Why is hair so important?
BELÈNE® Hair Care is a high-tech care line that stimulates hair growth and looks after your scalp. Our products are based on the latest scientific discoveries, centred around the power of nourishing from inside and out.
Hair protects our scalp against the sun and bumps, but it also has a primarily aesthetic and social function. We associate glossy locks with healthy hair and a full head of lustrous hair boosts our self-confidence.
Contrary to popular opinion, men have more hair than women: between 150,000 and 180,000 hairs compared with 130,000 and 150,000.
The lifetime of healthy hair is between 1 and 6 years. After that growth stops and eventually the hairs fall out to make room for new ones. Hair loss is therefore a natural process and it is normal to lose between 50 and 100 hairs each day. When people lose more than 100 hairs per day, this could be considered as disrupted hair growth. This can be hereditary or hormonal, but can also be caused by stress, tiredness or pregnancy. For more information on the causes of hair loss, read our blog.
What does hair consist of?
Hairs consist of a root and a shaft. The latter is the visible part of the hair and in biological terms it is dead. The living part is the hair root and this is firmly anchored to a hair follicle.
The sebaceous glands give hair its flexibility, shine and strength. The hair muscles (arrector pili muscles) can make the hair stand on end, such as when you get goosebumps.
The blood vessels are the lifelines that supply nutrients, and thanks to our neural pathways we can feel when the hair is touched. The quality and growth of the hair is influenced by the nutrients that nourish the hair root. 90% of our hair is constructed from the protein keratin. The remaining 10% consists of fats, water, minerals and melanin.
How does our hair evolve over time?
The hair cells are some of the fastest-dividing cells in our body and the growth process happens in 3 phases.
- Anagen or growth phase: lasts between 2 & 6 years. New cells are created, which results in hair growth.
- Catagen or transitional phase: lasts 2 weeks. The hair root becomes loose and the shaft moves towards the surface.
- Telogen or resting phase: lasts 3 to 4 months. The hair follicle is dormant and there is no hair growth. At the end of this phase, the dermal papilla and hair follicle will reconnect with each other. The dead hair makes way for newly formed hair so the cycle can begin again.
At any given time, 85% of a person’s hairs are in the anagen phase, 14% in the telogen phase and 1% in the catagen phase. This cycle repeats around 20 times in a person’s life. The average daily growth is 0.35 mm, and it is perfectly normal to lose between 50 & 100 hairs every day. In young people the hair growth process happens slightly faster than in older people. Furthermore, people with a short growth phase will go bald more quickly.
Why do we lose hair?
We make a distinction between the hereditary (androgenetic alopecia) and the non-hereditary variant (diffuse alopecia). The cause of hereditary hair loss can be linked to the male DHT hormone (dihydrotestosterone), which is present in both men and women. Under the influence of the enzyme 5-alpha-reductase testosterone is converted into DHT. This makes the hair follicles shrink, which causes the hair to become thinner.
In addition to genetic hair loss, people can also experience temporary hair loss due to psychological or physical circumstances. This can be the result of a strict diet, a pregnancy, an underactive thyroid or taking certain medicines. Stress hormones cause the hair follicles to become inflamed, which subsequently leads to hair loss.
To find out more about the various causes of hair loss, read our blog.