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What Is the Average Growth Rate for Hair?

Hair growth.  Most of us have googled it or searched for it somewhere before.  Whether it was because we over processed our hair or got a short hair cut (and immediatly regretted it) is beside the point.  What we were looking for was a way(s) to either get our hair back or speed up the process.  Just as we go through growth phases as we are approaching adulthood our hair goes through growth phases…repeatedly.  So here’s the rundown on what you hair goes through.
Phase 1:
   It is also known as the Anagen Phase.  Anagen is the active phase of the hair. The cells in the root of the hair are dividing rapidly. A new hair is formed and pushes the club hair (a hair that has stopped growing or is no longer in the anagen phase) up the follicle and eventually out.  During this phase the hair grows about 1 cm every 28 days. Scalp hair stays in this active phase of growth for two to six years.  Some people have difficulty growing their hair beyond a certain length because they have a short active phase of growth. On the other hand, people with very long hair have a long active phase of growth. The hair on the arms, legs, eyelashes, and eyebrows have a very short active growth phase of about 30 to 45 days, explaining why they are so much shorter than scalp hair.  Source can be found here.
Phase 2:
   It is also known as the Catagen Phase.  The catagen phase is a transitional stage and about 3% of all hairs are in this phase at any time. This phase lasts for about two to three weeks. Growth stops and the outer root sheath shrinks and attaches to the root of the hair. This is the formation of what is known as a club hair.  Source can be found here.
Phase 3:
   It is also known as the Telogen Phase.  Telogen is the resting phase and usually accounts for 6% to 8% of all hairs. This phase lasts for about 100 days for hairs on the scalp and longer for hairs on the eyebrow, eyelash, arm, and leg. During this phase, the hair follicle is completely at rest and the club hair is completely formed. Pulling out a hair in this phase will reveal a solid, hard, dry, white material at the root. About 25 to 100 telogen hairs are shed normally each day.  Source can be found here.
Phase 4:
   It is also known as the Exogen Phase.  This is part of the resting phase where the old hair sheds and a new hair continues to grow. Approximately 50 to 150 hairs can fall out daily, this is considered to be normal hair shedding.  Source can be found here.
   What is the average length of the hair growth phases?  There are quoted lengths of time, but nobody is sure.  So what is the average hair growth rate per month?  There really isn’t a concrete one.  Now before you decide to just write off the rest of this post, take a moment to read it.
   Did you know that most of the articles and blogs out there are basing the quoted “0.5 inch or 1.25 cm is the average growth rate for hair per month” off of an article written in the 1970s with three Japanese men as the study subjects?  Sounds very recent and reliable…  In fact here’s the link if you’re interested.  Since then there have been some small scale studies containing 2-5 subjects, but if anybody remembers high school/middle school science a true study has a controlled and uncontrolled study pool of at least 5 different test subjects on each side.  Once you have your test subjects, you then proceed to follow the Scientific Method.  Why is this important?  Because even though average hair growth is quoted to be 0.5 inches (1.25 cm) per month nobody has actually taken the time to do a proper study with a large enough pool of participants.  The only study that has come close to a proper study pool was conducted by C. Robbins and M. Robbins in 2003.  You can find their article in its entirety here.
   So I’ve thrown some information at you, but how can it help your hair?  In order to change or fix a problem we need a little background.  Your hair may not seem like it’s growing because it’s taking its sweet time and/or parts of it could be in the Telogen Phase.  Don’t panic.  All of you hair does not enter the Telogen and/or Exogen phase at once.  If that were the case we would all be bald at many points in our lives.  Now if there is a real health issue such as Diabetes, Chemo Therapy, etc. your hair can all at once enter the Telogen and Exogen phases, but not always.  Below I’ve listed some tips that can help you start seeing better and potentially faster hair growth results.
10 Tips To Speed Up Hair Growth:
   1) Do something everyday for 10 minutes that elevates your heart rate (i.e. jumping rope). (This helps send key nutrients through the blood to your scalp)
   2) Drink the appropriate amount of water for your weight.  See table here.
   3) Get regular trims at least every 4 months (this prevents split-ends from traveling up the hair shaft).
   4) Brush your hair at least once a week (it helps prevent knots and single strand knots).
   5) Shampoo and Condition your hair at least once a week.
   6) Apply moisturizer to your hair and scalp every other day (this  can help oily hair too depending on the product you use).
   7) Deep condition your hair once a week (for more information email us or keep an eye on our blog).
   8) Do a protein treatment on your hair every 2 weeks (for more information email us or keep an eye on our blog).
   9) Limit the manipulation of your hair to once a day.
  10) Tie your hair up at night! *use a silk  or satin scarf* (This helps prevent split-ends from friction, dry hair, and frizzy hair)
  I prefer to look at these tips as little life style changes.  Every tip I’ve provided you with is about treating your scalp/hair like you treat your body.  Healthier eating habits and lifestyle habits help your hair not just your body.  Most times we think we’re doing everything perfect, but we aren’t getting any new results.  Blood circulation is key to the nutrients we take in actually reaching every part of our bodys.  I hope this helps.  Feel free to comment.  Happy Growing!

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