Hair Cycle Explained: How To Grow Longer Hair

Stages of hair cycle

Welcome to our ultimate guide on the hair cycle! 

In this article, we'll delve into the nitty-gritty of the hair cycle, its significance, and how it plays a crucial role in your quest for promoting hair growth.

So, whether you're rocking sleek straight hair or flaunting fabulous curls, let's explore the wonders of the hair cycle together.

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What Is The Hair Cycle?

The hair cycle is a natural and continuous process that your hair follicles go through.

It's divided into three main phases: anagen, catagen, and telogen.

Each phase has its own purpose and duration, contributing to the overall health and growth of your hair.

Anagen phase

Why Is The Hair Cycle Important?

Understanding the importance of the hair cycle is essential for anyone seeking to enhance hair growth.

This cycle dictates the growth, rest, and shedding of your hair.

By knowing where your hair stands in the cycle, you can adopt targeted strategies to promote growth and maintain the vitality of your hair.

How Does The Hair Cycle Work?

The hair cycle operates in a synchronized manner among the hair follicles on your scalp.

Here's a breakdown of each phase:

Anagen Phase

This is the growth phase, where your hair actively grows from the follicle.

The longer this phase lasts, the longer your hair can grow.1

Catagen Phase

In this transitional phase, your hair follicle begins to shrink and detach from the blood supply.

It's a short phase that prepares for the next cycle.

Telogen Phase

Often referred to as the resting phase, this is when your hair takes a break from growing.

Eventually, old hair is shed to make way for new growth.

What Are The Benefits Of The Hair Cycle?

Embracing the natural hair cycle comes with several benefits:

  • Optimal Growth: By nurturing your hair during the anagen phase, you can maximize its growth potential and grow longer hair.

  • Healthy Scalp: Understanding the cycle aids in maintaining a healthy scalp environment, fostering better hair growth.

  • Less Hair Loss: With knowledge of the cycle, you can differentiate between normal shedding and potential hair loss issues.

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What Are Some Considerations Regarding The Hair Cycle?

While the hair cycle is a marvel of nature, there are a few considerations to keep in mind:

  • Patience is Key: The cycle takes time, so results aren't immediate. Consistency is crucial for seeing improvements.

  • Shedding is Normal: Shedding during the telogen phase is a natural process and shouldn't cause undue concern.

Hair shedding

How Long Is a Hair Cycle?

The duration of a hair cycle varies from person to person and even from one area of your body to another.

On the scalp, the average hair cycle lasts between 2 to 7 years.2

However, keep in mind that not all hair follicles are in the same phase simultaneously, which is why your hair appears to grow consistently.

If you're experiencing hair thinning, then the hair can fall out in just 1-2 years, which means you may not be able to grow long hair.

How Do I Know My Hair Cycle?

Determining your exact hair cycle requires observation and understanding the stages your hair goes through.

You can track your hair growth phases by paying attention to factors such as shedding, regrowth, and changes in hair thickness.

Consulting a dermatologist or hair care professional can also provide insights into your specific hair cycle.

How Do I Grow Longer Hair?

If you are able to fight hair thinning and nourish your hair follicles, you will increase the length of time your hair stays in the hair growth or anagen phase.

Here are some factors that can help increase the hair growth phase:

1. Balanced Diet: Ensure you're getting enough vitamins and minerals, especially those known to support hair health like biotin, vitamin D, and iron.

2. Gentle Hair Care: Avoid harsh chemical treatments and excessive heat styling that can damage your hair and hinder growth.

3. Scalp Massage: Regularly massaging your scalp can stimulate blood flow to hair follicles, encouraging growth.

4. Hydration: Drink enough water to keep your body and scalp hydrated, which is essential for healthy hair growth.

5. Stress Management: High stress levels can impact your hair cycle, so practice relaxation techniques.

6. Hair Growth Promoters: Using natural hair growth vitamins and hair serums can help nourish your body and scalp to keep the hair growing quickly.

