Three different phases of hair
Our hair goes through 3 different cycles:
1.) Anagen cycle is the active/growing phase
2.) Catagen cycle is a fairly short phase of the natural hair cycle during which hairs begin to break down.
3.) Telogen cycle is the resting phase.
Most of our hairs at any one time are in their Anagen stage, and they stay for a period of 2 to 8 years on our heads. The Catagen stage generally lasts 2 to 3 weeks, while the Telogen phase lasts 2 to 4 months.
Research shows that hairs shed daily are often in the resting or late phase in the hair cycle. Usually, about 10% of your hairs are in the resting telogen cycle at any time. These hairs are not growing and are getting prepared for cyclic shedding. Under normal conditions, our scalp hairs live for about three years (the anagen phase). They then enter the telogen phase. During the three month telogen period, the hair root shrivels up into a small white “club”, then the hair falls out. It is therefore normal to lose about 100 strands of hair everyday, more of them on days when shampooing loosens the strands that are ready to fall out. The hairs are then replaced by the body.
Even men who never get bald commonly thin out gradually over the years. Unlike those with reversible telogen shedding, those with common male-pattern hair loss will see less hair growing out until eventually there is no hair there anymore.
Unlike male-pattern baldness, hair loss in female is generally more diffused/spread out, resulting in thinning hair all over instead of in one particular area of the scalp. Women may not realize that excessive hair is falling out as some hair loss is simply because of hair growing back at a slower rate or not growing back entirely, not necessarily falling out more rapidly.
If you are experiencing hair loss, consult a medical doctor to investigate the cause for diagnosis and treatment. It may stem from hormonal changes, medications, diseases such as thyroid disorder, extreme stress or a number of various reasons. Here are some general hair care tips that can help you keep your hair as strong and healthy as it can be.
1.) Eating a balanced diet can help prevent hair loss
- Eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean meat or other protein sources such as eggs and tofu.
- Avoid processed foods
- B vitamins, folic acid and biotin are all important for healthy hair and skin. Vitamin C can also help to improve scalp circulation. Zince can stimulate hair growth because it strengthens immune function, while amino acids L-cysteine and L-methionine can improve quality and texture of your hair.
- On the contrary, large doses of drugs such as Vitamin A (100,000IU or more daily) over a prolonged period can result in hair loss.
2.) Always wash and dry hair gently
- Do not shampoo more than once a day; preferably on alternate days.
- When shampooing, lather gently, focusing on scalp cleansing and allowing shampoo to clean the hair as it is rinsed out with water. Continue with a moisturizing conditioner to keep hair hydrated.
- Blot and pat dry your hair with a towel instead of rubbing vigorously. Try to stay away from blow-dryer, flat-iron and other hairstyling tools that involves heat.
- Don’t twist up wet hair in a towel on top of your head or pull hair back into a tight ponytail or use elastic hair bands as these will cause hair breakages.
- Avoid using chemicals in straightening or hair coloring products. If you need to color your hair, use henna or other natural hair dyes to achieve it.