Unless you go to an uninhabited island, chances are you won’t try how long your hair would grow if you never cut it off. However, she probably knows she would shut the scissors in vain, her hair could not grow to a certain length. But what is the reason for this?
Shortly: The length of hair (and also other body hair) is determined by the alternating rhythm of hair growth phases. The longer the first phase lasts, the longer the hair can grow.
Asha Mandela hit a record with 22 feet in 2009 – 6.7 meters! – with her long hair
Hair growth has three phases:
- In the anagen phase, the hair is growing vigorously. On the one hand, the duration of this phase is genetic and on the other hand, our hormone economy can influence, and external influences such as stress. (But our shaving habits are not at all.) Also, the length of the anagen phase is different depending on which part of our body’s hair is, which means that our hair does not grow as much as our hair. For the latter, the growth phase lasts for an average of 2-7 years, while for other body hairs it is only 30-45 days.
- We do not know exactly what triggers the catagene phase, but once it hits, the hair growth stops, the connection between the hair and the hair follicle that feeds it weakens, and the hair begins to migrate toward the skin surface. This transition phase lasts only a few weeks.
- Finally, in the telogen phase, the hair follicle becomes scarred, in which case the loosened hair is dropped, for example, during combing or hair washing. If the dead hairs do not fall out of themselves, the new hairs that start to grow will push them out to take their predecessor’s place. This phase lasts 2-4 months.
Once this round is over, the next growth phase starts and the whole process is restarted. This triple cycle is about twenty-five times the life of an average person.
Of course, the hairs are not all the same age, usually 85-90 percent of them are in the anagen phase, 10-14 percent in the telogen, and the remaining 1-2 percent in the short catagen. If we do not begin to naturally bald and do not count on the other effects, for example, in the case of high stress, even 70 percent of the hairs can go into the telogenic end stage, that is, our hair begins to fall.
Thumbnail: Jéssica Rosa