There has been much written about leaves changing colours and falling off trees in different seasons. The poetry is indeed moving. However, not much has been said about the way the hair falls off the head as seasons change. The experience is certainly not moving or poetic.
You might be singing in the shower, rejoicing or simply relaxing, and then comes the turn to wash the hair.
That’s when your heart skips a beat because seasonal hair loss can make you lose your hair in clumps. And deep down, you know that that’s not normal because you don’t lose that much hair.
Now there are many causes of hair loss. So, if you experience hair loss, you shouldn’t think that seasonal changes are solely to blame. Hormonal fluctuations, age, genetics, diseases, medications, stress, and trauma can all make you lose your hair.
Our hair has a set growth cycle that is affected by seasonal changes. Usually, you don’t have any reason to worry if you have seasonal hair loss. However, you must understand what exactly your hair’s going through and what you can do to help it.
What Causes Seasonal Hair Loss?
The first thing about which many people wonder is what’s exactly causing seasonal shedding. Now there are many reasons as to why the hair sheds in different seasons, most commonly winter and fall.
Evolution May Be At Play
Seasonal hair loss may find one explanation in evolution.
What happens is that during the months of summer, more hair means more protection to the scalp from the scorching heat of the sun.
One study on 823 Swiss women carried out over 6 years found that more hair entered the telogen phase of the hair growth cycle during the summer season.
The hair that has entered the telogen phase starts shedding after almost 3 months. That may explain why so many people lose hair in the fall season.
Holiday Season Stress
You may have watched a lot of picture-perfect movies on holiday seasons with lots of grand gestures of love, but what you may miss out on is the stress.
Yes, the holiday season can be stressful.
The pressure of giving gifts, being together sometimes a little too much, having no time for yourself, being alone, not having enough money, being too tired, and seasonal affective disorder are just a few reasons why holiday season stress is very real.
This kind of stress can trigger hair loss due to telogen effluvium. Those who experience this kind of hair shedding don’t instantly start losing hair. In fact, their hair sheds months after the stressful event. Again, this may coincide with seasonal changes.
It may be that our body is producing certain hormones that make the hair enter the telogen phase of the hair growth cycle. Light exposure and its timing can trigger the production of hormones in the body.
For instance, melatonin is produced by the body in the darkness, which helps it fall asleep. Similar to that, long exposure to sunlight can result in hair shedding after a few months.
Hot, Hot Baths
They’re relaxing and wonderful, almost therapeutic, especially during winter. However, hot baths can be very damaging to the hair strands. They can make them weak, which can cause breakage and hair loss.
So, be careful about that, as you don’t want to trigger your seasonal shedding even more.
Is Seasonal Hair Loss Same As Telogen Effluvium?
The two are not exactly the same but do fall under “telogen effluvium”. Seasonal hair loss exerts stress through temperature changes during fall months like October and November.
However, in telogen effluvium, usually, the reason is anxiety and stress due to emotional disturbances or other environmental stressors (childbirth, illness, surgery, etc.). What happens is that the hair enters the telogen phase in both cases, which causes shedding a few months later.
How Long Does Seasonal Hair Loss Last?
Since seasonal hair loss occurs due to telogen effluvium, this kind of hair loss can last for 6 months after the stressful event has passed. After this, the hair growth will start taking place in 3-6 months.
In Which Season Does Hair Loss Occur the Most?
The hair enters the resting phase months before you start experiencing hair shedding. Hair loss occurs later on, so you might think that it is that very season that is triggering it. But you’re blaming the wrong season for your hair fall.
Seasonal shedding occurs when the season changes from summer to winter, during fall, that is. During the winter season, if you don’t take good care of your hair, you might experience excessive hair shedding. This usually happens because of a lack of moisture due to different reasons.
While there’s a lot of mixed data out there about the seasons in which you lose your hair, hair loss can also occur in summer. The long hours playing, lying down or stretching under the sun can cause damage to your hair.
And if you’re into sea sports, the salty water can strip your hair of moisture, which can again cause breakage. So, the season might not be the only one to blame here.
Certain activities that accompany seasonal changes (hot baths in winter, water sports or swimming in summer) can also make you lose your hair more than usual in a particular season.
Do You Need Hair Transplant For Seasonal Hair Loss?
Seasonal hair loss is usually nothing to be alarmed about. The shedding is temporary and reversible. That means that your hair will grow back.
It is true that ageing can make a person lose even more hair during seasonal changes, but hair grows back in most instances. So, there’s no need for hair transplant surgery.
Still, if you’re experiencing excessive hair loss, you should get yourself examined by a doctor. It may be that you’re losing your hair due to any other reason than seasonal changes.
How To Stop Seasonal Hair Loss?
There are more than a few things that you can try out to stop seasonal hair loss and give rise to healthy hair. So, let’s take a look at some of the treatments and remedies.
Try Some Hair Oils
Oiling the hair is a very common at-home hair loss treatment.
Hair oils can provide much-needed nourishment and moisture to your hair.
The act of putting the oil in also massages the scalp, which improves the circulation of blood and helps promote hair growth. Coconut oil, argan oil, castor oil, jojoba oil, and olive oil are very popular for their beneficial effects on the scalp and hair.
Talk to your doctor about taking supplements for hair loss and which ones will be most suitable for you. Vitamin A, B, C, D, E, iron and zinc can all support your hair growth.
Little Less Hair Styling
There’s no doubt that the heat from hair styling tools can end up damaging your hair. They will also strip the hair of moisture and can worsen your hair fall during seasonal changes.
To protect your hair against chilly winds and snow, you should wear a hat. However, be mindful of your hair’s health. If it’s too weak, even the friction from the hat can break them.
Use A Conditioner
This should go without saying, but there are still many people who only believe in just shampooing. It is not enough.
Sure, a shampoo will leave your scalp clean and fresh, but you need to care about those hair strands. They should not remain parched. That is where a hair conditioner helps. So, make sure that you use one, especially during winter.
No More Hot Baths
Yes, they feel good, but your hair might not necessarily say the same thing about such baths.
Your hair can get very dehydrated, frizzy and weak. The brittleness can cause them to break at any given chance.
Try to use warm water for lathering and, if possible (even though it may be very hard), rinse with cold water (yikes! but that’s what the hair wants).
Can PRP Help Seasonal Hair Loss?
If you’re temporarily losing your hair, PRP injections can really help with hair growth. The proteins in PRP can help with cellular growth, which translates to hair growth.
If your seasonal hair loss is overwhelming, you can think about getting PRP therapy to stimulate the growth of new hairs.
Summing It Up
You’re bound to panic if you see your brush full of broken strands of hair.
For a second, you might wonder if the brush is playing tricks with your mind. But then it may just be seasonal change impacting your hair and scalp.
The resultant shedding, although distressing, is, fortunately, temporary and reversible.
You should make sure to take care of your delicate hair strands. They need all your love, whether it’s spring, fall, winter, or summer. If the hair fall is too much, you should speak with your doctor.
Treatments like PRP therapy can help with regrowth by speeding up the process.
Reviewed and Approved by Dr. Hassan Soueid.