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|Hair is made up of a protein called
keratin. A hair grows from the hair root inside a hair follicle which is a
small tube beneath the skin.
The growth cycle of a hair consists of
Anagen - the active growing phase of a hair. Many hair removal treatments are most effective on hair during this phase. The hair follicles are long and hair grows at a rate of approximately 0.33 mm a day. Body hair grows for 3 to 6 months. During this phase, the hair contains the maximum amount of melanin, the pigment which gives hair its colour. This phase could last for several years.
Catagen - a short transitional phase about 2 weeks long. The lower part of the hair, which is in the hair follicle stops growing
Telogen - there is no growth of hair during this phase which can be about 6 weeks long. The hair is shed from the body.
The ratio of hair in different growth phases varies according to the part of the body and from person to person. It depends on the age, weight, metabolism, ethnicity and other factors. Usually the ratio of hair in the anagen to telogen stage is about 80:20. Hair removal treatments like laser hair removal are most effective on hair in the anagen stage.
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