Hair can be one of the biggest feelings of pride for an individual. However, this can also be a source of worry for some. Whether it is because of drying, being gray, or maintaining its luster and thickness, hair can easily be a source of disappointment. As such, we tend to work harder and try various products to get the appearance we have always dreamed of.
Hair growth is not that fast. Normally, hair grows around 1.5 cm per month. Unfortunately, there are instances that hair grows even slower than this and does not increase in length for months. There are actually valid reasons why this is so. Read on to learn more about the causes and possible solutions for slow growing hair.
The Hair Growth Cycle
Before you understand the reasons why your hair is growing slow, you need to learn its growth cycle. The hair cycle actually takes place over three phases: anagen, catagen, and telogen.
The Anagen Phase
This is also known as the active growth phase and lasts anywhere from two to seven years. Hair follicle enlarges and deepens because of the nutrients and blood supply. Once the follicle is deepened enough, the hair bulb is able to form, and this is the very start of a new hair strand and will play a big role in the growth and development of hair. Once the follicle is in place, the hair strand grows.
The Catagen Phase
Once the active growth stops, the hair undergoes some transition and lasts for a few days or weeks. The strand is still held firmly in place and can be dislodged by normal activities such as scratching and brushing.
The Telogen Phase
Also known as the rest phase as there are little to no activity within the follicle. However, beneath the follicle is where the anagen phase is beginning all over again. It is at this phase that the follicle will once again widen, which leads to the shedding of telogen hairs. The truth is that there are around 50-150 strands of hair that sheds every day.
The Main Causes of Slow Hair Growth
Vitamin Deficiency. Many of us think that our diet is varied enough to avoid major vitamin deficiencies. At some point, this may be true. However, even the slightest deficiencies can lead to slowed or even cease hair growth. Some of the nutrients important for hair growth include iron, vitamins A, B, C, D, niacin, and zinc. In some instances, even minor deficiencies can slow the growth of hair.
Stress and Illness. These are confirmed causes of slow hair growth. Stress may occur normally and comes in various forms. Some types of stress related to slow hair growth include workaholics and high achievers. Many people who strive for perfection are prone to this condition. Studies have also shown that people who live in demanding, controlling, or abusive situations display retarded hair growth. However, if this condition is severe, emotional or mental counseling is effective to treat the symptom.
Hypothyroidism. This is typically found as an underlying cause of slow hair growth in many kids, Hypothyroidism may also cause retarded growth and slowing of understanding common words and concepts for the age. This can also be a symptom of mental retardation. Ask your pediatrician if your child has these problems.
Alopecia is the most common factor for slow hair growth. This is seen in both men and women and has many forms. Men notice it when thinning spots appear on the crown of the head or fuzzy hairs take the place of strong thicker hair. Experts believe that the cause is mostly gene-related that direct the cycle of hair growth.
How to Fight Slow Hair Growth
With so many reasons for slow hair growth, you may even be wondering if there is any cure for this. Actually, there are ways to improve the condition of hair. For instance, you need to improve your diet and nutrient intake by eating more proteins. Hair is mainly composed of a type of protein known as keratin. Adding more protein in your diet provides you with a natural source for the production of keratin. You also need to increase your iron levels as this is also needed for healthy hair.
Add more fruits and vegetables to your diet. These are naturally high in vitamins and minerals, as well as fiber.
You also need to prevent unnatural damage to the hairs to prevent them from growing at their normal rate. Preventing damage will make it easier for your hair to grow to its natural, healthy length. One way is to reduce washing as the scalp produce natural, protective substance called sebum. Sebum can coat the hair strands and protect the hair follicles from damage. Daily washing of hair can strip your scalp of these natural oils. Experts recommend washing no more often than twice per week.
Get regular trims as the hair grows from the roots, not the tips. Trimming can prevent the hair strands from breakage and split ends.
In addition to these, keep your stress levels in check. There are many stress-relieving methods, but a simple meditation and breathing exercises can perfectly help in lowering stress levels.