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Hair Cycle

Hair follicles pass through cyclic phases of activity and inactivity during which the inferior segment below the attachment of the arrector pilorum periodically appears and disappears. The Cycle starts with-

  •  Anagen (3-10yrs).
  • Catagen (3days-3wks).
  • Telogen (resting phase for 3mths).



Anagen: It is the growth phase. It lasts for 3-10yrs in scalp hair. Out of 1,00,000 hairs present on the scalp, about 80-95% are in this stage. It has thick, dark base with preserved inner and outer sheaths. The bulb is at an angle of 20 degree with shaft.


Catagen: It is the involution period. At the end of the anagen phase,the follicles go through involution or programmed cell death. About 1% hairs are in this stage and it lasts for about 2 weeks on human scalp. There is gradual thinning of hair with decrease of pigment at the base of hair shaft. At the cellular level the melanocytes stop producing melanin.


Telogen: It is the resting phase. The hair shaft matures into a club hair which is eventually shed. The hair shaft may dislodge on traction. About 10% of hair is in this stage and about 100 hairs are shed daily which is normal. This phase lasts for 1-3 months following which the follicles enter the anagen phase.


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