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Posted on Thursday, January 08, 2004 - 09:34 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

What Determines how long an individual strand of hair will grow? Is it all genetics? or other factors?

Tom Hagerty
Posted on Friday, January 09, 2004 - 08:04 am:   Edit Post Delete Post


Each healthy scalp (before irreversible follicle death) has between 90,000 and 120,000 hair follicles. About 90 percent of these follicles are in the anagen (growing stage) stage of the hair cycle at any one time. These follicles in the anagen stage produce hair shaft growth at about a half inch a month. The length of the anagen stage is usually between two and six years. So if a person has an anagen stage lasting six years, the hair will grow to about 36 inches long.

The length of the anagen stage of the hair cycle is determined mostly by your genetic makeup plus a small infusion of environmental factors like diet and life style.

The length of the anagen stage changes during a person's life. When you're very young the anagen stage is relatively long; when you're old this stage is short.

People suffering from male pattern baldness often have an extremely short anagen stage. Their anagen hairs grow to a length of less than six inches then fall out, sometimes being replaced by a vellus hair in the next growing stage of the hair cycle.

A very poor diet, low in amino acids and vitamins, may slow down the rate of hair growth, but American diets are usually not lacking in amino acids (proteins) or other nutrients - unless you're a teenager living in McDonalds.

Posted on Friday, January 09, 2004 - 09:00 am:   Edit Post Delete Post

Ok,, thanks, Tom. So basically I'm screwed, huh? (considering myhealth and diet habits are good)

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