How Hair Grows

The average scalp has 100,000 hairs. Each follicle produces a single hair that grows at a rate of half an inch per month during the normal hair growth cycle. The hair growth cycle has three different phases: anagen, catagen, and telogen. At any one time 90% of your hair will be in the anagen, or growth phase, which lasts anywhere from two to eight years. The catagen, or transition phase, typically lasts 2-3 weeks, at which time the hair follicle shrinks. During the telogenphase of the cycle, which lasts around two to four months, the hair rests and then is lost before entering the anagen phase where once again a new hair is formed. Overwhelmingly, the majority of the time the hair on the scalp is in its growing phase- giving you a full healthy head of hair.

How Hair is Lost

Because resting hairs are meant to be shed, most people lose about50-100 strands of hair daily. On days when hair is washed, people can lose up to 250 strands. Unfortunately, avoidance of hair washing in an attempt to prevent abnormal hair loss is not a solution. Abnormal hair loss is typically noticed with excessive hair on your clothing or in your brush, or dramatic hair loss with shampooing or styling. Hair programmed for loss will continue until the underlying causes of hair loss are resolved.

Causes for Hair Loss

Hair loss in women can be triggered by more than 50 different medical as well as lifestyle factors. Although sometimes no specific cause for hair loss can be found, a thorough medical evaluation with an expert in hair restoration is critical to success. In most cases, hair will grow back once the causes for hair loss are addressed.

Patterns for Female Hair Loss

The Savin scale is used to document female pattern baldness, which affects about 30 million American women. Women tend to notice thinning on the top third to one half of the scalp with maintenance of the hairline and will see a part that is gradually becoming wider.

Sometimes they will see more of their scalp than normal when their hair is pulled back. Men’s hair will tend to recede from the forehead or the crown of the head over the years.

Female Hair Loss  Patterns - Ruthie Harper, MD

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