Updated: Apr 29, 2022
How does hair grow?
Hair grows from hair follicles, that acts like the soil to fertilize and provides nutrient to grow the hair shaft. Blood vessels will deliver the nutrients and hormones that will affect hair growth at different hair cycles. With a normal hair cycle, large number of stem cells will be lodged in hair follicles and produces hair follicle cells.
How much hair follicles do humans have?
By 22 weeks of pregnancy, a baby would have all its hair follicles formed averaging 5 million hair follicles in whole body, of which 100,000 hair follicles would be on the scalp. And as we grow bigger, we do not grow more hair follicles, and when we aged, it shrinks and dies of as part of natural stage of aging.
What are the hair cycles involved?
There are 3 stages in hair cycles, i.e., anagen, catagen and telogen phase.
Anagen phase is the growing phase of hair. Each hair is in this phase for about 2 to 6 years, growing averagely 1cm every month. Some people have long, long hair as they have long phase of growing hair, and some reach a certain length before it falls off eventually.
Catagen phase is the transitional phase of hair where it forms club hair , it is neither growing or falling off.
Telogen phase is the phase where the hair stops growing and remains in its state. About 50-100 hairs are normally shed each day at this phase.
Why does hair fall occur?
Hair loss occurs when the stage of growing (anagen) becomes shorter and the resting stage (telogen) is prolonged hence the rate of hair fall becomes faster than you could grow new hair. It is caused by multiple factors
Why some people experienced more hair fall than others?
It is a multifactorial reason for most people, for others it could be genetically linked, for the rest it would be stressful triggers such as pregnancy, cancer, etc.
· A family history of balding on your mother's or father's side.
· Significant weight loss.
· Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes and lupus.
· Poor nutrition.
That is why at each doctor’s consultation, we sit down and discuss in depth every medical details and lifestyle to see if we can modify any of the factors affecting hair loss.
Can we stop hair fall?
We cannot stop or reverse hair fall but we can shorten hair fall duration and prolong the hair growth cycle by supporting the scalp with nutrients and eliminating factors that could lead to hair loss.
Can we naturally grow more hair?
We can’t naturally grow more hair as each hair follicles we have are fixed when we are born, however we can grow healthier hair and thus prevent more hair fall.
What can we do to reduce hair loss?
If you are experiencing hair loss, find out the reason behind it and seek for proper treatment with hair specialist to prevent further loss of hair follicles. As we age, hair follicles degenerate and miniaturize thus preventing further hair growth and eventually as the hair follicle dies off, we are left with just bald scalp and no hair follicles. At that stage, we can only do hair transplant to provide the bald area with new hair follicles from adjacent areas.
What can we do to make hair thicker and healthier?
Hair is often the sign of health of our body. Here are some ways we can boost our hair growth
1. Eat a balanced diet. To grow healthy hair. we need good nutrients, Vitamin B (biotin), zinc, iron and protein namely.
2. Avoid extreme dieting. As we lose nutrients from extreme dieting, we may experience hair fall at a faster rate than normal. That is due to stress from dieting, it halts the growth of new hair and a couple of months later, you may experience stress induced hair fall.
3. Look into Platelet rich plasma (PRP) treatment. Platelet from own body acts as a stimulant for dormant hair follicles to grow new hair and treatment is done monthly for first 6 months then subsequently 3 monthly to induce more hair growth.
4. Hold the heat. Heat from curling irons, from hair dryers make hair brittle and drier causing hair breakage.
5. Go easy on chemical and colouring treatment for hair. All these chemicals induce more hair damage and causes more hair fall.
6. Talk to your doctor about minoxidil. It is a treatment, clinically proven to help with hair loss. It may take up to 4-6 months to see results with minoxidil alone.
7. LLLT - Low Level Laser Therapy is used to stimulate the hair follicle to speed up the Anagen phase. Hence enhancing the number of hair counts. The LLLT also improved blood flow to the hair follicles hence improving nutrients for hair growth.
8. Boost them with Stem Cells - Regenera Active is a well-known hair loss stemcell treatment approved internationally for natural hair restoration. It uses “micro-grafts” that are specially harvested from own hair thus enabling minimal side effects.