Hair Growth Phases: Stages of Hair Growth Cycle Explained


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Have you ever wondered how hair grows? To understand your hair better, learn its growth stages. Whether it’s lengthening, regrowth, or natural cycles, insight helps. Hair, like skin, goes through growth, transition, rest, and renewal phases. The cycle includes the anagen, catagen, and telogen phases. Each phase has a unique role in hair’s lifecycle. The catagen phase is a regression stage for hair follicles.

Experiencing changes in hair density, thinning, or loss is normal. Factors like pregnancy, menopause, or stress can contribute. Understanding and applying effective solutions can enhance hair health. Proper nutrition matters. It affects hair growth. Poor nutrition can cause hair thinning and loss.

In this blog, we will talk about the hair growth phases. Specifically the three stages of hair growth cycle: anagen, catagen, and telogen. We will also explore the impact of genetics, environmental factors, and nutrition on hair growth. Knowing the stages of the hair growth cycle helps improve hair health.

Understanding the Hair Growth Cycle

The hair growth cycle is a complex and dynamic process that involves continuous renewal and growth of hair follicles. To grasp hair growth stages fully, you need to understand this cycle. Factors affecting it are crucial to consider.

The hair growth cycle consists of three phases: the anagen, the catagen, and the telogen. These phases occur in a sequential and cyclical manner throughout our lifetime.

The first stage, the anagen, is the active growth phase of the hair follicle. During this phase, the follicle produces and extends the hair shaft. The duration of the anagen phase varies from person to person and can last anywhere from two to six years. During this time, hair grows about 1 centimeter in 28 days. It depends on factors like genetics, age, and health. The majority of our hairs, about 90%, are in the anagen phase at any given time.

The second stage, catagen, is the intermediate stage. It transitions between the growth and resting phases. It is a short phase, lasting only a few weeks. During this phase, the hair follicle shrinks, and hair growth stops. The hair separates from the bottom of the follicle but remains firmly anchored in place. Only about 3% of our hairs are in the catagen stage at any given time.


The third stage, the telogen, is the resting phase of the hair growth cycle. During this phase, the hair follicle is at rest, and the hair cannot grow any further. This phase lasts around three months. About 10 to 15% of our hairs are in the telogen phase at any given time.

The hair growth process is continuous. Hairs enter from anagen to catagen, then telogen phase. Each hair is at various growth stages simultaneously, leading to constant turnover. In the final stage of this cycle, known as the exogen phase, the follicles release individual hair strands, causing them to fall out. This allows for new hair growth to begin in the cortex, completing the cycle.

1. The Anagen Phase: The Period of Active Growth

The anagen phase is the period of active growth in the hair growth cycle, also known as the anagen stage. In this phase, the hair follicle makes new cells, like epithelial cells, causing the hair shaft to grow rapidly. In healthy individuals, approximately 90% of hairs are in the anagen phase at any given time.

Factors such as genetics, age, and health can influence the duration of the anagen phase, which varies from person to person. Some people grow hair fast due to a long anagen phase. Others experience slow hair growth with a short anagen phase.

During the anagen phase, the hair grows about 1 centimeter every 28 days. This growth rate is influenced by the continuous division and differentiation of cells in the lower part of the hair follicle. As the hair shaft lengthens, it emerges from the scalp, becoming visible hair.

The anagen phase lasts 2 to 6 years, providing an extended period of active hair growth. Maximizing the duration of the anagen phase is crucial for achieving long, healthy locks. Proper scalp care, a healthy lifestyle, and targeted hair care products can help extend the anagen phase.

2. The Catagen Phase: The Transition Period

The catagen phase is the transition period between the active growth phase and the resting phase in the hair growth cycle. It is a relatively short phase, lasting only a few weeks.

During the catagen phase, the hair follicle undergoes structural changes. It shrinks and detaches from the blood supply, signaling the end of active hair growth. Despite this detachment, the hair remains anchored in the follicle, ready for the next phase of the hair cycle.

Only about 3% of hairs are in the catagen phase at any given time. This small percentage reflects the transitional nature of this phase and the continuous turnover of hairs on our scalp.

