Anagen Phase of the Hair Cycle

The anagen phase is a crucial part of the hair growth cycle, representing the active growth period of hair follicles. During this phase, cells in the root of the hair are dividing rapidly, adding to the hair shaft and lengthening the hair. Here’s a deeper look into what the anagen phase entails:


Key Features of the Anagen Phase:

1. Duration: The anagen phase can last anywhere from two to six years, depending on genetic factors and the type of hair. For scalp hair, the anagen phase is typically longer, contributing to the length of the hair. The anagen phase (growth phase) will vary with different types of hair. For example, the anagen phase for scalp hair is 2 to 6 years where the anagen phase while the anagen phase for eyebrows is 2 to 3 months, and the eyelashes is 4 to 10 weeks.

2 Growth Rate: Hair grows approximately half an inch (about 1.25 cm) per month during the anagen phase. This rate can be influenced by age, diet, and overall health.

3. Follicular Activity: During the anagen phase, hair follicles are highly active. The cells in the hair bulb (matrix) divide rapidly, producing new hair fibers and pushing them through the scalp.

4. Number of Follicles in Anagen: At any given time, about 85-90% of hair follicles on a healthy human scalp are in the anagen phase. This high percentage ensures a consistent head of hair.


Factors Influencing the Anagen Phase:

1. Genetics: Your genetic makeup plays a significant role in determining the duration of the anagen phase and, consequently, the maximum length your hair can achieve. The shorter the anagen phase, the shorter your hair will grow. If one has a long anagen phase, then they are able to grow their hair longer.

2. Age: As you age, the anagen phase may shorten, leading to slower hair growth and thinner hair.

3. Health and Nutrition: A balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals supports optimal hair growth. Deficiencies in nutrients like iron, zinc, and biotin can negatively affect the anagen phase.

4. Hormonal Changes: Hormonal imbalances, such as those experienced during pregnancy, menopause, or thyroid issues, can impact the duration and quality of the anagen phase.

5. Stress and Medical Conditions: Chronic stress and certain medical conditions can disrupt the hair growth cycle, potentially shortening the anagen phase and leading to hair thinning or loss.



Understanding the anagen phase is essential for those interested in optimizing hair growth and health. By maintaining a healthy lifestyle, managing stress, and addressing any underlying health issues, you can support the anagen phase and promote robust hair growth.

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