Vellus Hair Growth Cycle
Hair often follows a specific growth pattern that allows you to estimate physical changes. From lanugo to vellus to terminal, individuals can predict and even control these shifts depending on their personal desires.
What is the vellus hair growth cycle?
The three types of hair (lanugo, vellus and terminal) all spring up from the same follicle which means that at any time, you might find yourself sporting terminal hair on a body part that used to have vellus hair. The growth cycle of the latter is fairly straightforward, starting from anagen to catagen to telogen. The anagen is the growth stage wherein the follicle is fully formed, followed by the regression stage and finally – the resting stage. Note that different hair follicles operate in different cycle timelines, allowing you to always have a patch of hair covering your body.
The different stages of hair growth may have different timelines depending on the specific body part they are growing in. For example, beards tend to stay in the anagen stage between 4 to 14 weeks with a telogen stage of 10 to 18 weeks.
What is the significance of this?
So what would knowing the vellus hair cycle growth really do for you? For one thing, it can help you control and predict when vellus hair would drop off, turning facial vellus hair to terminal hair. This is actually possible since vellus to terminal transformation is often affected by several factors – hormones being at the top of the list. By knowing how long vellus hair is supposed to stay, you can time their growth and allow them to continue or shave them as necessary.
What is the difference between terminal and vellus hair?
Physically speaking, the difference between these two hair types is quite distinct. Terminal hair often shows up later on in the life cycle with a thicker and darker strand. A good example of terminal hair would be those found on the head or those that grow as beards. Vellus hair on the other hand is thin, wispy and almost transparent. They are often called “peach fuzz” and found in different parts of the adult face including the upper lip and head.