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Hair shedding cycle

I usually comb and wash my hair once a week, sometimes adding a mid week con-wash if my hair needs a little refreshing. Over the last three weeks however, though I have done my weekly wash, I have not done my Pre-shampoo combing. This has led to the roots of mohair being that the root of my hair be me tangled thought it was not obvious from just looking at it.

When this has previously happened, I loose a little bit more hair than usual but nothing too bad. Couple that with a period of hair shedding and the result looks catastrophic. It got me thinking about periodical hair shedding and how to prepare yourself for it. Even for someone as seasoned as me, seeing that big hairball made me swallow hard. It was so big that it actually had a weight!

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It is important to understand the structure if Afro hair and by implication hair growth cycle.
The rate of growth does not differ greatly between individuals and across racial lines thought the retention rate does. The latter can be affected by diet, lifestyle and stress factor. Negroid African hair (hereunto referred as Afro hair) posses around 50,000 to 100,000 hairs and have the growth rate of around 0.9cm per month. There are many other differing factors to our hair which will be dealt with in the next entry in these series.

All types of hair have a growth cycle. The hair follicle is an anatomical structure which produces and pushes out a hair shaft. There are three phases of the hair growth cycle:

1. Anagen- growth phase
2. Catagen- degradation phase
3. Telogen- resting phase

Period of growth last between two to seven years and are followed by a brief period of two to four weeks during which the hair follicle is almost degraded (broken down) and this period lasts for around 4 months. Shedding of the hair begins only after the growth phase has started. On average, around 50 to 100 telogen hairs are lost every day. If you constantly do protective styles you will not see that until the time when you take your hair down. This hair is normally lost in the shower or while combing your hair.

See below from the left to the right for the differing stages starting with the catagen stage.

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It’s a good idea to understand your hair cycle, if only because you won’t stress so much at times when it is inevitable for the hair to shed. I was certainly stressed because I had been less than stelae over the last couple of weeks with my hair care. Post shampoo here is what I was left with, detangled and thick! I love my hair!

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{ 1 comment… add one }

  • Mrs. O August 22, 2011, 8:09 PM

    I LOVE your hair too!! :-)

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