The answer to the question ‘how long does it take hair to grow back?’ is complex and it all depends on the answer to the question ‘grow back from what?’. We know, it sounds a little bit rude, but it is actually not. The causes of hair loss are various and we are going to answer this question by approaching most of the causes in this article.
But before doing so, it is important for you to understand what the anatomy of human hair is and why and how hair grows. Surely you have noticed that there is a difference between bodily hair and the hair that grows on your head. We are going to help you understand why rates of growth are different and if you can do something about it.
A short introduction to hair anatomy
As you probably know, the roots of the hair are called follicles. These follicles are made of live tissue and they help the hair grow. Hair is like nails, it is mostly made of dead tissue that has a protective role. Therefore, it has to be constantly growing in order to keep its properties. Well, that is not all the story.
There are three stages involved in hair growth: anagen stage, catagen stage, and telogen stage. The anagen phase is the one that involves active hair growth and most of the hair on your scalp is in this stage. The hair on your body has a shorter lifespan and, obviously, the growth period is different. Body hair grows a lot shorter than the hair on your scalp.
On average, scalp hair grows about half an inch per month, meaning that in a year your hair will grow about 6 inches. So to make a fair assessment on how long it will take for your hair to grow back after you have shaved your head you should calculate it using these measurements. However, due to some factors, your hair can grow slower.
These factors include hormonal changes, nutritional deficits, some types of medication, and something that you may not have considered, stress. We are going to discuss them further in this article, but first, you need to know that there are some factors that may cause hair loss like chemotherapy, autoimmune diseases, and also hormonal changes in the body.
Hormonal changes that can affect hair loss
There are a lot of factors that can cause hair loss and a common one is hormonal changes. There are a lot of hormones that are involved in the well functioning of the body and hair is no exception. These changes occur when people have thyroid hormones imbalances or when women enter menopause.
People who have high levels of thyroid hormones may experience hair loss and the hair will grow back when these hormones are brought back on track. This depends, of course, on the treatment and on every individual because people’s conditions may differ. However, once your health issue is resolved your hair will start growing again at its normal pace.
Some women experience hair loss when they enter menopause and the most frequently asked question is “Can hair grow back after menopause?”. Studies have shown that there are some things that you should try that can influence how your hair grows back, and these factors include exercise, having a balanced diet, and trying to reduce stress as much as possible.
Some doctors even recommend taking medication during the transition period. It is important to identify the causes and address the issue accordingly in order to solve the problem, so it is not possible to estimate a time frame for how long it will take for your hair to grow back.
Can hair grow back after alopecia areata?
It is important to understand what alopecia areata is. There are many people who experience hair loss and think they have alopecia. However, alopecia areata is a disease that involves the immune system. It is an autoimmune disease. In autoimmune diseases, the immune system attacks healthy parts of our bodies – in this case, the hair follicles.
That is why people with alopecia experience hair loss. Unfortunately, there is no predictability for when the hair will grow back when alopecia is involved because there is more research needed on the topic. Every patient is different and you should consult your physician because they know more about your individual condition.
Can hair grow back after chemo?
Chemotherapy is often the cause of hair loss and it is because the drugs used in this type of therapy are attacking the cancer cells. A particularity that the cancer cells have is that they are rapidly-growing cells. This is why the drugs trigger all rapidly-growing cells in the body and the hair follicles are part of them.
Fortunately, in most cases, the hair will grow back after chemotherapy and the hair follicles will regenerate. However, there have been cases in which the color shade was different or the texture of the hair was different for a period of time. Hair starts to grow back after three to six months after you have finished the treatment.
Can hair grow back after prolonged stress periods?
There are many factors that can influence hair growth and we can mention some types of medication, nutritional deficiencies, genetics, but also stress and anxiety. Prolonged and intense stress periods can cause trichotillomania and also telogen effluvium.
Trichotillomania is a condition caused by stress that urges you to pull your hair, leaving bald patches. This is a coping mechanism that you can compare to excessive eating or drinking alcohol, so in intensive periods of stress, you may pull your hair.
Telogen effluvium is a condition that puts your hair follicles in the telogen stage, a stage known as the resting stage. So you might experience hair loss for no apparent reason. Even if these conditions seem a little bit frightening, you don’t have to look at them as permanent problems.
It is important to address your stress and try and find solutions to become more relaxed. This might involve more exercise, meditation, and also psychotherapy. As soon as you address these issues and you reduce your stress levels, your hair should begin to grow back as it would normally do.
What makes hair grow back faster?
Considering everything we have previously discussed, now you know more or less what can influence hair loss. However, it is important to understand that there are some factors that can influence how healthy your hair is, maximizing the rate of your hair growth, but the most important thing to consider is that it will get it to the maximum normal growth rate.
A healthy diet is responsible for making your body healthy and is responsible also for feeding your hair with the nutrients it needs to grow healthy and strong. Iron, vitamin C, and healthy protein are essential when you want to maximize your hair growth rate and it is important to include them in your diet. Folic acid and omega fatty acids are also a must.
If you are a smoker and you want to grow your hair faster, you should quit. Also, you should protect your hair from too much UV exposure and also from too much chlorine. A healthy lifestyle that involves healthy amounts of exercise will always promote the good functioning of your body and your hair will follow, so play it healthy.
There are a lot of factors that influence how long it takes for your hair to grow back and it is very important to understand that you have to first identify the cause. If you are not sure what has influenced your hair loss, you should consult your physician who might conduct some tests in order to clarify what the cause is.
Do not begin any treatments until someone who has medical studies has advised you to do so and never assume that you can identify the problem by yourself. Targeting the problem the right way will help you maximize your efforts and will definitely bring better and faster results.
Furthermore, you should keep a healthy lifestyle which includes a healthy diet. Including the key nutrients that help your hair grow will bring great results and will also make you feel a lot better. Avoiding harsh chemicals is also very important because they can often influence the growth rate of your hair.
We can not give a specific answer to “how long does it take for hair to grow back?” mostly because every problem is different and we have tried, in this article, to cover the most important factors that influence hair growth and provide answers to the most frequently asked question on the topic.
Hoping that we have managed to answer your question, we encourage you to think positively because there is a solution to every problem, and, in most cases, hair grows back. The only thing that matters is to address the problem effectively and you will most definitely see results in no time.