The catagen phase is crucial in the natural hair growth phases. It allows the hair follicle to prepare for the resting phase and the shedding of old hair. During this period, the follicle regresses and undergoes remodeling to prepare for new hair growth.

While the catagen phase is short, it is essential for maintaining the health and vitality of the hair follicle. Proper scalp care, nutrition, and lifestyle choices can support the transition from the catagen phase to the next stage.

3. The Telogen Phase: The Resting Phase

The telogen phase is the resting phase in the hair growth cycle. It is during this phase that the hair follicle is at rest and the hair cannot grow any further. The telogen phase typically lasts around three months.

During the telogen phase, the scalp sheds the old hair, allowing for new hair growth. This shedding of old hair, also known as Telogen Effluvium Hair Loss, is a natural part of the hair growth cycle and should not be a cause for concern. Around 10 to 15% of hairs are in the telogen phase, which allows for hair length of 18 to 24 inches, like shoulder-length hair, before shedding.

During shedding, new hairs form in released follicles. Next, they enter anagen, starting a fresh growth cycle. Telogen is vital for hair renewal and regeneration. It ensures that the hair follicles remain active and capable of producing new hair.

4. The exogen Phase: The shedding phase

The exogen phase refers to the final stage of the hair growth cycle, also known as the shedding phase. During this period, old hairs fall out to make room for new hair follicles. This phase is essential for maintaining healthy hair and allowing new strands to replace the old ones. Proper care and food in the exogen phase help hair grow well. Knowing this stage can aid in taking steps for healthy, strong hair.

The Impact of Genetics on Hair Growth

Genetics plays a significant role in hair growth, influencing factors such as hair density and length. Our genetic makeup determines the potential length of the hair growth cycle. That affects the growth rate of our hair and its cycle.

Certain genetic conditions can also impact the hair growth phases. Conditions like alopecia areata can make hair thin out. It disrupts the natural hair growth cycle.

Knowing how genes affect hair can help you understand your hair better. It’s crucial for creating personalized hair care approaches.

How Genes Influence Hair Density and Length

Genes play a crucial role in determining hair density and length. We inherit a genetic blueprint from our parents. It influences the potential length of the anagen phase. This affects the density and length of our hair.

Hair density refers to the number of individual hair strands on the scalp. Individuals with a higher hair density have more hair follicles per square inch, resulting in a fuller appearance. Genetic factors determine the density of hair follicles present on the scalp.

Similarly, genetic conditions can impact hair density and overall hair health. Conditions such as alopecia areata cause patchy hair loss. It disrupts normal hair growth cycle, reducing hair density.

Stem cells, found in the hair follicles, also play a significant role in hair growth. These cells can regrow and turn into different cell types needed for hair growth. This includes melanocytes that give color to the hair and contribute to pigmentation. Genetic variations affect stem cell’s activity and function, affecting hair density and cycle. Genes influence melanocyte function and hair growth phases.

Genetic Conditions Affecting Hair Follicle and Growth

Genetic conditions affect hair growth, causing alopecia areata and thinning. These conditions disrupt the natural progression of the hair growth phases and can result in significant hair loss.

Alopecia areata is an autoimmune condition that causes patchy hair loss. Alopecia areata happens when the immune system attacks hair follicles. This causes hair thinning and eventual loss. The exact cause is unknown, but genetics may influence it.

Hair thinning, a common genetic issue, may stem from genetics and hormones. It can lead to a decrease in hair density and overall hair volume.

Understanding genetic conditions for hair growth aids in finding and managing treatments effectively.

How Nutritional Deficiency Affects Hair Growth

Nutrition plays a crucial role in hair growth. Vitamin deficiency affects hair health, causing hair loss and thinning. Certain vitamins and minerals are crucial for healthy hair growth.

Essential Vitamins for Healthy Hair

Proper nutrition is vital for healthy hair growth. Here are key vitamins for hair growth and health:

1. Vitamin D: Vitamin D is crucial for hair growth. It maintains follicle health and scalp blood supply. Fatty fish, dairy products, and sunlight are great vitamin D sources.

2. Biotin: Biotin, also known as vitamin B7. It is crucial for maintaining the hair growth cycle. Biotin supplementation improves hair health. It helps metabolize amino acids, which are the building blocks of hair proteins. Biotin-rich foods include eggs, nuts, and whole grains.

