Understanding the Hair Growth Cycle
Androgenic Alopecia (Genetic Hair Loss) has a profound effect on the Hair Growth Cycle and shifts it away from a normal and healthy cycle.
The Hair Growth Cycle consists of 3 distinct stages: Anagen, Catagen and Telogen. Each hair will be at its own stage of this process.
This is the hairs growing phase, which can last for between 2-7 years. During this phase, keratinised cells are produced by the cells at the base of each hair follicle to create new hair growth. Your genetics, current health and other factors will determine how long your anagen phase will last and therefore how long your hair can grow. At its very longest your hair could grow up to 30 inches in length before the end of the anagen phase.
When you are going through the process of Androgenetic Hair Loss, the DHT interacting with your androgen receptors is reduces the size of the hair bulb. This reduces the hairs ability to grow a healthy hair to it's normal potential. Because of this the Anagen Phase length is reduced.
This is the shortest phase of the hair growth cycle and only lasts around 2-3 weeks. At the end of the Anagen phase, the hair cuts itself off from the blood supply and cells at the base of the follicle. The hair remains in place for now during this transitional phase as it waits for the next phase to begin.
The hairs resting phase is known as the Telogen Phase. For a healthy hair, this phase will last around 3 months before the next Anagen Phase starts. When this new Anagen Phase starts a brand new hair starts to grow from the root. Once it grows to a significant length it will start to push out the older hair. The older hair is shed and falls out. A healthy man or woman will see around 50-100 of these hairs shed every single day. Some people do panic when they see these hairs being shed, but it is just part of the hairs regular hair growth cycle. Around 5-10% of your hair is in a Telogen Phase at any one time.
When suffering with Androgenetic Alopecia, the amount of hairs in a resting phase will increase as the length of the Anagen phase decreases. When starting a hair loss treatment a larger shed of hairs is seen for this reason.