, if a follicle is damaged, closed or hasn’t generated hair in years, it will unfortunately not grow back.
In this case, a hair transplant using your remaining hair would be a permanent option, in order for you to restore a full head of hair.
What can cause hair to stop growing?
There are several types of alopecia that can make your hair stop growing. The 5 main reasons for those are:
- Family History
- Stress Level
There are also many medical treatments such as chemotherapy and that can cause hair loss. Or cause your hair to stop growing. Some follicles stop growing hair as we age, hair growth typically is fastest between the ages of 15 and 30.
If you’re in your early thirties and have felt your hair growth slowing, this is entirely normal. Following a healthy and active diet and lifestyle will support the growth of healthy, happy hair. Your rate of hair growth is individual to you, your family history and your lifestyle.
If you think your hair has stopped growing, noticed your hair thinning or less and less hair regrowth, take a look at your scalp and seek medical advice from a registered specialist.
Furthermore, Dr Balwi at Elithair advises patients on the best course of action for hair care, hair treatments and hair transplants at our clinic in Turkey and speaks internationally on hair transplant techniques.
Do you have any more questions or are you suffering from hair loss issues? Then feel free to to contact our friendly team who are on hand to answer all your queries.