This is how long hair takes to grow at each phase of the hair cycle

There are 4 stages in the hair growth cycle.

Written by
Bailey Petts
Medically reviewed by
min read
Table of contents

How much do you know about the hair growth cycle? Largely, people aren't across the intricacies of hair and how it grows.

Understanding this cycle and how best to look after your hair can make a huge impact on how much it grows over time. If you're wanting to encourage hair growth and promote healthy hair, there are things you can do.

So, let's get into the natural growth cycle, and figure out: how long does hair take to grow?

How does hair grow?

A hair bulb creates the base of all hair follicles and in these hair bulbs, there are lots of new cells.

This collection of new cells sticks together in the hair bulb, becoming hard and a full strand of hair grows from a group of hardened cells. New hardened cells continue to attach to the hair from underneath and the hair is then slowly pushed out of the skin [1]. Hello, new hair.

Your hair growth is based on how many new, hardened cells are produced.

How fast does hair grow?

It's a big question: how long does hair take to grow? And, how long does it take for hair to grow back if you've noticed hair loss?

It is a relatively gradual process — although it may feel like your roots say otherwise. Didn't I just go to the hairdresser? But, for most people, it's at a rate of around 1cm each month.

It's important to note that the growth phase and the entire growth cycle can be impacted by the following things:

  • Age
  • Hair types
  • Health conditions
  • Hormones
  • Nutrition
  • Your general health [2].

The growth cycle for each strand of hair can be anywhere from 2-6 years. This seems like a huge variation, doesn't it? What we know from this, then, is that there are things that impact everyone's growth phase differently [3].

We're all born with about 100,000 hair follicles. And the above list can impact our hair follicles, sometimes stopping them from producing hair altogether which is when you'll notice thinning hair or bald patches.

How long will hair grow at different periods of time?

The hair growth rate is relatively slow and would be painstaking if we watched it on a daily basis [4].

But, the growth process is actually very interesting and is compromised of 4 phases:

  • Anagen phase (the anagen phase or growing phase is when the cells in your hair are dividing the quickest)
  • Catagen phase (transition phase)
  • Telogen phase (resting phase)

These 3 phases encompass the growth and change of the hair.

Then, the last stage:

  • Exogen phase (or final stage)

As this is the last stage of your hair's life, it will shed. And, unless you're experiencing baldness, new hair will be ready to take its place.

Each hair phase is as important as the other — the active growth phase, the transition phase and the resting phase are to do with the maturation of the hair strands while the final stage is just about making room for your new hair to come through.

As each phase lasts a different amount of time, depending on factors such as age or nutrition, there are things you can do to alter it. But, first, let's see how the hair follicle looks at various timelines [5].

  • Daily: The healthy hair growth rate per day is around 0.35mm.
  • One week: Human hair will grow 2.45mm per week.
  • One month: You can see about 0.5 inches of hair growth in a month.
  • Over 3 months: Around 1.5 inches every 3 months.
  • A year: Coming to 6 inches in a year.

It might not sound like too much, but 6 inches can be the difference between short hair and long hair.

Ways to help support hair growth

There are ways to keep your hair healthy, revive damaged hair and improve your scalp health. In turn, you might notice that your hair growth rate either increases and that your hair is stronger and healthier.

Whether you're dealing with hair loss and are looking for growth treatments or you simply want to grow out a particular haircut, here are ways to support hair growth.

Hair loss treatment

While it's normal to lose about 100-150 strands of hair per day (in the exogen stage), hair loss means that something is preventing your hair from growing.

Noticing hair loss or excessive shedding can really impact your confidence and a staggering 49% of women experience female pattern hair loss over the course of their lives [6]. And, hair loss can start as early as your 20s.

Software's hair loss treatment helps women regrow their hair and regain their confidence with 3 different treatment options for the various stages of hair loss.

To begin, the Strengthen treatment plan is a daily capsule that protects against hair loss by decreasing testosterone production which can cause hair thinning and gives your hair follicles a better chance of staying active.

The Regrow treatment comes in the form of a daily capsule or topical foam and contains an active ingredient that promotes blood flow to the scalp, stimulating hair into a ‘growth’ phase, which helps thicken hair follicles and encourages hair growth.

The Strengthen + Regrow treatment plan is the most clinically effective approach to hair loss and has been proven to reduce hair shedding at 3 months and increase hair density at 6 months [11].

Simply take our quiz to find a hair loss treatment for you, start a text-based consult with an Australian GP, who will tailor your treatment plan and you'll receive ongoing support from our medical team.

Get regular trims

Regular trims and haircuts can help you maintain your hair. By cutting the ends off, you're avoiding split ends, which can cause hair breakage.

Many people are scared to trim their hair if they want it to be longer, but if you make sure that you're regularly refreshing the dry ends, you'll have fuller-looking hair that's healthier.

Avoid too many treatments

For colour-treated hair, it can be hard to grow hair to the length you want. Why? Well, dyeing your hair too frequently can irritate your scalp, create brittle hair and in turn, encourage more hair fall.

In other cases, you might be using one too many hair products that aren't great for your hair health. It's important to be aware of what you're using as some products can contain harsh ingredients that strip the hair of its natural oils, making it more fragile and prone to breakage.

Limit your styling tools

Using hot styling tools regularly can dry out hair and make it more brittle, which can cause hair fall. Try to limit how often you use curlers and straighteners and consider saving these for special occasions.

Keratin supplements

Your hair is made up of keratin and dead skin cells, so it makes sense that keratin supplementation would have a positive impact on your hair's health.

While more research is needed to confirm this, one study from 2018 did find that it helped increase hair diameter and decrease hair loss [7].

Reduce stress

Stress can be a trigger of hair loss for many people [9]. Stress can manifest in the following 3 types of hair loss:

  • Telogen effluvium: Hair follicles are pushed into the resting phase, meaning they're more likely to fall out.
  • Trichotillomania: A mental health disorder that involves urges to pull out hair from the scalp, eyelashes, eyebrows and other areas.
  • Alopecia areata: Your body's immune system starts attacking your hair follicles, resulting in hair loss.

Eat a healthy and balanced diet

Nutrition is important for many aspects of your well-being, including your hair [10]. Ensure you're eating enough protein and trace minerals such as magnesium, iron and biotin for the health of your hair.

Nutritional deficiency may impact hair growth and hair structure, so a varied and balanced diet will make sure you're consuming all the right vitamins, macronutrients and minerals for a healthy, happy you — with gloriously healthy hair.

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