As sugaring technicians, it is crucial for us to be familiar with the stages of hair growth. The stages of hair growth a client is in will affect the final results of your client’s sugaring appointment. If you do not explain the stages of growth, and how it will affect their results, you may end up with unsatisfied clients!
The Stages of Hair Growth
Hair grows differently for everyone, with varying speeds of growth, and a wide variety of hair texture. The amount of hair, texture and colour are predetermined by genetics. Growth of the hair, however, can be affected by diet, environment, mental and physical health (hormones) and medication. All forms of hair removal will also affect the re-growth of hair.
There are four main stages of hair growth: Anagen, Catagen, Telogen and Exogen. The acronym ACTE can help you remember these stages. At any one time, different body hairs, even in the same region of skin, may be in different stages of hair growth.
The Anagen Stage (growing): the first stage of hair growth, when the hair shaft is at its strongest. It can last as long as 3 – 6 years on the scalp, and as short as 4 weeks on eyebrows, and 4 months on legs. This is the only stage where the hair shaft is growing, and where it is connected to its ‘food source’, the dermal papilla. The Anagen stage of hair growth is the most important stage to consider when attempting to achieve permanency from Sugaring. When the hair is removed at the Anagen stage, you are damaging the papilla. By damaging the food source, you stop the growth process, promote shrinkage of the follicle wall, and deplete the papilla. Thus, Sugaring during the Anagen stage is the only stage during which permanency has the potential to occur.
The Catagen Stage (transitioning): the second stage of hair growth, when the hair shaft separates from the papilla, stops growing, and is allowed to move upward. It lasts 1 – 2 weeks.
The Telogen Stage (resting): the final, resting stage of hair growth. It lasts between 6 weeks and 6 months, depending on the body part. The hair is ready to fall out and will be pushed out by the new hair which is already forming in its own Anagen Stage. When you remove hair in the Telogen Stage, there will be quicker regrowth, since the new hair below it is already growing and pushing out the Telogen hair.
The Exogen Stage (shedding): part of the resting stage (often considered part of Telogen), when the old hair sheds and the new hair continues to grow. On average, 50 to 150 hairs are shed each day.
How do the Stages of Hair Growth Affect Results?
When clients have been shaving, their hair will be growing in different stages. Because of this, they may have some hair that was not removed during their first few sugaring appointments. They may also notice quicker re-growth because some hairs had been just under the skin, and therefore weren’t removed during the appointment.
Each time the client comes in, more and more of the hair will be removed at the anagen stage since more of the hair had begun the anagen stage at the same time.
Therefore, after a few appointments, most of the client’s hair will be growing at the same stage, resulting in smoother, longer-lasting results!