Hair loss can be scary and embarrassing, and there are a lot of causes of it. Some women might have lost their hair because of chemo, new mothers can experience postpartum hair thinning, and others need solutions to treat traction alopecia.
Understanding how your hair grows can be the first step in taking action to conquer hair loss. And if you only want longer locks, that’s OK, too! In this blog, you’ll learn about the phases of hair growth, how to stimulate growth, and the reasons behind hair loss.
Find out everything you need to know about hair growth!
Hair Growth Phases
Did you know that our hair grows in different phases? Scientists have studied each of the four phases to learn more about hair loss.
Anagen is the growing phase of our hair, and it’s the longest stage, lasting on average for up to five, or for some people, even seven years. Our hair follicles push the hair out in this stage. Hairs like eyelashes and eyebrows have a much shorter growing phase, but almost all your hair from your scalp is in the anagen stage most of the time.
Catagen is the transition phase, and it only lasts for 10 days. In this phase, our follicles begin to shrink, and hair growth slowly ends as the strands separate from the follicle. Usually, only a small percentage of your hair is in the catagen phase at any given time.
In the telogen stage, our hair is resting. Again, this is usually only a small percentage at a time. Hair doesn’t grow out, and it doesn’t fall out either, but underneath the surface of your scalp, new hairs are forming inside the follicles.
The exogen stage is the shedding stage. Even though some people consider the telogen the resting and shedding phase, some have separated them into two phases. On average, people lose 50 to 100 hairs daily during this phase, and it lasts for anywhere from two to five months. After follicles shed hairs, the anagen phase begins again to produce new hair.
Why Does Hair Fall Out?
Our hair falls out in the exogen phase, but some women, unfortunately, lose hair outside of that stage because of a disruption to the growth phases from hormones, physical trauma, or chemicals. For example, the anagen phase might be much shorter, or your hair may rest in the telogen phase longer than usual.
But sometimes, it’s only temporary.
Hair Loss Causes
Pinpointing the cause of your hair loss is important to see if you can stimulate hair growth. Hormonal changes, like postpartum, can be to blame, and diet deficiencies can also cause hair loss and thinning. Chemotherapy also causes hair loss. However, in most cases, the hair returns once the treatment is over, but it might initially return as a different texture.
Conditions like alopecia or female pattern baldness can cause permanent hair loss. However, traction alopecia, usually caused by wearing tight hairstyles, doesn’t have to be permanent. If you notice early symptoms, like bumps or thinning of your edges, you can reverse it by giving your hair a break with looser styles or wearing a wig for a few weeks, and even longer.
How To Help Hair Grow
For some women, there might be an opportunity to regrow hair. Of course, chemotherapy patients will have to wait until their treatment is over, and other women experience hair loss from genetics, so regrowing hair might not be possible. Luckily, there are a variety of wigs they can use to regain their self-confidence.
But for temporary hair loss, there are some ways to help hair grow.
Even though we can’t always control everything that affects hair growth, there are some factors that we can, like our diet. Sometimes, hair thins due to a lack of nutrition, and there are several ways to help promote hair growth.
Dieting can affect how our hair grows if our body isn’t receiving the nutrients it needs. Hair growth is a low priority compared to other bodily functions, so if we aren’t consuming enough food, our bodies will send that energy elsewhere. If you notice thinning hair and you’re on a restrictive diet, consider rethinking that diet.
Are you eating enough protein? We need protein for hair growth, and for people with vegan diets especially, it can be difficult to get enough to help foster hair growth. Even carnivores can sometimes neglect the amount of protein they eat. On average, we should eat around 50 grams per day.
In general, boosting your intake of vitamins and nutrients will also help speed up hair growth and discourage hair loss. Supplements like omega-3 and biotin positively promote hair growth, and some suspect that caffeine is also advantageous.
Lasers can also be a promising solution for women experiencing hair loss. It’s thought that the wavelengths of the lasers kickstart the cells to the anagen phase. Luckily, you can find both in-office and at-home treatments.
There is also the possibility that medication prescribed by your doctor or dermatologist could help promote hair growth. They’re typically topical treatments and can take a few weeks to work. However, once you begin using them, you’ll need to keep using them to continue to see results.
If you’re suffering from traction alopecia, you’ll need to change how you wear your hair to reverse the damage. Wearing tight hairstyles, like braids or ponytails, for an extended time stresses the hair follicle, and it will eventually shrink, causing you to lose hair. Chemicals like relaxers can also cause alopecia.
Wear a looser style or even opt for a wig to give your hair a break from tight styles and chemicals. If this doesn’t help, you can also try topical treatments.
There are also homeopathic methods to promote hair growth. Essential oils, like peppermint oil and pumpkin seed oil, can help. Also, a scalp massage can benefit you; not only does it dilate blood vessels beneath the surface and stimulate hair growth, but it can also relieve stress—yet another cause of hair loss!
Benefits of Wigs for Hair Loss
Experiencing hair loss is extremely hard, and while wearing a wig isn’t a substitute for your natural hair, some great benefits come from it. You can experiment with different fun styles, and wigs are convenient when you’re rushing.
You can find braided wigs for sale online at Instant Arewa Hair to help recover from traction alopecia or any other cause of hair loss. Knowing everything you need to know about hair growth can help you understand why you’re losing your hair, how you can manage the symptoms, and, more importantly, begin to feel like yourself again.
If you’re new to wigs, check our blogs to learn more about choosing and caring for wigs!