Posts Tagged ‘catagen’

Some are Hairy, Some are Bald…

Some are hairy, some are bald;
Some are scary, some are old.

A funny rhyme is a good thing to start speaking about rather serious things. This time it’s going to be hair growth cycle and its stages.

So why in the world do we have to take care of our hair? To go to hairdressers every month or so, to think of stunning hair styles on special occasions, to wash, comb and brush our hair? To smell and touch (if not to chew) it? And why do we pity the bald ones after all? Because it grows… and falls out. Yeap, it grows and falls out all the time. That’s what keeps the whole process going.

The common rate of hair growth is about a half of inch a month. All in all, there is about  a hundred thousand hairs growing on the average head. Hair grows from the dermal papilla (the bottom of the hair root), which produces new cells for hair growth. These cells are initially soft, but they are hardened as they come out to the scalp’s surface. Each hair usually has a life cycle of one to seven years. Why so? Because each hair follicle sooner or late enters a period of rest. And what actually happens at the moment is that the hair simply falls out forever. Yet to be replaced and regrown by another one, which is going to go through the same cycle of 1 to 7 years of growth.

In scientific terms, the growing stage of the hair is called anagen. The transitional stage when the hair follicle starts going to rest is called catagen (usually up to 2 weeks). The resting stage is called telogen (about 3 months). This is when we lose our hair. As a matter of fact, there is a constant daily loss of 50–100 hairs. Fortunately, not all follicles are in the telogen stage at the same time. Otherwise…

None are hairy, all are bald!