When a new baby is born, he or she has soft, fine and downy hair called lanugo that disappears shortly after the birth. Normally hair on the scalp and other parts of body becomes thicker and coarser. In middle age, hair growth can be seen on the ears of men and women develop the same on face at the time of menopause. This is due to change in endocrine pattern.

Stages of hair growth-

  • ANAGEN HAIR (Period of Active Growth)

The stage when the growing is in process, the hair is called ‘Anagen’ hair. Anagen hair keeps on growing from two to five years. In Anagen hair, the cells of follicle grow, divide and are keratinized in order to make hair grow. Having keratin means that the base of the hair shaft is moist and soft and the rest of hair shaft above hair bulb is dark pigmented.

  • CATAGEN HAIR (Period of Transition or Breakdown and Change)

When the hair is under transition stage, which is from root to end, the hair is called ‘catagen’ hair. Catagen hair, begin transitional, live for about 7 to 15 days. During this transition phase, the growth activity of the hair stops. Growth of hair is not a continuous affair as some people think. Hair growing takes a resting phase during which no growth takes place and the roots of the resting hair become club-shaped. It is this condition that is called club hairs.

  • TELOGEN HAIR (Resting Stage before Resumption Of Growth)

Catagen hair live for some time and when they are in the state of rest without any change, they are called ‘Telogen’ hair. Telogen hair are also called club hair. They are in the state of rest for three to four months before they grow or are pushed from follicle due to growth of another hair or due to some harsh combing/ brushing or hard massaging/continuous drying of hair by hot hair-blower or in fight etc. All these are mechanical reasons.

Factors that Influence the Hair Growth

  • Age: – Growth of hair is fastest from the age of fifteen to late twenties. The hair grows faster and the rate of growth slows down when the hair have grown to its maximum. There is no limit to maximum but some doctors are of the opinion that this limit is three feel which means that when the hair are over three feet long, the growth rate drops to half the former growth rate. 
  • Nervous and circulatory system: – The hair is affected by the state of the nervous system and circulatory system. This means that hair have a direct relation with functioning of the entire human organism, mind, sentiments, emotions and the body. Any such stimulation in the body by grief, emotions, etc. makes impact over the opulence of the nerve and blood supply to the head. If grief or emotions continue for some days, it affects the growth of hair.
  • Chemicals & Drugs: – Chemical and drug reactions also affect the growth of hair. The coloring of hair and dyeing of hair are virtually exposure to chemical reactions and many persons who dye or color their hair have retarded hair growth or encounter falling of hair.
  • Heredity: – The heredity/genes actually determine the hair density, growth and color of hair.
  • Hormones: – Hormonal change is one of the reasons for growth of hair.

Your Hair – An Index  to your Health….

Our hair is not just ‘dead’ protein it is a pointer to what is happening deep inside our body and mind. Hair has more to it than what appears on the surface.  It says a lot more about us than what the stars foretell. The health of our hair and scalp provides us with insightful cues about a host of ‘latent’ health disorders.

In addition, our hair, like our psyche, responds to both physical and emotional stressors, including underlying health deviations,  much before apparent clinical symptoms manifest.

  • DRY, LIMP, THIN HAIR:-This may be a ‘cursor’ for hypothyroidism. In some cases, the ‘tell-tale’  sign is hair loss on the eyebrows, especially in the outer area of the eyebrow.
  • SCALY  OR CRUSTY PATCHES ON THE SCALP:-This indicates psoriasis, a common skin disorder. It occurs when the skin for a ‘toss,’ sending out flawed signals that accelerate the turnover and growth of skin cells. The detection of psoriasis can help us prevent and treat more serious condition- especially psoriatic arthritis, or painful swelling of the joints with scaly psoriatic distress.
  • OVERALL THINNING:-It’s customary to shed about 50-100 hairs a day. But, when hair appears to be coming out in ‘clumps,’ it’s time for action. Any extreme stress can be the reason for hair loss, liking losing a job can cause extreme hair loss. Likewise, about of flu or fever, illnesses like jaundice, typhoid and malaria can cause hair loss. Most importantly, diabetes and hypertension can also cause such hair loss, much before they may be clinically diagnosed. 
  • DRY, BRITTLE HAIR BREAKS EASILY:-This kind of hair loss can be a sign of autoimmune disorders, early onset diabetes and thyroid disease.