05 / 31 / 16

Lifecycle of Hair


I am a female in her late thirties and seem to shed hair on a continuous basis. Is this normal or is this something I should be concerned with?


Human grows everywhere on the human skin except on the palms of our hands and soles of our feet. Many hairs are so fine they are virtually invisible. Hair is made up of a protein called keratin that is produced in hair follicles in the outer layer of skin. As follicles produce new hair cells, old cells are pushed out through the surface of the skin at a rate of about six inches per year. The hair you can see is actually a string of dead keratin cells. The average adult head has about 100,000 to 150,000 hairs and loses up to 100 of them a day. Finding a few stray hairs on your hairbrush is not necessarily cause for alarm.

At any one time, about 90% of the hair on a person’s scalp is growing. Each follicle has its own life cycle that can be influenced by age, disease, and a wide variety of other factors. This life cycle is divided into three phases. Anagen: active hair growth that lasts 2-6 years. Catagen: transitional hair growth that lasts about 2-3 weeks. Telogen: resting phase that lasts about 2-3 months. At the end of the resting phase the hair is shed and a new hair replaces it and the growing cycle starts again. As people age the rate of hair growth slows.

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