• Question: does your hair grow and grow until a certain point or does it never stop growing?

    Asked by gingerninja2011 to Amy, Drew, Julia, Kimberley, Sara on 22 Jun 2011.
    • Photo: Kimberley Bryon

      Kimberley Bryon answered on 20 Jun 2011:

      I have heard that your hair and finger nails continue growing until after you die but this is just a myth, the skin shrinks making it appear to grow. Your hair will keep on growing until you die.

    • Photo: Amy MacQueen

      Amy MacQueen answered on 21 Jun 2011:

      Hi gingerninja!!

      Each hair on your body grows from its own individual hair follicle. Inside the follicle, new hair cells form at the root of the hair shaft. As the cells form, they push older cells out of the follicle. As they are pushed out, the cells die and become the hair we see.

      A follicle will produce new cells for a certain period of time depending on where it is located on your body. This period is called the growth phase. Then it will stop for a period of time (the rest phase), and then restart the growth phase again.

      When the hair follicle enters the rest phase, the hair shaft breaks, so the existing hair falls out and a new hair takes its place. Therefore, the length of time that the hair is able to spend growing during the growth phase controls the maximum length of the hair.

      The cells that make the hairs on your arms are programmed to stop growing every couple of months, so the hair on your arms stays short. The hair follicles on your head, on the other hand, are programmed to let hair grow for years at a time, so the hair can grow very long.

      So your hair can only grow until the follicle rests, the hair shaft breaks and it falls out. So your hair does keep on growing throughout your life but it can’t grow indefinitely because your follicle will want a rest at some point!! Some people’s follicles must rest at different times from others because many people cannot successfully grow very long hair – obviously the longer your hair the more care you need to take that you don’t break and damage it!

      Hair is made from keratin – and is technically “dead” the moment it leaves your scalp!!

    • Photo: Julia Griffen

      Julia Griffen answered on 21 Jun 2011:

      Amy;s given a super in depth answer nothing really to add.. 🙂

    • Photo: Sara Imari Walker

      Sara Imari Walker answered on 22 Jun 2011:

      Hi gingerninja!! Amy’s given a fantastic answer. I learned a lot. That is really cool!