Hair grows all over the body. Each hair follicle is a mini organ of its own which is then surrounded by blood vessels, nerves and fat – components that are essential in maintaining the health of the skin. Hair follicles are also rich in stem cells, which are active in healing and repairing damaged hair follicles. A healthy covering of hair can help to keep the body warm, as well as creating a protective barrier on the skin’s surface which can contribute to the prevention of sun damage. Different parts of the body will experience varying volumes of growth, which is often determined by the sensitivity of the area it grows on. 


Many people view hair growth from a social perspective rather than a functional one. It’s very common for a person to use the hair that grows on their head, or on their face, to help create their identity or express their individual style. However in many cases, the latest trends or fashions can influence how a person does this, and it’s common for both men and women to use various methods to remove unwanted hair on their head, face or body. For many, appearing ‘well-groomed’ can influence how someone else sees you, as well as helping that person to feel confident within themselves. This is particularly evident with the hair on the scalp, when hair that is thicker and fuller in volume is more desirable for the intention of styling. 


The human body contains approximately 5 million follicles, with around 100,000 – 150,000 present on the scalp (when it is unaffected by hair loss). Like the rest of the body, head hair grows in phases. As part of the Hair Growth Cycle, head hair grows at a rate of approximately one-fourth to one-half of an inch each month. This cyclic process is usually controlled by hormones (the androgen hormone testosterone or dihydrotestosterone – DHT) with factors such as: genetics, disease, medication, stress, changes in hormone levels and nutrition contributing to the disruption of the natural cycle. Typically, each strand of hair is formed in the follicle, and then grows out of it in a continuous pattern whereby the hair grows and rests. There are 3 phases in this cycle:


ANAGEN – This is known as the ‘growth phase’ and can last from 2 – 6 years. Around 85% of hairs on the head will be in the anagen phase, during which time, hair grows from the follicle continuously. 


CATAGEN – This phase follows the anagen phase, and is also referred to as the ‘transitional phase’ or ‘degeneration phase’. This is the shortest stage within the hair growth cycle, when hair ceases to grow for approximately 2 – 3 months. 


TELOGEN – This last phase (known as the ‘resting phase’) often lasts for around 3 months, and affects between 5 and 8% of hair. At the end of this stage, the hair will be expelled to make way for a new strand to be produced. When the follicle produces a new hair shaft it pushes out the old hair, ready for a new one. The telogen phase gives the follicle a chance to ‘reset’ and prepare for the cycle to start over. 


Up to 10% of scalp hairs are in the telogen phase at any one time, with around 50 – 100 hairs on the head being expelled each day. Most people will notice this happening when brushing or washing their hair, and think nothing of it as this amount of hair loss usually goes unnoticed. 


Although a small amount of hair loss is normal, there are factors which can cause more hairs to be expelled and results in a visible loss. When hair loss exceeds the norm it can lead to aesthetic and / or emotional concerns. The experts at AHI Clinic have been helping people with hair loss for many years and are renowned for producing successful results. The clinic’s expert doctor and hair transplant surgeon (Dr Waqas Chaudhary) has a thorough understanding of the hair growth cycle, which is key to recognising the cause of hair loss and identifying a safe and effective solution. 


If hair loss is affecting you, contact AHI Clinic in South Woodford and book a consultation. 

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