It's all good and well having the all the 'answers' to hair loss, but have you ever wonder at which point DHT starts to kick the hair growth cycle in the nuts? I'm going to break down the in's and out's of the hair growth cycle, giving ya all the ammo you need to hook your balding mates up with the low down about hair loss.
The Hair Growth Cycle
Let's have a dig at shall we...
Overall, there are five stages of the hair growth cycle. The main stages which are doing all the heavy lifting are, the Anagen (growth) Phase, the Catagen (transition) Phase and the Telogen (resting) Phase. The Exogen Phase is where hair decides to fly the coop and is the 'shedding' part of the hair growth cycle. Shortly after shedding your unwanted load, your noggin is followed by good times, tight rhymes and fresh hair in the Early Anagen Phase. Then, everything starts again, just as Mufasa declared, "it's the circle of (hair) life!" And truth be told he was the coolest dude of them all, so we like to live by his words!
1. The Anagen (Growing) Phase
During the Anagen Phase (which, depending on your genes, lasts anywhere from 2 to 6 years), cells in the root split and create the hair shaft. Side note - hair is made up of the same protein that makes up your skin and finger nails, called keratin. During this time, your hair is blossoming like sunflowers in summer! Because the hair is actually dead, the follicle or follicular bulb (this is real biology lads!) is where the magic happens, giving rise to the hundreds and thousands of prickly bits! Did you know blood supply is your follicles best friend! It's like the friend that rocks up with pizza and beer for all the boys during the footy finals. Which makes gone toppo your best friend! Gone toppo increases that flow straight to follicles my dude! The minerals and nutrients blood supplies keeps hair healthy and strong. Here's a fun fact, hair grows about 1cm every 28 days!
P.s. Little pals is your bloods ultimate wingman! They pump your system with all the goods your fragile, falling hair needs!
2. The Catagen (Transition) Phase
This is a super short transitional phase and lasts about two to three week. About 3% of hair is within this phase at any time. There's really no funny or witty way of saying this so I'm just going to put it like it is, this is when hair growth stops and the outer sheath of the root shrinks and attaches to the hair root, creating a club hair. I'm sure there is some form of sexual innuendo in there but I'm just gonna let that one go through to the keeper.
3. The Telogen (Resting) Phase
Kick those feet up legends, it's time to take a break, your follicles definitely have! This is the resting phase, usually lasting around 3 months, and 6-8% of all your follicles are just chilling! They've completely taken 5 and the club hair has fully formed. You know when you pull a hair out and see that white thing around it's root... thats a club hair, a hair that's completely stopped growing!
4. The Exogen (Shedding) Phase
This is basically just an extension of the Telogen phase, and your head's preparing its summer bod! It's trimming the fat and dropping those unwanted kegs. You lose a whopping 80 hairs per day! Actually not that crazy when the average person has about 100 thousand hairs. In case you were wondering, red heads have around 90 thousand hairs whilst blonds have around 140 thousand and brunettes are just lingering somewhere in the middle... Just another lil' fun fact for your day ;)
5. The Early Anagen Phase
This one's simple, and is pretty much as the name suggests, it's just the beginning of the growing phases, plain and simple. The cells in the root of the hair follicle are dividing seriously fast, and preparing to give rise to a new, fresh hair strand. We already know that hair is dead, but, it dies right before it gets pushed through the skin, and if you've put two and two together, that's why it doesn't hurt when you get your hair cut!
When does DHT come into the picture?
We've had a pretty in depth look at the hair growth cycle and how we end up with our lovely, albeit sometimes not as poppin' (we're here to help you with that one), hair do's. But when things are heading a lil' into left field, and the new hair's pushing through aren't as healthy and lush as you'd hoped, what's happened to the hair growth cycle? Well, if you've had a poke around the rest of our blog you'd know the dickhead responsible... DHT!
With a name like dihydrotestosterone, you'd think it's roll in fuc*ing with the hair growth cycle is pretty wild, but that little prick isn't actually as impressive as you'd think. All DHT does is bind to the receptors of the hair follicles, shrinking them in whats call called 'miniaturisation'! It's basically away, slowly but surely, at the Anagen Phase of the hair growth cycle, and over time, causing shorter, weaker hair's to sprout, and eventually, totally killing hair production from those follicles. Introducing... the bald man!
The hair growth cycle can be a little complicated, but it's a pretty epic process if you think about the fact that it's happening over 100 thousand times right now, all over your noggin. Knowledge about hair loss is key to making the right move to getting a thicker, healthier head of hair. Knowing what hair is and where it comes from is the beginning of your journey my friend.
If you're interested in in getting a degree in hair loss, visit the joebloe University today and how to keep that head looking as fresh as Fabio!