Many of us yearn for natural hair growth. Admit it, we are often obsessed with it.
But before we jump ahead of ourselves all the way to hair growth aspect we really need to understand a little bit of science first.
I know, I know the science sounds boring but bear with me for just a moment because once you understand the science behind how hair grows you will understand why you may be having difficulties in growing your hair.
There are tons of tips out there that will teach you how to grow your natural hair but in reality, you need to understand your natural hair growth cycle first.
Despite what some people may think hair doesn’t just continuously grow. There are actually natural hair growth stages that your hair will go through.
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What You Need To Understand About The Hair Growth Stages
There are 3 main cycles of hair growth that everyone goes through, anagen, catagen and telogen.
At each stage, your hair will do something different. It’s important to understand which stage of growth your hair is in so that you know what to expect.
The stages of growth will typically run from the initial growth stage to the point where it sheds.
Let’s take a closer look at the stages of growth.
The 3 Hair Growth Stages
The First Stage: Anagen
The anagen phase is the phase that most of us are familiar with and the one that we often care most about.
This phase is the phase where your hair grows. Hair will begin to grow from the follicle and this is where the blood supply provides great nourishment for your hair. This is also the reason why head massages are so great and so effective.
The average head of hair grows 1/2 an inch each month which means that on average your hair can grow roughly 6 inches a year.
Its while our hair is in this phase of growth that we need to do all we can to maintain the growth of our natural hair.
There are a lot of varying factors when it comes to hair growth. Things like genetics, and how you look after your hair are obvious factors in growth potential.
The anagen phase can last anywhere from 2 – 8 years but no one knows for sure. The longer your hair can stay in the anagen phase the more growth you will see.
The Second Stage: Catagen
The catagen phase is the shortest of all the phases and if you blink you might just miss it (ok I’m exaggerating slightly).
The catagen phase lasts approximately 2 weeks and if you are not a huge follower of your hair you may very well not even notice it.
This phase is where your hair rests. Nothing is happening at this point. Your hair is neither growing nor shedding.
It’s during this time that hair is seen as going through a transitional phase where the strand of hair begins to detach itself from the blood supply that was providing it with nutrition.
The Final Stage: Telogen
The final natural hair growth stage is telogen. This is where your hair begins to shed. It’s important to understand the difference between shedding and breakage.
Just remember than when your hair is shedding you should be able to see a small white bulb at the end of the hair strand which proves that it left the root of your hair.
During the telogen phase the old hair that has reached its maximum growth potential will naturally fall out and the hair follicle will remain dominant for approximately 3 months afterwards. Eventually, new hair growth will begin.
It is believed that only approximately 10% of your hair will be in this phase at any one time so don’t freak out about it!
Important Things To Remember About The Growth Cycle
At no point in time will all strands of your hair be in a singular natural hair growth stage. Different parts of your hair can be in different stages at any time.
These stages of growth are very different from terminal hair length.
How To Maximise Your Growth Potential
Once you have read and understood about the stages of growth that your natural hair will go through you will then be able to appreciate the anagen phase a lot more and be able to utilise that time well.
Quick tips to maximise your growth potential
- Regular head massages
- Keep your hair moisturised
- Take advantage of hair treatments such as deep conditioning and hot oil treatments
- Trim when needed
- Make sure your scalp is free of build-up
Final Thoughts On The Natural Hair Growth Stages
If you can take the time to really understand your own hair you can take full advantage of this by making sure that you are maximising the anagen phase.
You will basically get out as much as you invest into your hair.
Take the time to learn what your hair personally likes and does not like.