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Understanding the hair growth cycle (and how to grow healthy hair)

May 24, 2019

We all want healthy-looking, naturally lustrous hair. No one likes to keep struggling against hair loss, thinning, and a host of other common hair health issues. But what if the key to success is understanding the science behind the way your hair grows?



Hair grows from the follicle beneath your skin and is nourished by the blood vessels at their base. Between the point that a given hair begins to grow and the point at which it falls out after several years, it passes through 3 stages: anagen, catagen, and telogen. The twist? Every hair is at a different stage in its growth cycle. It’s important to understand the hair growth cycle in order to properly address hair loss and baldness.


The hair growth cycle in 3 stages


In the anagen phase, your hair is actively growing, and this typically lasts 3-5 years. At the end of this phase, the hair enters its catagen or transitional phase for about 10 days, as it prepares to shed. Following this, the telogen phase is when the hair shaft falls out. The follicles enter a dormant state for about 3 months before restarting the whole process again. Since each hair follicle works at its own pace, often out of sync with one another, most people don’t lose all their hair at once. More significant hair loss tends to occur when your usual growth cycle is interrupted by something like a change in diet, metabolic changes, a lack of nutrition, or simple aging. As we get older, the length of the anagen stage tends to decrease, so hair can become weaker and thinner after each cycle.


How to promote healthy hair growth


There are so many theories in circulation about how to promote healthy hair growth that it can get a little overwhelming trying to know what will actually produce results. Some swear by regular trimming while others avoid cutting it altogether. Some make extra sure to eat nutritious, vitamin-rich food thought to nourish hair follicles. Regardless of your approach, there are also cutting edge hair restoration treatments available to patients nowadays—treatments that reflect a profound understanding of the hair growth cycle and how it works.


FUE hair transplantation may be just what the doctor ordered. Because the grafts are extracted from the back and sides of your scalp, which are genetically programmed not to lose hair, results of your FUE transplant are considered permanent. At SpaMedica in Toronto, our patients achieve an incredible 85%+ graft survival rate, a transection rate under 4%, and very natural-looking hair that is easily customizable with the help of Dr. Mulholland. Our SpaMedica hair restoration team is the most experienced in Canada, having placed over 1 million grafts! There’s a good reason we have an international reputation for being the best and only center to offer patients a wealth of experience with both the Neograft and Artas Robotic FUE procedures.


Also proudly offered at SpaMedica in Toronto: PRP hair restoration. PRP (or platelet-rich plasma) contain your own growth factors and stem cells. True story: when injected into your scalp they stimulate increased hair growth and enhanced hair density. PRP can be combined with low-level light laser therapy and/or medical hair care products to provide a nonsurgical, non transplantation alternative for both men and women seeking quality hair restoration.


Contact SpaMedica today to learn more about the fantastic hair restoration options available to you!

Dr. Stephen Mulholland, MD
Posted by Dr. Stephen Mulholland, MD
has been practicing plastic surgery for over 20 years. He is one of Canada’s most renowned and best plastic surgeons in Toronto with his wealth of experience, artistry, and humbleness towards his patients.

Dr. Mulholland's Google Scholar | Dr. Mulholland's Wikipedia

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