What are the four stages of hair growth?

Are you curious about how hair grows?

Do you want to know the science behind your luscious locks or unruly strands? Understanding the four stages of hair growth is essential in promoting healthy and strong hair.

Whether you’re dealing with hair loss, thinning or just looking for ways to enhance its quality, this blog post will cover everything you need to know! So sit tight and let’s dive into the fascinating world of hair growth.


Anagen is the first phase of hair growth, commonly known as the active growth phase. During this stage, your hair follicles are actively producing new hair cells that push out old hairs from the follicle. This process can last anywhere between two to seven years and determines the length of your hair.

As a result of genetics and hormonal factors, some people have longer anagen phases than others. For example, individuals with naturally long hair tend to have longer anagen phases.

During this stage, proper nutrition plays a crucial role in promoting healthy and strong hair. Consuming foods rich in protein and vitamins such as Biotin and Zinc can help promote cell growth which ultimately leads to luscious locks.

However, certain medical conditions or medications might disrupt this cycle causing premature shedding or even complete loss of hair if not addressed promptly by a healthcare professional.

Understanding Anagen is essential because it sets up the foundation for stronger healthier strands later down the line during other stages of growth like Catagen!


The catagen phase is the second stage of hair growth, and it is a transitional period that lasts for around two weeks. During this time, the hair follicle shrinks to about 1/6th of its normal size as the dermal papilla breaks away from the base of the follicle. This causes blood flow to decrease, which slows down cell division and halts hair growth.

The catagen phase also sees an increase in programmed cell death (apoptosis) within the lower part of the hair follicle. This causes club hairs, or old hairs that have stopped growing but remain in place, to detach from their roots.

Although it may sound like a negative stage for your hair’s health since you’re losing some strands during this process; however, it’s actually natural! It allows new healthy cells to replace them over time.

It’s essential to note that not all hairs go through this phase at once. At any given moment on our scalp, approximately 3%–4% are experiencing catagen while others might still be at Anagen or Telogen phases.

Therefore understanding what happens during each stage can help us maintain healthier locks by adopting beneficial practices such as reducing stress levels and eating a balanced diet rich in vitamins A through E!


Telogen is the resting phase of hair growth and usually lasts for about three months. During this stage, the hair follicle remains inactive while a new hair begins to grow underneath it. The old hair eventually falls out, making room for the new one to emerge.

It’s normal for up to 10% of our scalp hairs to be in telogen at any given time, but certain factors can prolong this resting phase. These include hormonal changes like pregnancy or menopause, stress, illness or medications.

Telogen effluvium is a condition where more than usual amounts of hairs are pushed into the telogen stage prematurely causing excessive shedding. It can occur due to physical trauma like childbirth or surgery, emotional stressors such as grief or anxiety and nutrient deficiencies.

In most cases telogen effluvium resolves on its own without treatment. However good nutrition , reducing stress levels and using gentle shampooing techniques may help alleviate symptoms faster by promoting healthy regrowth of hair .


Exogen is the final stage of hair growth and refers to the shedding of old or damaged hair. During this phase, the hair follicle pushes out the old strand, making way for a new one to grow in its place.

This process is completely normal and should not be cause for concern. In fact, it’s estimated that we shed anywhere from 50-100 hairs per day during this stage.

While exogen may sound like a negative thing, it’s actually an important part of maintaining healthy hair growth. By shedding old strands, our bodies are able to make room for strong and healthy new ones.

However, if you notice excessive shedding or thinning hair during this phase, it could be a sign of an underlying issue such as stress or vitamin deficiencies. It’s important to speak with your healthcare provider if you have any concerns about your hair health.

While exogen may seem like a daunting stage in the hair growth process, it’s an essential part of maintaining strong and healthy locks.

Factors that affect hair growth

Many factors can affect hair growth, including genetics, age, and overall health. Genetics plays a significant role in determining the length of your hair’s anagen phase or growing stage, with some individuals having longer anagen phases than others.

Age is another factor that influences hair growth patterns since the rate of follicle regeneration decreases as we get older.

Your diet and lifestyle also impact how fast your hair grows because healthy cell production requires adequate nutrients like vitamins A, B, C & E. Smoking or excessive alcohol consumption can affect blood circulation to the scalp which impairs nutrient delivery to the newly growing hair follicles.

Stress-induced hormonal changes may cause temporary alopecia or thinning in some people.

Environmental factors such as exposure to pollution and chemicals from cosmetic products can harm scalp health leading to poor hair growth. Tight hairstyles like braids and ponytails pull on roots causing stress on follicles resulting in breakage over time.

Good maintenance such as frequent washing using mild shampoos followed by regular conditioning along with gentle combing practices are necessary for optimal hair care results regardless of any other factor affecting it negatively or positively.

How to promote hair growth?

Taking care of your hair can help promote healthy hair growth. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Maintain a healthy diet: Eating a well-balanced diet that is rich in vitamins and minerals, including iron, zinc, and biotin, can promote healthier hair growth.
  • Practice good hygiene: Regular shampooing and conditioning can help keep your scalp clean and free from buildup that could hinder hair growth.
  • Be gentle with styling: Avoid harsh chemicals or heat treatments that may damage the hair shafts or follicles.
  • Massage your scalp regularly: Massaging your scalp stimulates blood flow to the follicles which promotes better circulation for healthier roots.
  • Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water helps maintain optimal hydration levels in both skin and hair cells.

By following these simple tips consistently over time, you will be able to nourish and support healthy hair growth throughout all four stages of the process!