So lets get started on all things hair growth and hair loss!! We must start this with a disclaimer, we are hairdressers and have extensive knowledge and training on all things hair and scalp. We are not medically trained and so our advise on here, and if you were to visit us in salon would be to always consult with a doctor or trichologist if you are worried about hair loss.
So lets start with how this process actually works. Hair growth is a complex process that involves the continuous growth, shedding, and replacement of hair follicles. The hair growth cycle can be divided into three main phases:
Anagen phase: This is the active growth phase of the hair follicle. During this phase, hair cells rapidly divide and differentiate, resulting in the production of new hair fibres. The anagen phase typically lasts for 2-7 years, depending on genetic factors, and determines the maximum length of the hair.
Catagen phase: This is a transitional phase that marks the end of the active growth phase. During this phase, the hair follicle shrinks and detaches from the blood supply, signalling the end of hair growth. The catagen phase typically lasts for 2-3 weeks.
Telogen phase: This is the resting phase of the hair growth cycle. During this phase, the hair follicle remains dormant and the hair fibre is fully formed. The telogen phase typically lasts for 3-4 months, after which the hair follicle re-enters the anagen phase and the cycle begins again.
On average, hair grows at a rate of about 0.5 inches (1.25 cm) per month, or 6 inches (15 cm) per year. However, this rate can vary depending on genetic factors, age, hormonal changes, and overall health. Average hairs to loose a day is around 100 these will be being pushed out by the new hair that is replacing them. The average life cycle of hair is around 7 years.
If a client at the salon is concerned by lack of growth then we always reccomend seeing a doctor and asking for a blood test.
A blood test from a doctor can reveal several potential causes for hair not to grow, including:
Iron deficiency: A lack of iron can lead to anemia, which can cause hair loss.
Thyroid problems: An overactive or underactive thyroid gland can disrupt hair growth.
Hormonal imbalances: Changes in hormones, such as during menopause or pregnancy, can affect hair growth.
Nutritional deficiencies: As mentioned, deficiencies in certain vitamins and minerals can impact hair growth.
Stress: High levels of stress can disrupt the hair growth cycle.
Medications: Certain medications can cause hair loss as a side effect.
There are several vitamins and minerals that are important for hair growth, including:
Biotin: A B-vitamin that helps to create amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. Since hair is made of protein, biotin is important for hair growth.
Vitamin D: Helps to promote hair follicle cycling and the growth of new hair follicles.
Iron: Helps to carry oxygen to the hair follicles, which is essential for hair growth.
Zinc: Helps to regulate oil glands around hair follicles and can help to prevent hair loss.
Vitamin C: Helps to produce collagen, which is an important protein for hair growth.
Vitamin A: Helps to produce sebum, which is an oil that helps to keep the scalp healthy.
B vitamins, particularly biotin (also known as vitamin B7), play a crucial role in the production of keratin, a protein that makes up the hair structure. Biotin helps to strengthen the hair, prevent breakage, and promote hair growth. Some studies have suggested that biotin supplementation can improve hair thickness and reduce hair loss in people with thinning hair.
Other B vitamins, such as vitamins B1, B2, B3, and B6, also play a role in maintaining healthy hair growth. They help to provide the hair follicles with the necessary nutrients and oxygen, which can improve hair quality and reduce hair loss.
Vitamin D, on the other hand, helps to promote hair follicle cycling and the growth of new hair follicles. Hair follicles go through a cycle of growth, rest, and shedding. Vitamin D helps to promote the growth phase of the cycle, which can lead to thicker, healthier hair.
Vitamin D also plays a role in regulating the immune system, and research has suggested that autoimmune disorders may contribute to hair loss. By regulating the immune system, vitamin D may help to prevent hair loss caused by autoimmune disorders.
Biotin is found in a variety of foods, including:
Nuts (especially almonds, peanuts, and walnuts)
Legumes (such as soybeans and lentils)
Whole grains (such as oats and barley)
Dairy products (such as cheese and milk)
Our body can use biotin from these food sources. Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin, which means it dissolves in water and is easily absorbed by the body. Biotin is also produced by bacteria in the intestines, but it’s not clear how much of this biotin is available for the body to use.
Most people can get enough biotin from their diet, but some people may benefit from biotin supplements. For example, people with certain health conditions, such as pregnancy, diabetes, or digestive disorders, may have a higher risk of biotin deficiency and may require supplements. Additionally, people with thinning hair or hair loss may also benefit from biotin supplements, although more research is needed to confirm this.
Vitamin D can be found in a few food sources, although it’s generally not present in high enough amounts to meet daily requirements. The following are some food sources of vitamin D:
Fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, and mackerel
Cod liver oil
Mushrooms (exposed to UV light)
Our body can absorb vitamin D from these food sources, but the amount of vitamin D that can be obtained through diet alone is generally not sufficient to meet daily requirements. This is why vitamin D supplementation and exposure to sunlight are often recommended to ensure adequate levels.
Another area that impacts hair growth is the scalp and scalp health. Keeping your scalp clean and healthy will stop hair follicles from becoming clogged.
Blocked hair follicles can have a negative impact on hair growth, as they can prevent new hair from growing and lead to hair loss or thinning. Hair follicles can become blocked by a variety of factors, including:
Excess oil production: The scalp produces natural oils called sebum, which can build up and clog hair follicles if not properly removed through regular washing.
Product build-up: The use of hair products such as hairspray, gel, or mousse can also contribute to hair follicle blockage if not properly washed out.
Dead skin cells: The build-up of dead skin cells on the scalp, known as dandruff, can also contribute to hair follicle blockage.
Bacterial or fungal infections: Infections such as folliculitis or ringworm can cause inflammation and blockage of hair follicles.
When hair follicles become blocked, they can prevent new hair growth and cause existing hairs to become weaker and more prone to falling out. In severe cases, blocked hair follicles can lead to permanent hair loss.
To prevent hair follicle blockage, it’s important to maintain good scalp hygiene by washing the hair regularly with a gentle shampoo. Additionally, regular exfoliation of the scalp and proper treatment of any scalp infections can help to prevent hair follicle blockage and promote healthy hair growth.
Here are some tips to promote hair growth:
Eat a healthy, balanced diet: Eating a diet rich in vitamins, minerals, and proteins can help promote healthy hair growth. Include foods like leafy greens, eggs, salmon, nuts, and whole grains in your diet.
Take supplements: If you’re not getting enough nutrients from your diet, supplements can help. Biotin, iron, and vitamin D are particularly important for hair growth.
Manage stress: High levels of stress can disrupt the hair growth cycle. Try to find ways to manage stress, such as exercise, meditation, or deep breathing.
Use gentle hair care products: Look for shampoos and conditioners that are gentle and sulfate-free. Use a wide-tooth comb to avoid pulling and breaking the hair.
Get enough sleep: Sleep is important for overall health, including hair health. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
Massage your scalp: Massaging the scalp can help stimulate hair growth by increasing blood flow to the hair follicles.
Consult a healthcare professional: If you’re experiencing significant hair loss or thinning, it’s best to consult a healthcare professional to determine the underlying cause and develop an appropriate treatment plan.
It’s important to note that hair growth is a slow process, and it can take time to see results. Consistency is key, so make these tips a part of your regular routine for best results.
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