Understanding Hair Growth Cycles and Hair Loss

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We all lose a certain amount of hair each day – anywhere from 50 to 100 to 125 hairs. True hair loss occurs when these hairs we lose don’t grow back, or when the amount of hair we lose each day exceeds this normal range.

Hair loss can occur as a result of medications, such as chemotherapy treatments or blood thinners, which can damage the telogen hairs, or stop the natural cell division that then produces weakened hair that is susceptible to breaking. High doses of vitamin A can also lead to hair loss as well. The most common type of hair loss, however, is where more and more hair follicles enter what is called the resting phase (telogen phase) in the hair growth cycle.

Overall, hair grows continuously from the scalp, but it moves away from the scalp in 3 phases. Hair is not all uniformly in one phase. Different parts of the scalp will be in different phases, so at any one time you should have hair follicles in all 3 stages. Generally, most (90%) of the hair will be in the anagen phase, 10 to 14% of the hair will be in the telogen phase, and only 1 to 2% of hair in the catogen phase.

The first phase is the Anagen phase, which is the growth...

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