Hair Loss Basics and The Hair Growth Cycle
The portion of the hair that we see is called the hair shaft and is actually made up of a hard protein called keratin. This portion of the hair protrudes from an area below the skin called the follicle. The bottom of the hair is where the hair cells grow and receive nourishment from blood vessels. These growing cells push the older cells out of the follicle towards the skin surface, where they transform into the dead protein mentioned above called keratin.
Understanding hair loss begins with understanding the normal stages of hair growth. Hair grows in a continuous pattern of growth and rest called the “hair growth cycle.” There are three phases to this cycle – anagen, catagen, and telogen.
Anagen is the time that the hair follicle is growing and can last between two and eight years. This is followed by catagen, a period of two to four weeks, in which the follicle is being degraded. Telogen, or the resting phase, then begins and lasts two to four months. Under normal circumstances, approximately 90% of hair is in anagen and 10% is in telogen. Shedding of the hair occurs when the growth phase begins again with a new hair shaft emerging. Shedding up to 100 hairs a day is considered normal hair loss and these hairs will regrow.
Many factors can affect the hair growth cycle, leading to temporary or permanent hair loss called alopecia or baldness. Some of these factors are hormones, nutrition, thyroid disease, medications, stress, radiation, chemotherapy, and immune system conditions.
In Miami, Florida, Dr. Giuffrida is a highly trained and competent physician. He is a board certified dermatologist with extensive experience in reconstructive surgery. Dr. Giuffrida, a hair loss expert, can evaluate your hair and will help you understand your type of hair loss and individually help you to determine what is the most effective method of treatment.