To know how to properly grow healthy long hair, if that is what you desire, it is important to have basic scientific knowledge about the structure of the hair and how it works. Your hair constantly goes through a complex, multi-stage growth process. Hair grows about 1 inch every couple months. There are many factors that contribute to how fast your hair grows. Age is one, overall health, and certain health conditions.
Three stages of hair growth
There are three phases to hair growth. The Anagen phase, Catagen phase, and Telogen phase. In the Anagen phase is considered the active phase. The growth in this phase is at lease 3-10 years. On average the scalp is 90% of the hair follicles are in this phase. Next is the Catagen phase. This is the transition where the hair stops growing which lasts around 2-3 weeks. The hair is about 1% in this phase. Lastly, there is the Telogen phase. In this phase we call it the resting phase in which the hair galls out which can last about 3-4 months. About 9% is in the telogen phase. Also note that you are losing hair (Shedding) at least 100 to 150 strands of hair a day. And this is very normal and biological behavior for your hair.
Let’s discuss the Anagen phase a little further. As stated earlier this phase is the growth phase that lasts anywhere between 3-10 years. Here is a scenario that I would like to share with you.
Say we have person 1, Kelly. Her Anagen phase is around 3 years. Here hair grows to her shoulders. This is telling her that in her growth phase her hair grows at a normal rate but her growth phase is only 3 years before the hair strand falls out (sheds – Telogen phase). This short Anagen phase can be caused by many things.
Person 2, Amira. Her Anagen phase is around 6 years. Hair grows to her hips. This is telling her that in the growth phase, her hair grows at a normal rate but doesn’t transition through the other phases as quickly as person 1 Kelly. So, she is able to retain her hair longer, hence having longer hair. Her Anagen phase is longer than Kelly’s.
If you are trying to achieve long strong hair it is very important to take care of your hair in the Anagen phase (the growth phase). Below are some tips in caring for your hair in the “Growth” phase.
How to retain your length in the “Growth” Phase
The hair is made up of a protein called Keratin. You should know that there is no direct way to make your hair grow fast but there are steps you can follow to retain the hair that you are growing to make your “Growth” phase last longer. Remember this phase is about 3-10 years. The longer you keep your hair in the Anagen phase the longer it will be.
- Keep up with your health – This is the most important step to retain length. Drinking the proper amounts of water, a day, making sure you are having your routine checkups and eating a balanced diet, and taking your vitamins (not only “hair growth” vitamins but vitamins that can supplement what your body is lacking). It’s also important to keep up with your iron levels. Low iron levels are not only detrimental to your overall health but can cause unnecessary shedding leading shorter a Anagen phase. I know this step may seem obvious but believe me this is one of the most overlooked steps to retaining length.
- Now this step may seem counterintuitive but believe me it is needed for hair growth and retention. Frequently trim your ends. The ends of our hair are the oldest part of the hair. Your ends are the most fragile part of the hair. They can easily become split which can cause the overall hair strand to become damaged and eventually fall out. You can notice when you need a trim by simply twisting your hair and looking at the ends, If they are frayed or thin, this means you need a trim.
- Shampoo your hair less. It is not recommended to shampoo your hair every day. You can use a co-wash instead. Shampooing your hair at least once a week is enough to rid it from product build up and elements from the earth. When shampooing your hair, use an all-purpose shampoo. One that will cleanse your strands while keeping them hydrated. Our ZAM Effect Shampoo does just that.
- Avoid Chemical processing such as perms, relaxers, harsh hair dye. These chemicals are just used for cosmetic reasons and should not be used unless you choose to. This will definitely shorten your Anagen phase and you will not see the retention that you are looking to achieve. If you are inclined to use chemicals in your hair, be sure to use quality deep treatments often to combat the effects of the chemicals. Our ZAM Effect Deep Conditioning Mask will help with lessening the damage of chemical processing.
- Heat Styling should only be used occasionally. Heat affects the disulfate bonds in your strands and can ultimately damage the hair shaft. Using a health protectant when you occasionally use heat styling is highly recommended to help eliminate damaged which can lead to breakage and frizz.
- Just leave your hair alone. This one is simple. Just be simple. Use simple hair care routines, use simple quality hair care products and trust me, your hair will flourish and stay in the “Growth Phase” a lot longer.
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