When discussing hair thinning or loss, it’s almost always in reference to the health of the hair follicles. In addition to other factors, hair follicles being clogged or damaged contribute to both temporary and permanent hair loss. But what exactly are hair follicles? What makes up a hair follicle and what is its growth cycle? Let’s dissect them.
What Is A Hair Follicle?
The hair follicle is basically what anchors each individual hair to your skin.
At the base of the hair follicle is the hair bulb. The blood vessels surrounding the hair bulb provide the nourishment to enable the cells inside to create the hair shaft, allowing hair to grow from the bulb and through your skin. Those same blood vessels are what also deliver the hormones in your body to the hair bulb that could affect your hair growth in either positive or negative ways.
What Is The Growth Cycle Of Your Hair?
Your hair goes through three unique growth phases in the hair follicles: anagen, catagen, and telogen. The cycles are crucial to understanding healthy hair shedding versus a problem with hair loss.
- The Anagen Phase
- The Catagen or Transitional Phase
- The Telogen or Resting Phase
Anagen is the growth phase. This is the period where the hair begins to grow at the root and lasts anywhere for three to seven years for the follicle.
The catagen or transitional phase tends to be the shortest phase and only lasts about two to four months. During this phase, hair growth slows down as the hair follicle contracts and shrinks.
The telogen, or resting phase, is the final phase before the follicle reverts back to the anagen phase to start the cycle again. This phase usually lasts a little longer than the catagen phase, persisting for three to four months where hair growth completely stops. During this final phase, the hair completely detaches from the follicle as a new hair grows.
This is why people shed an average of up to a hundred hairs a day. That may sound like a lot, but when you consider the average person has approximately one hundred thousand hairs on their head… that’s really just a drop in the bucket.
While that is normally something that shouldn’t cause concern, in some instances you may find yourself suffering from temporary or permanent hair loss. Some of these conditions include folliculitis (an inflammation of the follicles) and telogen effluvium – which is stress-induced hair loss. If the follicles themselves get damaged, the hair won’t be able to grow back from that same follicle.
RHRLI Utilizes Your Own Follicles to Restore Your Hair
Hair restoration procedures have come a long way in recent years. Utilizing the ARTAS® Robotic Hair Transplant System our team of experts at RHRLI can optimize the follicles in your scalp to repopulate thinning and bald areas on your head in a minimally invasive way that will get you back to your day-to-day activities in just a few days. Contact us today for a free consultation.