Hair growth is a very natural process. When it stops or slows, sometimes the best thing you can do is leverage natural techniques and remedies to put the growth cycle back into equilibrium. But where do you begin?
The Stages of the Hair Growth Cycle
Hair might seem like a simple strand of protein, but it’s far more than this. It’s actually a very complex organism that goes through a complex yet predictable life cycle. Once you understand how this cycle works, you’ll have the proper lens through which to tackle issues like hair loss, thinning, and balding.
The origins of hair can be traced all the way back to the time a developing fetus is just 22 weeks old. At this stage, there are roughly 5 million hair follicles spread out across the body – 100k of which are located on the scalp. This is the largest number of hair follicles a person will ever have in their life (as new follicles can’t be generated).
Density of hair decreases on the scalp as people grow from children into adults. This is because the scalp expands. But it’s also due to hair loss, which can be understood by studying how hair grows and, subsequently, how it falls out.
Hair, which is made up of two distinct structures (the follicle beneath the skin and the shaft above the scalp), grows an average of .3 to .4 millimeters per day. That amounts to approximately six inches per year. And unlike other mammals that shed their hair in seasons, there’s nothing cyclical about human hair growth and loss. At any given time, hairs will be in one of the following stages:
- This is the growth phase. During this period, which can last for several years at a time, cells in the root rapidly divide and new hair is formed and pushed through the scalp. Left undisturbed, this hair will grow for as long as six or seven years – potentially reaching lengths up to 36 to 40 inches (in certain individuals).
- This is the transitional stage. Roughly three percent of hairs are in this stage at any given point in time. It lasts for just three or four weeks. During this time, growth comes to halt, the root shrinks, and the hair becomes detached from the blood supply.
- This is the resting phase. You’ll find roughly six to eight percent of hairs in this stage at any given point in time. It lasts for approximately 100 days, during which the hair eventually falls out. The average person will shed somewhere around 50 to 100 hairs on a daily basis.
3 Natural Ways to Jumpstart the Hair Growth Cycle
If you’re experiencing thinning hair, it means that more hairs are entering into the telogen phase and not returning to the anagen growth phase. The challenge is getting those follicles to re-enter this critical stage so that they can continue to produce hair. Here are some suggestions:
- Improved diet. Your body needs the right blend of vitamins and nutrients to grow hair efficiently. This includes plenty of iron, vitamin A, vitamin D, zinc, selenium, biotin, and protein. Adjust your diet to include more fresh foods packed with these nutrients. If necessary, you can also add the proper supplements to your daily intake.
- Laser therapy. Low level laser therapy, or LLLT, is highly effective at safely generating new hair. Simply wear an FDA-approved laser cap for 30 minutes per day and hair growth will accelerate within a few months.
- DHT-blockers. DHT-blocking products, like specially formulated shampoos and conditioners, help prevent the conversion of 5-alpha reductase enzymes into DHT – which is one of the leading causes of thinning and hair loss in men. These products are safe to use on a daily basis.
These are just three of the natural ways to prime your hair’s growth cycle and stop hair loss in its tracks. If you’re desperate for answers, you may find even more options out there. However, always remember to study the risks and benefits before doing anything.
Get Ready to Grow
Hair growth doesn’t have to be some elusive mystery. While you may be genetically predisposed to hair loss, there are still ways that you can fight back. By using these natural methods, you can jumpstart the hair growth cycle without causing any adverse health effects or symptoms. Give them a try and see what happens!