It’s crucial to understand the different stages that your hair can change in order to promote healthy haircare
Article by Diane Shawe ME.d and Author
Did you know that your hair has a life of its own? But we intervene daily with various chemicals internally and externally applied then we bully the hair with unnaturally high temperatures, creams, sprays, tight braids and cornrows.
On top of that apart from the odd bad hair day, our hair actually goes through a natural cycle of growth consisting of three distinct stages, each of which can change its texture and appearance.
Hair Growth Cycle
The most notable of these is the growth phase, known as anagen, during which individual hair follicles grow for roughly a six year period.
This is followed by a 10-day-long transitional period known as catagen and a three month resting period, referred to as telogen, during which time the hair will shed.
After this, the hair follicles should remain inactive for roughly three months before the entire process is repeated. However, it’s worth noting that each hair follicle goes through the growth cycle at different times, otherwise your hair would all fall out at the same time.
It’s crucial to understand the three phases of the cycle in order to ensure you’re taking care of your hair appropriately, explains Diane Shawe of Need a Hair Makeover Specialist Salon.
“During the growing stage, the hair needs to be kept in the best condition as it will remain in this state for five to seven years,”
Meanwhile, during the catagen period it’s imperative to ensure that your hair is properly nourished so as to promote blood flow to the scalp, and recommends a hair mask or overnight treatment as a way to do this.
However, despite the distinct stages, it can be difficult to identify when they are occurring because the changes may be very subtle, but the more obvious reasons for changes is ageing.
“Over time, some women and men may notice thinning in their hair which is usually down to hormonal changes, health issues and too much use of external toxins applied through use of various haircare products. For instance some women report thicker, fuller hair during their pregnancy when they are producing more hormones, and then hair loss or thinning after they’ve given birth as the hormone levels return to normal.”
According to research and credible reports the average woman loses 50-100 hairs a day. While this shouldn’t be cause for concern, if evidence of extensive hair loss is something you’re worried about see your doctor or hair loss Specialist.
Many women are often persuaded to opt for a shorter cut when they are older, but you should seek advice on alternates and see if they may be able to suggest the best way to make your hair look fuller.
According to Hair Extensions and Hairloss expert and author Diane Shawe, the appearance of a person’s hair can also act as a “snapshot of their general health and wellbeing,” meaning it can also change outside of its natural cycle for a number of reasons such as dietary changes or health challenges.
The good thing is that hair can be changed and improved either by hair treatments, hair extensions or supplements, you really don’t have to have what nature gives you!”.
The way your hair transforms over time can also be affected by the amount of heat you expose it to, explains Diane as more and more women turn to high performance ceramic high temperature straighteners and curlers.
When you are a child, hair condition tends to be good as hair is not subjected to as much chemical or heat damage, but sadly this is also changing as advertisers target young teenagers who then pressure their parents into gifting or lending them these tools.
As you get older and start to use colours, chemical products and tools (hair dryers, straighteners, tongs), hair quality can diminish unless properly looked after and so this is why need a hair makeover often recommend having regular deep conditioning mask and steam treatments accompanied by a trim or cuts.