Understanding the Hair Growth Cycle

| September 29, 2021

An understanding of the Hair Growth Cycle is the foundation for an explanation of how and why Laser Hair Removal is such an effective tool.

The Stages of Hair Development

Hair goes through three main phases of growth regardless of hair colour, skin tone, quantity of hair, or where it is located.

These are as follows:

  1. Agagen – This is the phase of activity and growth. The cells are dividing and hair is growing up to ½ inch or 1.5cms every month. Different cellular encoding dictates the length of time that hair cells will continue to grow; but the Agagen stage can last from 3 to 5 years. Importantly; this is the stage which all light based Hair Removal Technologies target.

Fun Fact: Did you know hair can grow faster in summer than in winter?

  1. Catagen – This phase is one of transition for hair. Cell growth naturally ends as blood supply is withdrawn.
  2. Telogen – During this phase, hairs simply rest. They remain within their follicles but they cease to grow.

When hair falls out of the follicle, this is sometimes referred to as the Exogen phase. This emptying of the follicle makes way for the three phases listed above to begin again.

Always Active

One amazing thing about hair growth is that it is always in process. The biologically staggered growth cycle is what allows us to experience new hair growth while even at the same time, older hairs are letting go and making way. While the Hair Growth Cycle can theoretically carry on through to perpetuity, this is rarely ever the case. Illness, stress, and nutritional deficiency can all affect the growth cycle.

The Problem with manual Hair Removal strategies

Hair removal interventions must be constantly maintained as the process they seek to control is never switched off.  For instance, shaving cuts hair off where it meets the epidermal layer and waxing pulls hair out. While these both slow the visible re-appearance of hair, they fail to impact the follicle themselves. This means they can never truly stop hair production.

Why is Laser & IPL Different?

Focused professional hair removal light therapies work via targeting actively growing hairs to do two key things:

Stop hair growth immediately.


Remove the future capability of specific follicles to create and grow a new hair.

Practically this means that each correctly treated hair follicle ceases initiating hair production, forever.

Laser Hair Removal machines are medical devices. They utilizes specific wavelengths of light in order to reach hair follicles. Through intense directed ray(s) of light, they penetrate dermal layers to heat and destroy individual follicles. Safe in qualified hands, they will not harm surrounding skin yet are highly effective at rendering hair follicles unable to initiate the Agagen phase in the future.

The wavelength chosen for your treatment requires professional knowledge and will depend on the colour of your hair, skin-tone, and treatment area.

Why are Multiple Treatments Needed?

It might be easy to assume that with such powerful technology, all follicles could be treated in one-go but this is not the case. Treatment is successful when it reaches follicles currently engaged in active growth. As not all hair is actively growing at the same time; multiple sessions are imperative for targeting follicles as they enter the Agagen phase. Spacing sessions takes into account and accommodates the reality of a naturally biologically staggered Hair Growth Cycle to decrease hair-producing follicles dramatically.

Are there differences in the Hair Growth Cycle for men vs. women?

The way hair grows is the same for both women and men. Hormonal signalling often distributes hair differently and affects hair texture, but the growth cycle is the same. Laser Hair Removal is suitable and used with great success by both sexes!

Popular Treatment Areas

Individual desires vary but these treatment areas remain the most popular:

Women – Legs, Underarm, Face, Bikini, Navel, & Arms

Men – Back, Legs, Chest

Keep in mind that Laser Hair Removal is suitable to removing hair almost anywhere! & if you are starting to think about your Bikini Body, click here for a dedicated article.

What kind of results can I expect?

The long-lasting significant results can be achieved with multiple sessions being implemented. Upwards of 90% hair reduction is possible. The best results are achieved by professionals using gold standard equipment. This ensures no dermal injury occurs, adequate spacing of treatments, and correct wavelength and platform is employed.

What if I miss or skip a session?

Relax, you’ll be happy to know that a rescheduled session can be just as effective. Each time you come into SAI for treatment, you’ll leave with less hair in the focussed target area.

Invest in Freedom!

Wear what you want, when you want; with no more bumps. Throw away your razors and welcome smooth skin today and for all your tomorrows!

Permanent Hair Removal equals freedom!

SAI is the home of Dr Clark, a leader in the field of Aesthetics. His team is prepared and equipped to meet a wide range of individualized requirements.

You won’t regret an investment in smooth skin, make an appointment today!

Credit: Photo by Önder Örtel from Pexels

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