It’s a question we often hear says Ruby. Typically, our hair grows at around 1cm (0.5 inch) each month, though this varies because of factors like age, genetics and health.
Each ‘hair’ is made up of two main structures – the follicle and the shaft. The follicle is a small pocket beneath the skin where hair growth begins, while the shaft is the visible part of the hair.
A hair stays on our scalp for up to seven years, going through four different phases before it says its final goodbye.
Talking of phrases let’s break them down, says Ruby:
Your hair growth cycle
Phase One: Growth
Known by trichologists as the Anagen phase, it’s the longest phase, lasting anywhere between 3-7 years. During this time, your hair is active and grows.
Phase Two: Transition
Lasting about 10 days, the Catagen phase sees the hair follicle shrinking and cutting from the blood supply. At any given time about 3% of all your hair is in this phase.
Phase Three: Resting
For approximately three months, the hair rests while a new hair begins to grow beneath it. This is known as the Telogen phase.
Phase Four: Shedding
This is when the old hair sheds from the follicle, making room for the new growth and the cycle starts again.
What affects hair growth and length?
There are a few things that can interrupt or reduce hair growth says Ruby:
As you’ve probably guessed, your genes play a big role in determining your hair growth rate and thickness.
Unfortunately, as we get older our hair growth tends to slow down as the hair follicles gradually weaken or even stop producing new hair completely.
#3. Hormonal changes
Hormonal fluctuations, such as those during pregnancy or menopause, can also adversely affect hair growth.
#4. Harsh treatments
Watch out for straightening, perms, bleach, braiding and weaves which can leave our hair more fragile and prone to breakage.
#5. Diet and nutrition
A balanced diet that’s packed with vitamins and minerals is key for healthy hair growth. If you’re on a restrictive diet, you might notice slow growth or even hair loss a few months later.
High stress levels can lead to hair loss or stunted growth.
Certain health conditions and medications can also impact hair growth.
Ruby‘s top tips for longer hair
Ready for some top tips on how to get that hair growing longer and stronger?
TOP TIP: Professional help
Regular maintenance cutting is your friend. These help prevent split ends, which can make your hair appear shorter and less healthy.
TOP TIP: Scalp massage and treatments
Give your scalp some love with regular massages boost blood flow to your scalp and keep those follicles heathy.
And don’t forget about deep repairing treatments like Kerastase Fusio Doses from the Resistance range to strenghten and reduce breakages.
TOP TIP: Gently, gently
Be gentle with your hair. Avoid hair-tugging elastic bands and super tight styles. A soft bristle brush is your best bet.
Need some expert advice?
And of course, if you’d like some expert advice on your hair and the right products for you, just ask. We love to help…