How Often Does Your Hair Cycle Change?

The speed of your hair cycle remains relatively consistent throughout your life.

However, external factors like hormonal changes, age, health conditions, and lifestyle choices can influence the rate of hair growth and shedding.

It's essential to adapt your hair care routine accordingly.

What Stage Is the Shortest Hair Growth Cycle?

Among the three phases of the hair cycle, the catagen phase is the shortest.

This transitional phase only lasts for about 2 to 3 weeks.3 

During this time, the hair follicle shrinks and detaches from the blood supply, preparing for the shedding of the old hair and the growth of new hair.

What Is The History Of The Hair Cycle?

Exploring the historical perspective of the hair cycle sheds light on the evolution of hair care practices and the cultural significance of hair throughout different eras.

By understanding how societies have valued and cared for their hair, you can draw inspiration and insights to create products that resonate with tradition while embracing modern innovation.

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Final Thoughts On Hair Cycle

The journey through the intricate world of the hair cycle has unveiled a realm of knowledge that empowers us to nurture our hair's vitality.

By grasping the phases, understanding the intricacies, and recognizing the importance of this natural process, we've taken a step towards fostering a healthier and more radiant relationship with our locks.

At Fully Vital, we're not only passionate about sharing insights into the hair cycle, but we're also committed to transforming this knowledge into action.

Our array of hair growth products is meticulously designed to halt the aging process of your hair, allowing you to embrace a fuller, more vibrant head of hair.

With science as our foundation and your well-being as our priority, we invite you to explore a world where healthy, luxurious hair is within your reach.

Remember, your hair's journey is a reflection of your individuality, strength, and beauty.

Let's embark on this journey together and celebrate the magnificence of your hair, every step of the way.

Frequently Asked Questions About The Hair Cycle

Can hair growth products disrupt the hair cycle?

Hair growth products are designed to complement the hair cycle, but incorrect usage or harsh chemicals can potentially disrupt the natural process.

Does stress affect the hair cycle?

Yes, high stress levels can push more hair follicles into the telogen (resting) phase, leading to increased shedding.

Are there specific age-related changes to the hair cycle?

Yes, as we age, the anagen phase might shorten, leading to thinner hair.

Understanding these changes can help adapt your hair care routine.

Can hormonal changes impact the hair cycle?

Hormonal changes, such as those during pregnancy or menopause, can influence the duration of each phase, affecting hair thickness and growth.

Are there natural ways to stimulate the hair cycle?

Absolutely, massaging the scalp, practicing stress management, and using essential oils like lavender or rosemary can help promote hair health.

Do genetics play a role in the hair cycle?

Yes, your genetics largely determine the length of your anagen phase and the thickness of your hair.

How often should I trim my hair during the hair cycle?

Trimming hair every 8-12 weeks can prevent split ends and breakage, supporting overall hair health.

Can excessive heat styling affect the hair cycle?

Excessive heat can damage hair proteins and impact the anagen phase, leading to slower growth.

Is it normal to experience changes in the hair cycle after childbirth?

Yes, many women experience temporary changes in their hair cycle after childbirth.

This is often due to hormonal fluctuations and usually resolves over time.

Can hair cycle disruptions be reversed?

In many cases, hair cycle disruptions can be reversed by adopting healthy hair care practices, addressing underlying health issues, and making lifestyle adjustments that support hair growth.


  1. Hoover, E., Alhajj, M., & Flores, J. L. (2020). Physiology, Hair. PubMed; StatPearls Publishing.

  2. ‌Information, N. C. for B., Pike, U. S. N. L. of M. 8600 R., MD, B., & Usa, 20894. (2019). What is the structure of hair and how does it grow? In Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG).

  3. Roland, J. (2020, September 25). Stages of Hair Growth Plus How to Maintain Hair Health in Every Stage. Healthline.