How often do you think about getting long lustrous Hair and eventually end up with hair woes, despite all your efforts? If hair growth was mathematical, things would have been simpler. But, behind hair growth lie certain scientific theories which are directly related to our genetic makeup, hormonal interjection and lifestyle choices.
What Is Hair Made Of And How Does It Grow?
Your hair is made of waste materials excreted in the form of dead cells. These dead cells are made of fibrous proteins and called keratin. They are tough cuticles that are pushed out from the top of your head. Each hair strand is attached to your scalp by the hair bulb. The hair bulb grows and divides cells in order to build the hair shaft. All the important nutrients are supplied to your hair via hair bulb. Hormones are delivered to the hair bulb in order to give them structure and growth at different periods of your life.
What Are The Stages Of Hair Growth Cycle?
1. Growth phase (Anagen) – It is the active growth phase of hair follicles. Each strand spends several years before moving onto the next phase.
2. Transitional phase (Catagen) – In the course of few weeks’ hair growth will slow down and the hair follicles will start to shrink.
3. Resting phase (Telogen) – Hair growth completely stops and the hair follicle detaches itself from the scalp resulting in hair loss. A new hair pushes out and the cycle begins again.
Also Read: What Is Telogen Effluvium & How Can You Treat It?
Reasons Why Hair Growth Slows Down
The average hair growth per person is half an inch per month. If your hair is growing slower than the average rate, then there can be few underlying causes for this. In cases where the hair growth cycle is disrupted due to hormonal imbalance, heredity, medication or stress; the anagen phase is cut down and hair directly enters the telogen phase. Also with age, anagen phase decreases, thus making the hair weak and thin.
How Can You Know That Hair Growth Is Slow?
Hair growth is different for different people. As the hair texture, colour, health and growth are all determined by genes. Since hair growth is so variable a simple observation must be recorded in order to understand if your hair is growing slowly or not. The slowest possible hair growth is 0.1 inch per month. If your hair growth is slow, then it’s most likely that your hair is in catagen phase and that it is most likely to fall out. New hair pushes out the old hair and the cycle will continue.
Can Hair Growth Be Enriched Medically?
Yes, using medical treatments to speed up your hair growth is possible. Cosmetic treatments are also viable if you wish to use them. It is important to consult with a dermatologist before starting any type of hair growth treatment. Proper guidance is needed and rules must be adhered to, while undergoing any medical treatment.
Also Read: How To Find The Best Dermatologist For Hair Growth?
Does Hair Growth Slow Down When Your Hair Gets Longer?
It may seem as if shorter hair grows faster than long hair. But it is not so. Hair growth remains constant irrespective of the length, but since long hair is more vulnerable there is more to break off which makes it seem as though long hair grows slower than short hair. An average life span of hair is 6-8 years and the growth of hair is entirely determined by individual’s genes and overall health.
What Is The Average Growth Of Hair In A Year?
The average rate of hair growth is unique and different for each individual. The average growth of hair in one year is 6 inches. Some experience longer growth and vice versa. Race, diet, health, genes and climate are few factors that can alter the growth per year per person.
What Is The Maximum Length To Which You Can Grow Your Hair?
The specific length your hair stops growing without the interference of split ends or haircuts is called terminal length. It is the longest possible length your hair can grow.
Since the maximum length is determined purely by genes, it is impossible to understand each and every person’s terminal length. For each individual the terminal length can vary. Depending on your eating habits, genes, health condition and hair care, the terminal length can change from person to person.
Also Read: Hair Loss – Common Symptoms, Classifications & Medical Solutions
Do Split Ends Slow Down Hair Growth?
Absolutely not, split ends are a tear or rip of the cuticle at the end of the hair strand and it cannot be replaced. It is a type of hair damage that is a result of dry and brittle hair. Split ends can occur in the middle of the hair shaft and doesn’t necessarily have to occur at the end of the hair strand.
What Is The Best Treatment To Grow Your Hair Fast?
1. PRP – Plasma Rich Platelets is the new best thing for hair growth. Extracting your own blood that has been enhanced and injecting it directly into the scalp to encourage dormant hair follicles re-grow. PRP is 100% safe and an effective method in growing your hair faster and stronger.
2. Minoxidil – It is a popular method of growing new and old hair. It must be used under proper guidance of a dermatologist. Minoxidil comes in a liquid form that must be applied carefully on the scalp, using a dropper. Using Minoxidil, you will notice new growth, accelerated growth and bald patches covered with new hair. It takes around 6 months for complete results to show.
Also Read: What Is PRP Hair Treatment & How Does It Work?
Other Tips To Enrich Hair Growth
• TO Do
1. Eat healthy – Visit a dietician to know what to eat and what to avoid in your daily diet. Food and proper hydration plays a vital role in hair growth. What you eat will determine the health and growth of your hair.
2. Use suitable hair products – It is important to use hair products specifically prescribed by the dermatologist. When you consult an expert, he/she can determine the correct formulation that is suitable for your scalp and hair.
3. Massage your scalp – Scalp massages improve blood circulation and help dormant hair follicles to grow. Weekly massages are an excellent way to increase hair growth.
• NOT TO DO
1. Strong Chemicals – Using harsh chemicals not approved by FDA will damage the internal structure of your hair as well cause long term hair damage.
2. Over styling – Constant tugging and pulling of hair using hair styling tools will weaken the roots and lead to hair shedding. This will cause an unnatural halt on the hair cycle and delay hair growth.
3. Dirty scalp – Clean scalp will ensure the longevity and health of hair follicles whereas a dirty scalp will cause hair loss. Dandruff, dry scalp, psoriasis, eczema are all signs of unhealthy scalp and must be treated with medical care.
Also Read: 35 Natural Hair Growth Tips For Men & Women That Really Work
The Downside Of Using Treatments For Faster Hair Growth
Every coin has two sides and unfortunately growing your hair too fast and too soon has a negative aspect to it. Here are some downsides to why pushing your hair to grow outside its normal cycle can be disadvantageous –
1. Long hair is difficult to maintain – Long hair require your undivided attention especially when it comes to washing, drying and trimming at regular intervals.
2. Imbalance in its structure – If your new hair follicle is forced to grow too quickly then it can create a problem. The structure of hair is compromised and the strand will be weaker and thinner compared to its original quality.
3. Side effects – Certain chemicals used in medicated products may cause side effects. Minoxidil with 5% strength has been disapproved by dermatologists for women as it can cause dizziness and severe headaches. Please make sure you do a patch test to see if the product is suitable for your scalp and hair.
Hair growth can be improved and enriched with adequate hair care routine. For severe cases, treatments can be recommended by dermatologists.
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