Picture this: Your alarm rings in the morning and, after hitting snooze the maximum number of times, you drag yourself out of bed and head to the bathroom to get ready for your day.

While brushing your teeth, you look in the mirror and notice your hair isn’t as dense as it used to be. Can you see your scalp through your hair? When you get in the shower, you dread scrubbing your hair because your fear is that more hair will be in your fingers and in the drain.

Unfortunately, this is happening to a lot of us. Let me try to explain why and some things to do about it.

First of all, try not to stress. Stressing is the first reason we lose hair. Here’s an elementary explanation of the complex grown cycle of each hair on our head:

At any given time, each of the 100,000 to 150,000 hairs that we have on our scalp alone is in one of the three stages of growth. Each hair follicle has its own lifecycle that can be influenced by our age, health or illness, stress, and a wide variety of other factors. The lifecycle is divided into three phases.

The anagen phase is the phase where hair is growing. This can last from two to eight years. Therefore, the longer the hair stays in this stage, the longer our hair can grow. This is the very reason why someone can grow their hair especially long and someone else can not cut it for years and it won’t get any longer.

The catagen phase is the transitional stage when the hair moves from dormancy to actively growing. It lasts only two to three weeks.

Lastly, the telogen phase is the resting phase that can last up to three months.

At the end of this cycle the hair falls out and the growth cycle begins again.

The hair follicle is below your scalp and stays alive by the food that’s carried to the follicle by our blood. This keeps each hair strong and healthy. This is why giving your scalp a good scrub is so beneficial. The stimulation helps the blood flow, and therefore keeps your hair in place and rids the scalp of any old hair that is ready to fall out. Scrubbing also helps loosen the oils and any build up that can choke the follicle, resulting in its death. Once the follicle dies, no more hair will grow.

This is why it’s so important to maintain its life. Our diet, hormones, medication, thyroid and stress are the factors that govern the growth. Basic things like not wearing your hair pulled tightly, especially to bed, using good products to avoid build up, protein rich diet (hair is made of protein), taking B-12 (a great vitamin for stress), along with many other more involved remedies help keep the hair in the anagen phase.

The longer each hair stays in the anagen phase the longer your hair will grow and stay on your head.

I hope this helps you to keep every hair in place.

Joy Ross is owner of Style It Salon in Old Town Bluffton. styleitsalon.com