What is seasonal hair loss and why does it happen?
Seasonal hair loss can happen to so many of us, but it’s something that still isn’t fully understood. Both men and women can experience an increased rate of hair fall than normal in Autumn, and for many people it can be a worrying experience. But fear not. Seasonal hair loss is completely normal, and it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re on the downward slope to pattern baldness. Keep reading to find out more.
What is seasonal hair loss?
Put simply, seasonal hair loss is where an individual experiences increased hair fall at certain periods of the year, usually around Autumn in mid-October to November. The technical term for the process is Telogen Effluvium, which is where the individual hairs enter the telogen phase (or the resting phase) of the hair cycle earlier than usual and fall out.
Normally, around 10% of a person’s hair is in the resting phase of the hair growth cycle (which is where the hair stops growing and can fall out), but clinical studies show that women in particular experience higher levels of hair in rest mode during July, leading to an increased amount of shedding around three months later, in Autumn.
Why does seasonal hair loss happen?
There’s not a lot of research into why exactly seasonal hair loss happens, although there is speculation that the stress of all that sunshine, UV rays and heat can have a negative effect on our hair, causing it to fall out.
There is another theory that links it to evolution, where the body grows and retains more hair in the summer months to help protect itself from the damaging effects of the sun. This ‘extra’ hair is then shed as it turns to the cooler months, as the scalp no longer needs the protection.
How long does seasonal hair loss last?
Seasonal hair loss is just that, seasonal. It should only last throughout the early stages of Autumn, and by late November/early December your hair should return to a normal amount of shedding: around 100 to 150 hairs a day.
Is seasonal hair loss normal?
Seasonal hair loss is completely normal, and plenty of people may experience it without realising. As we’ve mentioned already, a slight increase in hair fall during Autumn is part of the hair’s natural growth cycle. However, if your hair is coming out in clumps or continually falling out, you may be experiencing more serious hair loss issues. If you’re a woman, check out our Causes of Hair Loss in Women article to read up about potential reasons for hair fall, and be sure to seek advice from your doctor.
How to stop seasonal hair loss
While seasonal hair loss isn’t something we can necessarily avoid, we can do things to promote healthy hair growth to effectively ‘fill in’ where the hair loss occurs.
Starting a daily routine with a hair growth serum at the start of summer will help encourage the follicles to regenerate quicker after the hair has fallen out. It’s best to start applying the treatment at the beginning of summer, around June, to give your scalp and follicles a chance to absorb the nutrients and adjust it’s growth cycle in time for when seasonal hair loss hits in the Autumn.
But what can you do if seasonal hair loss is already happening and you can no longer prevent it? Well, we recommend using thickening products, like a root boosting spray, to give a bit of lift and body when your hair is looking thinner than normal.
If you’re noticing a lot of thinning, you could also opt for hair fibres which help conceal sparse hair and add thickness to areas that need it. These can be the ideal short term solution for seasonal hair loss, giving you the thickness and fullness you may lose during the Autumn months.
Have you noticed seasonal hair loss this autumn? What’s your number one hair tip for battling the seasons?