Hair Growth

Hair Growth

Hair Growth

Hair Growth: and Un-Wanted Hair Growth

The first phase in your hair growth cycle is the growing phase. The growing hair you see is between 80 & 90 percent of your hair follicles on your scalp.  This is also referred to as the Anagen phase of hair growth.
You should know that:

  • your hair grows from 3 years to 7 years
  • Normal hair growth is about (1/2") half an inch every month
  • The hair bulb produces your hair pigment (color)
  • Blood supplied at  the root of the hair provides nutrients & minerals your hair needs to grow.

Next the hair stops growing & separates from the blood supply (hair bulb). This takes between 2 and 4 weeks. This is also called the Catagen phase.

Lastly the hair rests for about 3 months before starting to grow again. This is also called the Telogen phase.

Some products promise to restore hair to bald or balding heads. This dream has been around since the first head started to loose hair permanently. There is little we (both  men and women, doctors and hair stylists) can do to restore thinning hair. The latest trend is to talk about doing something to stop the thinning process just as ,or just before, it begins. This is often referred to as "optomizing the condition of the scalp to provide the best environment  for hair growth" and or "neutralizing DHT"  or both.

The choices seem to be

  1. Do more with what you have - Enhance you appearance by changing your hairstyle to do the most with what you have.
  2. Work to insure your diet, your hair, your vitamins, and scalp are in optimum condition to support your remaining hair. (also see Vitamins for Hair Growth )
  3. Use products the neutralize DHT  as it is formed. (also see Products for Hair Loss)
  4. Use a Hair Treatments for Follicle Release by Framesi
  5. Protect your scalp, use sunscreen, & hats
  6. Protect the hair you have
  7. -- do what you can to help with dryness and stop breakage by:
    • use a detangler so you do not stretch and break the hair that is growing,
    • use Hair Oils (no these won't leave you hair all oily feeling), and or hair silk products,
    • use heat protectors and sun screens designed to spray on and leave in your hair. These are usually found in products for color treated hair. Framesi Biogenol uses a "Phycocorail Heat Shield Protection" taken found in ocean coral (see Phycoccorail heat shield for hair). Lanza makes a spray on detangling sunscreen using sunflower extracts. This more than doubles the life of hair color you have added to your hair. Just think what it can do if you are not using color at all! (see Lanza Heat Shield & UV Protector.)
  8. Add hair in the form wigs, hairpieces, and hair weaving. (Weaving is a process where hair is glued onto your existing hair to give you a fuller look.)  
  9. For disappearing eyebrows, and eyelashes try permanent make up, this is a form of tattooing. Also see  eyebrow restoration on our Hair Loss in Women) page.
  10. Some prescription drugs may slow hair loss, other treatments can  insure the hair and scalp stay in the best  condition possible to support and maintain the health & growth of the remaining hair.
  11. The surgical procedure referred to as "Hair Transplantation" can move hair from a place where it normally does not stop growing , to a place where it has stopped growing. The latest procedures include surgical scalp reduction, or making the balding area smaller so you need to transplant less hair.  (see Hair Loss in Women)

There is what we refer to as the "vicious circle of hair hope." Here is how it goes

  1. The body makes products that reduce the flow of blood to the hair bulb finally resulting in hair loss. Sometimes it is referred to as DHT, in the past we were told the skin on the "becomes thicker" reducing the blood flow.
  2. You would think that the obvious answer is to increase the blood flow to the hair bulb
  3. No matter how this is done (light therapy, electrical therapy, pills, massage, standing on your head,  etc)
  4. The body systems are still working. The increased blood delivery means more "stop my hair from growing" chemicals are delivered to the hair bulb, which in turn tries to re-stop your hair stops growing.
  5. Before you use a product that claims it can start or re-growing hair, you should know... There here have been NO long term studies that show that if it grows back, it will keep growing.
  6. Why? Because the  increased blood flow that causes the hair re-growth, also brings chemicals made by your own body, that are trying to stop your hair from growing.
  7. so be realistic
  8. If you know that all you are doing is "pushing back" the clock or "slowing down" hair loss and "staving off your natural hair tendencies"  -  Then you have realistic expectations, so "go for it!"  It's just like color you hair to hide the gray.  You look younger, you feel better. This is good while it lasts.

If you have Sudden Hair Loss and can find the cause of the problem you have a good chance at being able to reverse the hair loss by correcting the problem.

Un-Wanted Hair Growth:

For both men and women Unwanted Hair Growth happens when a surgeon relocates a patch of skin, containing hair, from one area of the body to another. For example if you discover a skin cancer (melanoma), have it removed and skin is transplanted as part of the procedure, you may discover hair growing where in the transplant area.

Unwanted hair growth for men, starts between age 35 and 40 showing up as unwanted log hair on the ears and growing  from the nose. This is followed by fast growing, long hair eyebrows.

Women often discover stray unwanted hairs on the chin, breasts, sternum, and other parts of the body. This can be a symptom of disease, hormonal changes, menopause, or it may just be normal. Ladies, unwanted hair growth may not be something thy want to talk about  to perfect strangers so ... go ask your mother and grand mothers if they had a similar hair growth problem.

Sudden onset hair growth is something you should consult with your doctor about. You will probably want a blood test to check for  hormone imbalances. If you have not had this test when things were normal you will have no basis for comparison so you will not know what "normal" is for you. However the doctor can compare you readings to "text book" normal, based on age, race, family history and so forth.  For a quick at home screening make a list dividing the body into 9 areas. Upper lip, chin, breasts & navel, the shoulders & back, the arms, the hands & fingers,  bikini line,  the legs, and finally the feet and toes. Now look at and rate the hair growth in each area (no hair growth  = 0  1-5 hairs =1, 5-10 hairs = 2 more than 10 = 3 for areas like the arms, and legs that normally have hair.. the normal expected amount of hair = 0, slightly more hair growth = 2 and heavy new hair growth = 3 ). Write down all 9 areas then next to each area rank your hair growth. When you are done, if the total is 9 or above you should be visiting your doctor. For example, of one common cause for unwanted hair growth  is poly-cystic ovarian syndrome (cysts on the ovaries). Additionally there are 9 glands in the endocrine system, any one of which can cause unwanted hair growth. If you regular health professional does not discover the cause of the unwanted hair growth you should get a referral to an endocrinologist.

Ladies, it is important for your health to discover, and correct the cause of the unwanted hair growth, whatever it may be. Otherwise, the ailment will continue, which you definitely do not want to happen. Further if you are having treatments to remove the unwanted hair, you might only be treating one symptom of a medical problem. You body will be getting sicker and making hair grow faster than you can have it removed. In this case, "All I want to do is get rid of this hair!" is the WRONG  answer. Please help yourself and fix the underlying medical problem before trying to get rid of that pesky unwanted hair.

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