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The Natural Hair Growth Cycle

The average person is born with 100,000-150,000 hair follicles on their head.

Typically, they shed 50-100 hairs a day as part of the normal hair growth cycle. To understand the phases of the growth cycle and how they relate to hair loss, it helps to start with the biology and anatomy of hair.

The Anatomy of Hair

Hair strands are primarily made up of a protein called keratin and grow from hair follicles in the skin. At the base of each hair follicle is a living bulb. Inside the bulb, active cells divide and grow to create hair. Blood vessels provide nourishment for the bulb and deliver hormones that impact hair growth.

What are the Four Stages of the Hair Growth Cycle?

Hair grows at an average rate of a quarter to half an inch per month. As your hair grows, individual strands randomly cycle through four ongoing phases: growing, transitioning, resting and shedding. Understanding the natural growth cycle of your hair helps explain how disruptions in the cycle can lead to hair loss.

  • Anagen (Growth Phase):

    This is the active phase of hair growth. As many as 85-90% of the hairs on your head are growing at any given time, and each hair is in the growing phase for 2-7 years.

  • Catagen (Transitional Phase): 

    Over the course of a few weeks, hair growth slows as follicles shrink. About 3% of all hairs are in the transitional phase at any one time.

  • Telogen (Resting Phase): 

    In this phase, the hair follicle is completely at rest and no longer growing. Around 6%-8% of all hair is in the resting phase at any given time. The resting phase typically lasts a few months.

  • Exogen (Shedding Phase): 

    At the end of the resting phase, the hair will gradually detach from the follicle and fall out. This is why the average person sheds between 50-100 hairs each day.

It’s important to note that the last three phases (transitional, resting and shedding) combined take place over a period of approximately 3-4 months. That’s why it takes at least 3-4 months before you start to see results from any topical, laser, supplemental or surgical treatments for hair loss. 

Disruption to the Hair Growth Cycle

Hair loss occurs when there is a disruption to the natural growth cycle. A variety of factors can interrupt the cycle, including genetics, age, poor nutrition, extreme stress, illness, prescription medications, hormonal changes and diseases. When the cycle is disrupted, or if a hair follicle is damaged, hair may fall out faster than it can be regenerated and lead to overall thinning, patchy hair loss or a receding hairline.

Learn about possible hair loss causes

For informational purposes only. The exact cause of hair loss can only be determined by a medical professional.

Hair Growth Cycle - Inactive Hair Follicles

Inactive Hair Follicles

Once a follicle stops growing hair, it’s considered inactive and there is nothing that can make that follicle produce hair again. However, surgical hair restoration** moves active, growing follicles to your thinning areas so that you can regrow your hair. Hair Club also offers non-surgical options that give you a full head of hair again, as well as regrowth solutions like laser hair therapy for those just starting to lose their hair. Come in for a free consultation with a trained hair loss expert to learn about your options.

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Actual Clients

Proven Hair Loss Solutions

Everyone’s hair loss is unique, which is why your hair loss solution should be, too. Hair Club has devoted more than 40 years to providing personalized solutions for people of every age at every stage of hair loss. We combine innovative technologies with a team of 1,100+ trained hair loss experts and licensed cosmetologists to help you make how you look on the outside match how you feel on the inside. 

The first step to getting your hair back is understanding your level of hair loss. Schedule your complimentary, private consultation with one of our hair loss experts and, together, we’ll identify a customized solution that fits your specific needs and lifestyle.


At Hair Club, we want you to be happy and comfortable.

That’s why we offer our commitment to satisfaction. 


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The Doctors
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GQ Magazine
Wall Street Journal