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What Would Cause Hair to Grow Unequally?

author image Jonathan Croswell
Jonathan Croswell has spent more than five years writing and editing for a number of newspapers and online publications, including the "Omaha World-Herald" and "New York Newsday." Croswell received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Nebraska and is currently pursuing a Master's of Health and Exercise Science at Portland State University.
What Would Cause Hair to Grow Unequally?
Hair goes through cycles of growth and rest. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images

Hair growth is a natural process that can start as early as birth and continue throughout the rest of your life. But hair is anything but constant, experiencing growth and rest cycles as well as specific conditions and genetic factors that influence how hair grows and changes over the years. Uneven hair growth can be most evident in young toddlers and babies, but it can occur at any point in life and for a number of reasons.


You may be able to identify the cause of the uneven hair growth by noticing the patterns. If you experience thinning or receding hair growth at the hairline, it could be a receding hairline associated with male-pattern baldness. However, nutrition problems could also factor in, particularly if the thinning or hair loss is widespread on the head. While growth cycles tend to occur in specific locations, they are likely not noticeable unless your hair is very closely cropped. Circular spots of hair loss, thinning or stunted growth may signal a specific condition.

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Growth Cycles

According to BabyCenter.com, hair growth occurs in phases. Typically, you will experience approximately three years of grow in any one hair follicle followed by about three months of rest on average. This does not result in the hair falling out of the follicle, but it will remain rooted in the scalp at a given length for the remained of the resting phase. In people with long hair, this isn't an issue, but if you have buzzed hair or have an infant, you may notice these periods. They are harmless and natural, and in time, the hair will resume growth. Additionally, this does not happen to all of your hair at once, instead occurring to different follicles at different times.

Nutrition Deficiency

Hair is comprised of many different nutrients, primarily a protein called keratin. But collagen as well as other vitamins are also present in the hair, keeping it healthy and growing. Some individuals may experience uneven hair growth due to nutritional deficiencies that rob the body of the assets needed to generate new hair. Eating a well-balanced diet can defend against this and likely lead to restored hair growth.

Other Causes

Alopecia areata is often associated with complete hair loss on the entire body, but in fact, it can occur in small spots. These are often circular in design and are often temporary, although in some cases, they can be permanent. Stress can also influence hair growth and lead to hair thinning or uneven growth of the hair. Hormonal changes in the body may also change how your hair grows.


It is possible that multiple factors may be causing hair loss or uneven hair growth to occur. Correcting only one of them may not necessarily lead to new growth, and depending on how long certain hairs have been stagnant, it may be difficult to restore them to normal growth patterns after their growth cycles have been stunted. Additionally, external factors like cancer treatments and various headwear may also affect normal hair growth.

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