Understanding Hair Loss: The Phases of Hair Growth

Talking about hair loss usually evokes a thought about alopecia areata or androgenetic alopecia. While those are the most common causes of hair loss for men and women in the Philippines, it doesn’t mean it’s always the case when you’re shedding hair. Before looking up hair loss treatments and taking drastic measures, slow down and check for other factors you haven’t taken into account yet.

Internet and hair loss treatments are easily accessed within the Philippines. A quick Google search might give you clues on what you’re experiencing and it’s very likely that you misdiagnose yourself then take unnecessary medications. The best treatment you can give yourself first is information.

Start small by understanding how the hair growth process works and ask for a dermatologist’s advice while at it.

Understanding Hair Growth          

The shedding of hair is a perfectly normal phenomenon as it’s a part of the hair growth process. It consists of 3 cycles that grow new hair, slows the growth phase, and starts the shedding phase.

The phases are as follows:

  1. Anagen Phase – This is the growth phase wherein most hair is growing at any given time. Each strand of hair spends several years in this phase.
  2. Catagen Phase – Also known as the transitional phase. Hair growth slows and hair follicle shrinks.
  3. Telogen Phase – This is the resting phase wherein hair growth stops and the old hair detaches from the follicle. This gives way for another anagen phase.

An Alteration in the Growth Cycle

According to an article by WebMD, hair growth varies from person to person and the average rate of growth should be ½ inch per month. The hair growth process may also be altered depending on what your body experiences at the moment.

This alteration of the cycle is called telogen effluvium. It’s a diffuse thinning of hair on the scalp and may appear as uneven, especially on the top part of the scalp.

It’s not the same as male pattern hair loss since there isn’t any hairline recession involved, except in rare cases. The hairs shed during telogen effluvium can be recognized by looking for a small bulb of keratin on the root end.

The Trigger

Telogen effluvium is triggered by some form of “shock” that sets the growing hair follicles into a resting state. The most common triggers for telogen effluvium are stress and diet. Good examples of triggers are crash dieting, vaccinations, physical trauma, and temporarily from childbirth.

The result is an increase of hair shedding and a diffuse thinning on the scalp. It develops rapidly and is noticeable after 1-2 months. It lasts for 6 months and your scalp will go back to normal density within a year.

Treatment

Hair loss from telogen effluvium is easily treated by proper diet and sufficient nutrient intake. There has to be a balanced diet of meat and vegetable to meet your hair’s nutrition needs. You can also take vitamins and supplements found in most drug stores in the Philippines. It’s a great alternative to topical hair loss treatments since it’s not that expensive and you only need to maintain a healthy regimen.

See: 10 Health Foods That Promote Hair Growth According To Science

Parting Tips

Telogen effluvium is just one of the many causes of hair thinning. There are other symptoms that need verification from a professional. What you need to do is to stay calm when doing research, let a dermatologist diagnose your hair loss problem, and get the prescribed treatment to effectively combat hair loss. Have a great hair day.

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