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Exeter Trichology Blog
26th January 2015


In order to understand the causes of hair loss we need to explore the hair growth cycle.

There are three main stages to the hair growth cycle:

The first phase is the growing stage. Hair grows at about 1.25 cm each month, and this phase can last between 2 and 7 years. Hair growth is very active during this period and division of the cells is rapid. Eighty-five percent of the hair on one’s head is in this state at any one time. Stress, disease and poor nutrition can potentially affect hair during this period and disrupt the growth cycle.

Also known as the transition phase. As this phase begins the hair bulb detaches from the dermal papilla. the follicle shrinks and the hair shaft is pushed up. This period lasts for about two to three weeks.

This is the resting stage, during which there is no hair growth. This phase lasts about 3 months. At the end of the resting phase, the hair is shed (exogen), and the follicle starts to grow a new one. At any one time, only about 10% -15% of hairs are in the resting phase. It is normal to shed 50 - 100 telogen hairs on a daily basis.

Any disruption of of the hair growth cycle can result in hair loss. If there is an imbalance between the anagen and telogen stages, when more hairs enter the telogen phase prematurely, there results diffuse hair loss (telogen effluvium).

Follicles may temporarily fail to enter anagen after the telogen phase, which causes hair thinning. Hair thinning may therefore not necessarily be due to an increase in hair shedding, as can occur in the context of iron deficiency anaemia.

The development of androgenetic hair loss is seen with shortening of the anagen phase of the hair cycle with an increase in the proportion of telogen hairs.


9th January 2015

How does dieting affect hair growth?
Healthy hair, amongst other things is dependent on a balanced diet. The cells of the hair follicle are some of the most active cells in the body. Extreme calorie restriction with subsequent inadequate energy supply of the hair matrix is thought to be a cause of hair loss.

In the context of weight loss, whether it is due to calorie restriction, nutritional restriction or excessive exercise, energy that is normally available for hair growth is redirected to more essential needs. Therefore any diet that restricts calories or certain food groups to the extent that you are missing out on certain nutrients may affect hair growth. Additionally, diet pills can cause a change in metabolism and consequently hair loss.

The physical stress exerted on your body by weight loss can trigger a condition called Telogen effluvium, which results in increased hair shedding and loss. Usually full hair growth will return once imbalances are corrected but it may take several months.

There are many recognised diets that will enable you to achieve safe weight loss whilst maintaining a healthy nutritional intake and healthy hair.

Nicola Hemsley AIT
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Nicola Hemsley
Southernhay Clinic 
4 Barnfield Crescent
Tel: 01392 430115
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