is it true (..or partly true under certain conditions) that the follicle will go through the growth, release and snooze phases a specific amount of times and then stop to produce hair?
If so, MSM and it’s claimed increase in hairgrowth speed would actually do more harm then good in the long turn.
It is normal to lose 100 to even 200 hairs a day (though the average would be closer to 100, I’d say). As hair falls out, there are hairs that are also starting to grow. Hair may also grow in cycles and you may notice more hair falling out at different phases and seasons of the month. Hair follicle cells have three phases of growth:
- Growth phase (Anagen phase) which lasts anywhere from 2 to 6 years. This is the phase where your hair is actively growing at approximately 10cm per year. 85% of hair is at this phase at any given time.
- Transitional phase (Catagen phase) which lasts about 2 weeks. This is the phase where the hair follicle shrinks and prepares to enter the resting phase.
- Resting phase (Telogen phase) which lasts about 1- 6 months. This is the phase where hair does not grow but stays attached to the follicle. Some hairs are shed at this phase, but at the end the hair follicle re-enters the growth phase to start the cycle over again. 10-15% of hairs are at this phase at any given time.
Eventually, as we age, some of the hair follicles will die and stop producing hair. But keep in mind the life expectancy for a hair follicle can be over 100 years (provided that you live that long). My great grandmother had a full head of hair at 114 years of age, so clearly the hair can live longer than we do. I’ve written about this before — At What Age Does Hair Stop Growing Naturally?
Finally, there are no products or medications proven to speed up or increase hair growth. Drugs like minoxidil are thought to prolong the hair cycles and that might mean, in the long term, that hair treated with minoxidil might last more years. I would be interested to see product results on half a scalp to see if that half has faster hair growth, longer cycles, or whatever.