While everyone longs for long voluminous hair, some people have never been in need of a haircut due to stunted hair growth.
Hair growth is one of the most complex phenomena in the world of beauty. It is difficult to tell or explain what’s happening at the roots of your hair.
Interestingly, all hair types, grow in three main stages, including 4c hair. However, they do not grow at the same pace.
Some individuals experience faster growth rates while others do not. Others will also have voluminous hair while others will naturally have less hair on their heads.
If you want to understand hair growth, think about how human beings grow. The first 3 years are considered the most active growth years, after which an individual experiences gradual growth until the end of their teenage years.
However, all children cannot be the same size or height at the same time. In this article, we tell you about 4c hair growth stages and what you can do to maximize your hair’s length and volume.
Stage 1: Anagen
Anagen is the first stage of hair growth. Each hair strand on your head goes through this stage. It is the longest stage and it can last from 3 to 10 years depending on several factors.
At this stage. the hair grows slowly from the follicle at an estimated pace of 1 to half an inch per every 28 days.
At this point the hair is well connected to blood vessels inside the scalp. These vessels feed it with necessary nutrients thus stimulating growth.
During the anagen stage, hair roots are actively dividing themselves, thus feeding the hair shaft. This makes the hair strands thicker and healthier.
Scientifically, about 88 to 90% of your hair is at anagen stage, if you’re healthy.
Stage 2: Catagen
This is the second and middle phase of hair growth. It is also a shorter phase, compared to anagen. The catagen stage is also known as the resting phase.
If you were to relate it to human growth, this would be the years when an individual is fully developed mentally, physically and sexually.
On matters hair, the resting phase is made up hair strands that are neither growing nor falling. You hair is simply stagnant after attaining maximum growth.
This stage can last up to four weeks as your hair prepares to move on to the final stage. The length of your hair at this stage will depend on a lot of factors.
Mathematically, you should be gaining a minimum of 6 inches of hair each year. If your anagen stage lasts for five years, then the maximum length should be about 30 inches, which is quite long.
In reality, very few people with 4c hair get to that length due to reasons which will be discussed later in the article.
Stage 3: Telogen
This is the final phase and it is believed that about 11% of your hair is at this stage during any given time of your life. The telogen stage is also known as the shedding phase because hairs that have reached this stage often end up being lost.
They can fall on their own or they can be pulled out when you’re braiding, combing, washing or styling your hair.
You may not notice it, but you’re likely to lose between 50 and 100 hair strands a day. Some people will shed off more hair while others will shed less.
People with dreadlocks, on the other hand will not shed any hair, which is why they achieve longer hair lengths than other people.
Hair Growth Quick Facts
1) All your hair shafts cannot be on the same stage at the same time. While majority will be in the anagen phase, a few will be in the shedding stage. This is why you can never lose all your hair at once.
2) Each hair follicle has the capacity to produce about 20 hairs your lifetime, Therefore, when you shed off strands at the final stage, others begin to grow from the root.
3) Hair disorders such as alopecia and effluvium can lead to extreme hair loss during the telogen phase or inhibited hair growth during the anagen stage
4) Shedding of hair is not the same as hair breakage
5) Many people do not get to see their hair’s full length as it breaks while still growing
6) Genetic and hormonal factors determine the pace at which your hair grows while at the anagen phase. They also determine the length of your anagen stage
How to Maximize Hair Growth
We’ve already established that your 4c hair grows at a pace similar or close to that of your neighbor. You could be wondering why your hair is shorter or longer than other people’s hair.
It’s simple. once your hair begins to grow, it should take a certain number of years to reach its maximum capacity.
If your hair stays in the anagen stage for longer, that means you’ll experience more years of active growth and you’re likely to have longer hair than most people.
This however does not mean that it’s normal to have hair that stagnates at 3 inches. So what can you do to ensure your hair grows to its maximum length before shedding off?
While some people will convince you to buy hair growth stimulators, there are several solutions you can try out.
First avoid hair breakage as much as you can. While falling/shedding is a common and unpreventable scenario, breakage is not compulsory. 4c hair is prone to breakage due to its dry and kinky nature.
However, you can prevent your hair from breaking by avoiding unnecessary pulling of the hair, eating healthy, braiding or weaving in protective hairstyles and using the right hair products.
Treat Underlying Hair Disorders or Infections
Everyone’s hair grows normally unless they have underlying illnesses that could either reduce their growth rate or increase the rate of shedding.
If you suspect that you could be suffering from any disorders. visit a doctor and have your condition treated.
Common hair disorder include alopecia which causes excessive shedding. There are different types of alopecia which can be identified according to hair falling patterns.
You hair could be falling in patches or randomly, leading to reduced hair volume. Anagen effluvium on the other hand causes stagnation in hair growth.
If you can identify hair disorders early in advance, you’ll be on your way to flaunting your 30 inches of 4c hair after 5 years.
Work on Extending the Anagen Phase
The longer your hair stays in this phase, the higher your chances of having longer hair strands. If your anagen phase only lasts for 3 years, work towards doubling or even tripling its lifespan.
You can do this by using products that keep your hair stronger, thus preventing natural wear off and falling. You also need to stay healthy such that your blood vessels can continuously supply nutrients to the hair follicles for longer.
Remember, you only enter the resting stage if your hair shaft is disconnected to blood vessels which supply growth stimulating nutrients.
Therefore, healthy hair practices and a balanced diet will ensure the connection goes on for longer.
In summary, 4c hair grows just like other hair types, even though it appears generally shorter. The way you handle your hair however can determine whether you get to enjoy continuous growth or not.
While many people focus on increasing hair growth, they should be focusing on maintaining what is already growing. In addition, anagen is the most significant stage of your hair growth journey.
You should therefore work towards keeping most of your hair at this stage, for longer, In a nutshell, anyone can have long 4c hair as long as they focus healthy hair practices.