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Should Skin Care Stop at the Hairline?

By: Rhonda Allison
Posted: December 30, 2011, from the January 2012 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

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1. Anagen phase. The active growth phase of hair follicles.

2. Catagen phase. The short transition and development stage.

3. Telogen phase. The resting phase of the hair follicle.

Anagen phase. The anagen phase lasts approximately 1,000 days. The matrix cells in the root divide rapidly and move up the hair bulb to form the cells of the hair sheath and shaft. During this phase, the hair grows approximately one centimeter every 28 days. The process is completed with the production of keratin, and the keratinization of the hair root cells. Scalp hair stays in this active phase of growth for two to six years. The amount of time the hair follicle stays in the anagen phase before moving to the catagen phase is genetically determined.

Catagen phase. The catagen phase is a short transition stage signaling the end of the active growth of hair. It lasts approximately two to three weeks while a club hair is formed.