Hair Growth Cycle Stages: Anagen, Catagen & Telogen

This article will explain the different he hair growth cycle stages known as Anagen, Catagen and Telogen.

One should not diminish the role of hair as a social and sexual communication signal in humans. Thus, it is true that one of the concerns of either male or female nowadays is hair loss or what they call “Common Baldness”. Some have already tried many hair growth products such as hair growth shampoo and vitamin for hair growth, even consulting a Doctor for professional help. What others fail to realize is that our system has different ways in reacting and handling drastic changes in our body which may cause hair loss.

Every hair is made of protein called “Keratin” with each hair follicle having a specific growth cycle, it grows for about 5 to 6 inches a year; an average person normally loses 50 to 100 strands of hair a day. Hair grows in an endless recurrent pattern this is why it is important to know the hair growth cycle stages to understand the reason for hair loss.

Hair growth and loss is indiscriminate and not seasonal or cyclic. At any given point, a random amount of hairs will be in diverse stages of growth and shedding. These three stages of hair growth are known to be: Catagen, Telogen, and Anagen.

Anagen – the Growing Phase.

In this phase a rapid division of cells in the root of the hair takes place to regenerate and push the club hair up the follicle and eventually out. Hair grows about 1 to 2 cm for every 28 days. Having a short active phase of growth causes slow hair re-growth. On the other hand, having a long active phase of growth yields fast hair growth. The amount of time the hair follicle stays in the Anagen phase is based on genetic information.

Catagen – the Transitional Phase.

During this phase the hair follicle recoils to about 1/6 of the average length. The lower part of the follicle is eradicated and the dermal papilla breaks away to rest below. This phase lasts for about 14 to 20 days.

Telogen – the Resting Phase.

During this phase the hair follicle is completely at rest and the hair is formed. This phase lasts for about 100 days for hairs on the scalp. At the end of the Telogen phase the hair follicle re-enters the Anagen phase. The dermal papilla and the base of the follicle bond together again and a new hair begins to form. If the old hair hasn’t been shed, the new hair pushes the old one out and the growth cycle starts all over again.

Therefore, the Anagen phase is obviously the most desirable of the three. A hair loss condition is characterized by progressive shortening of the Anagen phase and prolongation of the Telogen phase. As hair loss progresses, the follicle expend more time in the Telogen phase, and less and less in the Anagen phase. So when dealing with baldness, it is important to understand hair growth cycle to be able to choose the right solution available for your problem.