We are born with the total amount of hair follicles we will ever have over our lifetime. There may be about 5 million on our body, but our head has about 100,000 follicles. Normally, as we age, some follicles stop producing hair, which is how baldness or hair thinning occurs. It is believed that hair grows about 1/2 inch per month on average. That's a total of about 6 inches per year for the hair on your head. Science has discovered a little bit about how hair growth is controlled at the cellular level in the body, but not enough to know how we can directly speed up hair growth. Read on to learn about the science behind hair growth and how to use that knowledge for healthier hair.
How Fast Does Hair Grow?
The most average rate of human hair growth is 6 inches (15 centimeters) annually. However, many studies measuring the rate of hair growth didn't take into account the race of study participants. It's well known that Caucasian hair differs from Asian and African hair in several ways, e.g., density and the angle of hair growth.
A 2005 study also found a difference among races in the rate of hair growth. For instance, Asian hair grows the fastest, while African hair grows the slowest. The average hair growth rate of Asian female participants was nearly 6 inches per year. On the other hand, African female participants' hair grew 4 inches (10 cm) per year, while Caucasian female participants' hair grew a little more than 5 inches (13 cm) per year.
Scientists also believe that hair grows much quicker in the summer due to dietary changes, as well as shifts in hormones and increased exposure to ultraviolet radiation. But any seasonal increase in hair growth would be so marginal as to be unnoticeable.
Hair is perhaps one of the most important things for a good appearance. A good quality, thick hair enhances the look to a great extent. Hair grows almost continuously throughout lifetime. However, some individuals experience problems in hair growth like slow growth of hair, baldness etc. Interestingly, by following some regular hair care regime, one can induce faster hair growth.
Does Hair Growth Vary in Different Races and Seasons?
Again, many studies conducted to measure the rate of hair growth did not consider the ethnic race of the participants. For example, it is known that African and Asian hair differs from Caucasian hair in many ways like angle and density, etc. of hair growth. A study also found difference with respect to their rate of hair growth among the races.
- African hair grows the slowest, while Asian hair grows the fastest.
- The average rate of hair growth of Asian female participants was approximately 6 inches every year.
- The hair of African female participants grew by 4 inches per year.
- Caucasian female participants' hair grew around 5 inches or 13 centimeters per year.
- The hair growth rate of male participants did not differ significantly as in the case for women.
Most of the factors that control hair growth are out of our day-to-day control. The best step you can take is to prevent hair loss and thinning due to poor nutrition. Always make sure to eat a balanced diet, exercise and stay hydrated. Check in with your doctor if you feel that you are experiencing significant hair loss.