3. Vitamin E: Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant. That protects the hair follicles from damage caused by oxidative stress. It also supports blood circulation to the scalp, promoting healthy hair growth. Good sources of vitamin E include almonds, spinach, and avocado.

4. Vitamin A: Vitamin A helps make sebum to moisturize the scalp. It keeps hair follicles healthy. Good sources of vitamin A include carrots, sweet potatoes, and leafy green vegetables.

5. Vitamin C: Vitamin C boosts collagen for strong hair and thickness. Citrus fruits, strawberries, and bell peppers are excellent sources of vitamin C.

6. Vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 helps keep your hair healthy during its growth cycle.

Adding these vitamins to your diet can boost hair health and enhance growth.

Minerals Vital for Hair Growth and Strength

Besides vitamins, minerals are essential for strong, healthy hair. Here are some minerals that are vital for healthy hair:

1. Iron: Iron deficiency can lead to hair loss and thinning. Iron is essential for producing hemoglobin, which carries oxygen to the hair follicles. Good sources of iron include lean meats, beans, and dark leafy greens.

2. Zinc: Zinc produces keratin, the protein that forms the hair strands. It also helps maintain the health of the scalp. Oysters, beef, and pumpkin seeds are rich sources of zinc.

3. Selenium: Selenium is an antioxidant that helps protect the hair follicles from damage. It also supports the health of the scalp. Brazil nuts, fish, and whole grains are good sources of selenium.

4. Magnesium: Magnesium helps to reduce scalp inflammation. It also helps relax the blood vessels, promoting blood circulation to the scalp. Dark chocolate, nuts, and legumes are excellent sources of magnesium.

Ensuring a balanced diet with enough minerals can boost hair growth. It maintains hair strength and vitality.

The Role of Diet and Nutrition in Hair Growth Phases

A healthy diet plays a crucial role in supporting the hair growth cycle. Proper nutrition provides the essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients necessary for hair health.

In the anagen phase, hair grows actively. It’s essential to eat proteins, vitamins, and minerals. These nutrients help grow hair and keep follicles healthy.

In the catagen and telogen phases, hair transitions and rests. It’s vital to eat well for healthy hair growth. Nutrients support new hair and maintain existing hair health.

A balanced diet with lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, and veggies supports hair growth. Hydration and less junk food keep hair healthy and vibrant.

Biotin Timeframe: How Long Does Biotin Take to Work?

Is there a connection between hair growth phases and hair loss?

Yes, hair growth phases and hair loss are both connected. Hair loss can occur when hair follicles stay in the resting phase (telogen) for too long. The disrupted growth phase (anagen) also causes hair loss. Understanding these phases can help address hair loss concerns effectively.

Common Obstacles to Healthy Hair Growth

Several factors can hinder healthy hair development, including stress, and hormonal imbalances. Understanding these obstacles is essential for addressing and overcoming them.

The Effects of Stress on Hair Growth Phases

Stress can have a significant impact on the hair cycle, leading to conditions such as telogen effluvium, a temporary form of hair shedding. Stress can disrupt the normal progression of hair development. It causes hairs to enter into the resting phase.

Stress impacts hair health through oxidative stress. It can harm hair follicles and hinder hair growth.

Managing stress with meditation, exercise, and self-care helps hair growth. Eating antioxidant-rich foods combats oxidative stress on hair follicles.

Hormonal Imbalances and Hair Loss

Hormonal imbalances can lead to hair loss. They mess up the hair growth phases. Dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a testosterone byproduct, plays a big role in hair loss.

In people with a genetic tendency, DHT binds to hair follicles. Increased sensitivity of hair follicles toward DHT leads to stunted hair growth. This causes them to shrink and produce weaker, thinner hair. It’s called follicular miniaturization and causes hair loss in patterns. Such as Male pattern hair loss or Female pattern hair loss.

Hormonal imbalances, like during pregnancy or menopause, can worsen hair loss. DHT production increases in these conditions. You can manage imbalances with hormone therapy or other treatments. This supports overall hair health.

