Hair is one of the defining characteristics of mammals. Its growth is usually helped by a lot of things. So, how much does hair grow in a year? The answer to this question is actually depending on the feed habit of the individual or mammal who is blessed with it.
Like I said earlier, the hair is a protein filament that grows from follicles found in the dermis. Hair is an important biomaterial primarily composed of protein, notably alpha-keratin; thus, the most common interest in hair is focused on hair growth, hair types, and hair care.
Culturally, hair is often used to indicate a person’s personal beliefs or social position, such as their age, gender, or religion. The usefulness of the hair especially among the humans is characteristically rooted in religious beliefs as well as in cultural values.
Across the religions of the world, there are various stances, perspectives, and understandings. To many of them, they are identities. Attitudes towards different forms of hair, such as hairstyles and hair removal, vary widely across different cultures and historical periods.
Characteristics of Hair and How Hair Grows
The body has different types of hair, including vellus hair and androgenic hair, each with its own type of cellular construction. The different construction gives the hair unique characteristics, serving specific purposes, mainly, warmth and protection.
Hair grows everywhere on the external body except for mucus membranes and glabrous skin, such as that found on the palms of the hands, soles of the feet, and lips.
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There are a range of theories pertaining to the curl patterns of hair. Scientists have come to believe that the shape of the hair shaft has an effect on the curliness of the individual’s hair.
A very round shaft allows for fewer disulfide bonds to be present in the hair strand. This means the bonds present are directly in line with one another, resulting in straight hair.
Hair follows a specific growth cycle with three distinct and concurrent phases: anagen, catagen, and telogen phases; all three occur simultaneously throughout the body. Each has specific characteristics that determine the length of the hair.
Hair Growth Cycle
The human hair grows in a year by 6 inches.
3 Phases of Hair Growth
Below are the three major phases that hair go through during the process of growth:
- Anagen (growth phase): Your hair is actively growing during the anagen phase. This phase can last for several years. So, you have the anagen phase to thank for your hair growth over the course of a year.
- Catagen (transition phase): The catagen phase occurs when your hair is ready to stop growing. It lasts for a few weeks and prepares your hair for the telogen phase.
- Telogen (resting phase): During the telogen phase, your hair is at rest and does not grow. At one time, around 10–15% of the hairs on your head are in this resting phase. This phase can last for up to one year.
What to do to Facilitate Hair Growth
- Eat Nutrients
Lots of supplements claim to boost hair health. Nutrients like biotin, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C, and vitamin D are important for hair health. However, research shows supplements are not needed unless you have a vitamin deficiency. Most people get enough biotin, zinc, vitamin A, and other nutrients in their diets.
Iron and vitamin D supplements are commonly prescribed to offset deficiencies. But, overdosing on vitamins, especially iron, can be dangerous. Your healthcare provider will help determine if you have any vitamin deficiencies.
- Avoid Stress
Studies have shown stress can lead to hair loss. Hair loss, in turn, can lead to more stress. To break this cycle, experts suggest finding ways to reduce stress, like engaging in meditation, exercising regularly, prioritizing sleep, or cozying up with a pet or loved one. These stress-reduction techniques will not only help your body and mind, they may also help your hair as well.
- Avoid Harsh Products
Avoiding harsh hair care products like chemical relaxers, perms, and dyes can help prevent hair follicle damage and hair breakage. Healthier scalp and hair follicles grow hair strands that are less likely to break off.
- Avoid Harsh Styling
Heavy heat styling, straightening, and tight hairstyles (like braids and ponytails that pull on the hair) can damage hair and hair follicles.
Data suggests more damage and thinning in heavily styled hair. That said, if you don’t want to skip the styling, ask your stylist for products that can help protect your hair shafts from heat.
Using a conditioner can help seal, hydrate, and protect your hair. In addition, conditioners make your hair shinier and easier to comb. This can help cut down on hair breakage, especially if you have long hair. Combing out tangles can pull on the hair follicles and lead to split ends.