Maintaining a healthy hair growth cycle is vital. It ensures strong, vibrant hair and reduces the risk of hair loss or damage. Understanding your hair cycle and how it is unique to afro hair is the key to unlocking the best hair of your life. So let’s take you through the basics of the cycle, how to treat your hair at each stage and what products to use!
The hair growth cycle comprises four phases. During the anagen phase, hair actively grows. The catagen phase is a transitional stage, while the telogen phase is a resting period before the final shedding phase, the exogen phase. Understanding these phases is essential for comprehending the growth cycle and implementing appropriate care routines for healthy hair maintenance.
The Anagen Phase: The Active Growth Stage
During the anagen phase, afro hair is in the active growth stage. This phase is characterised by rapid growth as the follicles produce new hair cells. Its duration varies but lasts between 2-7 years on average. To promote growth during this phase, it is essential to maintain a healthy scalp and ensure a healthy diet consisting of foods that nourish the hair. Additionally, adopting a regular hair care routine, which includes products that support the anagen phase and avoiding excessive heat or chemical treatments can support optimal hair growth.
The Catagen Phase: Transitioning Stage
The catagen phase is a transitional stage in the hair cycle. Its purpose is to signal the end of active growth and prepare the hair follicles for renewal. It lasts for about 2-3 weeks. During this time, the hair stops growing and detaches from the blood supply, which leads to the formation of a club hair. It’s important to handle the hair gently during this phase as it is more prone to damage. This is when to avoid excessive styling and nourish the scalp with gentle moisturising products to promote a smooth transition to the next phase of the hair growth cycle.
The Telogen And Exogen Phases: Resting Stage
The next stage of the hair cycle is the telogen phase or the resting stage. This stage plays a significant role in the overall health of the hair. It lasts anywhere between 2-4 months depending on the individual. During this phase, the hair follicles are at rest and new hair is not actively growing. Then, the exogen phase of the hair cycle is the final stage when the old hair sheds naturally. It allows new hair to grow, promoting continuous renewal and healthy hair. To minimise hair loss and promote regrowth during this phase, stick to a healthy hair routine.
Promoting Healthy Hair Growth in Afro Hair
Afro hair has unique characteristics that can influence this cycle. The coiled structure of our hair makes it prone to breakage and tangling, which can affect growth. External factors such as styling, heat and environmental factors like humidity or dryness can also play a part.
To support the hair cycle in afro hair, specific care techniques are crucial. Moisturising regularly with hydrating products such as leave-in conditioners or natural oils helps prevent dryness and breakage. Gentle detangling using wide tooth combs or fingers minimises damage. Using sulfate-free shampoos and avoiding excessive heat styling are also recommended to promote optimal hair growth.
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