What Makes Hair Grow

Hair is our best asset: a vital component of our overall appearance. There can never be an overestimation of just what an impact hair has on our personality and self-confidence.

While hair may appear to be simple on the surface inside, the process is far more complex and intricate. Not only does your hair define your overall personality, but it also creates gender identity while transmitting sensory information.

Hair growth is a thoroughly intriguing process of nature inside our bodies. In this article, we will discuss how the production and hair growth cycle happens inside humans.

Hair- Its Origin

The first most fascinating fact is that you already form all the hair follicles you will have in your life as a mere fetus at week twenty-two. On average, you will have five million hair follicles at the stage of your body.

The other astonishing fact is that you will have a total of a million hair follicles on the head, out of which only a hundred thousand live on your scalp. This figure is the absolute number of hair follicles you will ever have as a human. According to scientific facts, humans never generate any new hair follicles all through their lives.

The figures indeed sound staggering, but why do a hundred thousand hair follicles seem less dense once you grow out of childhood? The reason behind the lower density of your scalp hair is that while the number of hair follicles remains the same, your scalp expands as you grow into adulthood.

The Follicle Structure

There are two distinct hair structures: the follicle is your first structure, and the hair shaft is the second. You will find your strands embedded in your skin because that is where they live, but you can easily spot your hair shafts above your scalp.

Your hair follicle has multiple functions owing to the several layers it has. It wouldn’t be wrong to liken a strand to a tunnel-like segment because it extends from the epidermis to the dermis below. Your hair cells need nourishment, and this responsibility lies with the tiny blood vessels or capillaries, as we call them, at the bottom of the follicles.

You may have heard this on repeat that human hair is a living component, too, which is entirely accurate. The part of your hair that is alive and active in the bottom part around the papilla. We call this part the bulb, and it has several remarkable qualities.

The primary function of the bulb is to divide into several cells every twenty-three to seventy-two hours. This is the bulb’s most significant achievement because it separates cells faster than any other in your body.

Hair Shaft

Now how does the hair shaft form? Two specific sheaths surround your hair follicle. These sheaths are unique in the sense that they form a protective structure and make a platform for the shaft to grow.

We can categorize these sheaths into two parts:

  • The outer sheath
  • The inner sheath

The inner one progresses down the hair shafts and ends right under the oil gland’s opening (sebaceous). The outer sheath, on the contrary, moves upwards towards the gland.  A gland by the name of erector pili muscle attaches to your outer sheath’s fibrous layer so that the hair can stand when it contracts.

Sebaceous glands are vital for the condition and nourishment of your hair and also the skin. In the end, the significant component that makes up your hair shaft is a protein we call keratin.

The Growth Cycle

Every follicle has a root at the bottom, embedded inside your skin. These roots are where the hair strands grow from, but they rely on your scalp’s blood flow to grow well.

Hence, when your scalp supplies the roots with a healthy blood flow, the follicles receive much-needed nutrition and oxygen and supply it to the roots. This is what helps your hair well and healthy. As each strand continues growing, it breaks out of your skin and passes through the sebaceous gland.

The oil from the sebaceous gland lends shine and softness to each of your hair strands.

Three Stages of the Hair Cycle

Hair growth and hair shedding occur in three main stages all your life. These include:

  • Anagen

This is the most active stage of your hair growth because the cells in your root divide rapidly in this period. They form new hair, push the club or dormant hair out of your follicle and out through the skin. During this stage, you can expect your hair to grow at least one centimeter every twenty-eight days.

For most people, the active anagen phase lasts for at least two to six years.

  • Catagen

Catagen is the formation period for club hair and. In this transitional stage, approximately 3% of your hair lives in catagen at any time. The stage can last for two or three weeks, and in it, you can expect the growth to stop and the outer root to shrink and attach to your root.

  • Telogen

Telogen is when your hair is in when nearly eight or six percent of your hair is in the resting phase. You can expect telogen to continue for a hundred days on your scalp, but it is lengthier for your eyebrow, legs, arms, and eyelashes hair.

The club hair develops fully while the hair follicle is fully resting in telogen. If you try to pluck any of your telogen hair, you will find a white, dry, and solid material clinging to its root.

Laser Caps are Beneficial

Healthine.com states,  Low-level laser therapy — also referred to as red light therapy and cold laser therapy — irradiates photons into scalp tissues. These photons are absorbed by weak cells to encourage hair growth”. Studies support the belief that laser caps are beneficial for hair growth. The low-level laser points directly at your scalp when you wear the cap during the treatment sessions and it stimulates blood flow to the scalp.

  • According to a 2014 study, low-level laser therapy appeared to be safe and effective for hair growth in both men and women.
  • A 2013 study of 41 males ages 18 to 48 found that laser hair treatment provided a 39 percent increase in hair growth over a period of 16 weeks.

For many years now, laser caps have been the most popular treatment for hair loss.

Final Thoughts

The process of hair growth is the same for both men and women. However, the rate at which our hair grows and the quality depends on several factors. Several factors determine how healthy and dense your scalp hair will be, from genetics to a nutritious diet.

You can take several steps or adopt certain acceptable practices to experience profitable hair growth. If you suffer from hair loss problems, pattern baldness, or other problems, consider using a laser cap or an alternative treatment to remedy the situation.