Environmental Factors and Their Impact

Environmental factors can affect the hair cycle by impacting hair follicle health. factors include exposure to pollutants, excessive heat styling, and harsh hair care practices.

Pollutants can build up on your scalp, blocking hair growth. Regularly clean your scalp and use products to shield it from pollutants.

Using too much heat on your hair weakens it. Protect it with heat products and limit styling tools. Harsh hair care can harm your hair. Tight styles and rough brushing damage follicles, causing breakage. To keep your hair healthy, switch to gentle care. Use wide-tooth combs and avoid tight hairstyles. These practices safeguard your hair follicles’ health.


Enhancing Hair Growth: Practical Tips and Tricks

To boost hair growth and health, try these practical tips. Exploring various treatments, from natural remedies to advanced options, can enhance hair health.

Natural Remedies for Stimulating Hair Growth

Natural remedies boost hair growth and enhance scalp health effectively. Here are some natural remedies that you can incorporate into your hair care routine:

1. Scalp massage: Massaging the scalp stimulates blood circulation and promotes hair growth. Use your fingertips to massage your scalp in circular motions for a few minutes each day.

2. Essential oils: Essential oils like rosemary, lavender, and peppermint boost hair health. Mix a few drops of your preferred essential oil with a carrier oil and massage it into your scalp.

3. Aloe vera: Aloe vera gel soothes and moisturizes, promoting a healthy scalp. It’s great for maintaining healthy hair. Apply aloe vera gel directly to your scalp and leave it on for 30 minutes before rinsing.

4. Onion juice: Onion juice contains sulfur which boosts hair health. It stimulates follicles and promotes hair growth. Apply fresh onion juice to your scalp. Leave it for 30 minutes before shampooing.

Incorporate these natural remedies to nourish your scalp and promote hair growth.

Scalp Care Minimize the risk of scalp Inflammation

Proper scalp care keeps hair healthy and promotes growth. Neglecting it causes scalp issues and hampers hair growth. Regularly cleaning your scalp removes dirt, excess oil, and product buildup. It helps your hair follicles breathe and work well. Exfoliating gently removes dead skin cells, fostering a healthy scalp.

Avoid harsh hair care. This means avoiding tight hairstyles and aggressive brushing. It can prevent damage to the hair follicles and reduce scalp inflammation. Inflammation can disrupt the hair growth cycle and lead to hair loss.

Advanced Treatments and Technologies: PRP, Laser Therapy And Minoxidil

Besides natural remedies, you can explore advanced treatments and technologies. These options can boost hair growth and target hair loss issues. Here are a few examples:

1. Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy: PRP therapy uses the patient’s blood plasma with platelets for hair growth. The platelets contain growth factors that stimulate the hair follicles and encourage new hair growth.

2. Minoxidil: Topical Minoxidil is applied directly to the scalp to promote hair growth. It works by increasing blood flow to the hair follicles and stimulating hair growth.

3. Laser Therapy: Low-level laser therapy (LLLT) uses red light to stimulate hair growth at the cellular level. It can improve scalp circulation and promote thickness and healthier hair.

Advanced treatments and technologies promote hair growth effectively. Consult a healthcare professional for personalized treatment options.



Understanding the hair growth phases is fundamental to maintaining healthy and luscious locks. Genetics, nutrition, and environmental factors determine the quality of your hair. Stress, hormonal imbalances, and diet can impact the hair growth cycle. To enhance hair growth, consider natural remedies, scalp care, and advanced treatments. Our HairLife DNA test offers personalized solutions to combat hair issues. It targets nutrition gaps or genetic factors hindering hair growth. If you have further questions or seek personalized advice, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. Take the first step towards healthier hair by filling out the form below to begin your journey. 

Frequently Asked Questions

To lengthen the anagen phase of hair growth, you must keep a healthy scalp. You must also give the hair follicles proper nourishment.

Genetics plays a significant role in determining the length of the anagen phase, which directly affects the hair growth cycle. Genetic factors affect hair follicle density and health, impacting hair growth.

Yes, diet can make a significant difference in hair growth. A balanced diet with essential vitamins and nutrients helps hair health. It supports hair growth phases effectively.

Yes, hair fall is a normal part of the hair growth cycle, specifically during the telogen stage.

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