The amount of time your hair stays in the anagen phase will determine how long your hair can grow. In fact, when this part of the hair cycle is extremely short, your hair will look thinner and more sparse.
Chemist Direct go on to explain the cycle of hair growth in more depth, stating it’s the disruption of the hair cycle that causes thinning hair and a more visible hairline.
The growth phase
Known as the anagen phase, this stage can typically last between two to six years.
The transitional phase
Following on from the anagen phase, the catagen phase can last between two to three weeks.
During this stage, the hair follicle shrinks and separates from the papilla, detaching the hair from any blood supply.
This leads the hair follicle to shrink to about 1/6th of its normal length, causing the hair shaft to shift upwards.
The hair loss phase
This is the telegon phase – the last stage of the hair growth cycle (before it’s repeated).
This is also considered the resting period, where the hair follicle remains dormant for up to four months.
If the hair follicle is healthy, new hair will develop, pushing the old hair to break free from the root (i.e. the old strand of hair falls out).
Each follicle on your scalp is at different stages at different times, with the average healthy individual shedding up to 80 hairs everyday.
When the anagen phase is shorter than the telogen phase, visible hair loss is the result.
Researchers from the Department of Public Health at Keimyung University, South Korea, looked into how to promote the anagen phase.
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Experimenting on mice, the research team investigated the effects of a certain oil on hair growth.
The oil – known to cause a tingling sensation – was topically applied to the mice during the four-week trial.
To compare its effectiveness to other hair promoting growth treatments, the mice were separated into four groups.
One group received topical applications of either saline, jojoba oil, minoxidil, or peppermint oil.
Of the four experimental groups, the mice treated with peppermint oil “showed the most prominent hair growth effects”.
There was “a significant increase in dermal thickness, follicle number, and follicle depth”.
The researchers concluded: “Peppermint oil induces a rapid anagen phase, and could be used for a practical agent for hair growth.”
This is an extraordinary finding, especially as minoxidl is seen as one of the most effective hair loss treatments currently on the market.
Such a remarkable result will need further investigation in order to become valid; there’ll need to be much more research done in this area to confirm its effectiveness.
For now, the best way to see if it works is to try it out for yourself.
How to use peppermint oil
Peppermint oil can cause a cold, tingling sensation when applied topically.
One way to use peppermint oil effectively is to mix two drops of it with a carrier oil of your choice.
Examples of carrier oils include almond oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, cranberry seed oil, and borage seed oil.
The next step is to massage the peppermint and carrier oil mixture into your scalp.
Allow the mixture to sit on your scalp and hair for five minutes before washing out thoroughly with shampoo and conditioner.