Seasonal Hair Loss: When Extra Shedding Is Normal

Medically reviewedby Dr. Ahmad Chaudhry M.B.B.S.
WrittenbyEdna Skopljak M.D.
Last updated

The exact reason for different hair shedding rates in different seasons, especially among women in the northern hemisphere, is still under exploration. However, researchers have studied this phenomenon and confirmed seasonal hair loss is real.

Why Does Seasonal Hair Loss Happen?

People may experience a fuller head of hair during summer thanks to an increase in the proportion of telogen hair. Anyway, that rate drops toward the end of summer and during autumn. In other words, telogen hair tends to stay longer in the summer months and then shed altogether in the following months.

Studies have considered the phenomenon as a coping mechanism the body reacts naturally to harmful external factors. It is nothing more than just part of your natural protective mechanisms operating as per usual.

In summer, the head scalp needs more coverage and protection from extreme damage (e.g., UV radiation or extreme heat). Thus, the telogen phase - where most strands are lying dormant - extends and delays shedding until later months. Come autumn, and these dormant hairs will all fall out at once.

That is why you may see more loose strands around yourself around this time of the year. But don't worry because these periods of increased shedding are only temporary! The seasonality of hair loss happens majorly in late summer-autumn. The same incident may happen again in spring, but with lesser magnitude.

 

 

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What To Do About It?

Now that we all know that around late summer up to fall, you may see more strands falling here and there. This is just a normal part of the process as the hair cycle is still going on. Your anagen hairs will come out soon enough; thus, there is no need for panic.

You can instead spend your effort making sure your new hairs grow well when they are supposed to - in the anagen phase. Put in some extra care for your scalp and give it enough good things to start working again.

In addition to usual washing and conditioning, using products enriched with essential oils would help strengthen roots. Applying a serum daily can help reinforce your scalp health, ensuring your hair follicles can benefit from the best growth condition.

That said, if you are confronting extreme symptoms or the extra shedding persists, you should check with your dermatologist or doctor for possible diagnosis and treatments. They can determine what may be causing it and treat it accordingly as soon as possible.

You can also try our trichologist-approved Hair Loss Assessment Tool from the comfort of your home as a convenient first step.

 

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Tips For Healthy Hair

Here are some essential tips for maintaining good hair health and providing support for your new hair growth.

 

1. Trim the damaged ends

Both summer and winter can take a toll on your strands. In summer, damage from the sun and salt water, in winter, drier air, the cold and windy weather, and frequent use of hats can leave your ends damaged and brittle. That's why it's important to get a trim every few months, and time them at the end of each season.

Remember to nourish your newly trimmed ends so they can stay strong through future wear-and-tear.

 

2. Avoid scratching

Hair breakage can result from scalp scratching, followed by scarring alopecia. One hour of vigorous scratching is likely to remove the entire cuticle from the hair shaft, although you may intend to focus on the itchy scalp only.

Noticeably, the one-hour harm can also happen by accumulating a 10-minutes scratching daily for six days. That is to say, treat the itch instead of clawing it away, be it dry scalp, overly greasy scalp, or other possible causes.

 

3. Consider deep conditioning once per week

Including deep conditioning with protein-rich products every week in your hair care regimen is of great benefit. Specifically, it is essential for those whose hair has undergone extreme damage during summer or winter.

In addition to a nourishing conditioner, incorporating a hydrating mask once or twice a week can help you manage signs of damage and reduce further stress on your strands.

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4. Prep for the new hair growth

Don’t hesitate to take extra measures to invigorate your scalp and follicles. Use a hair serum, take supplements, eat foods that support hair health, and massage your scalp daily.

Telogen hair is hair in the final stage of the hair cycle, it will shed regardless of your efforts. Don’t let the fallen strands scare you from touching your head.

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5. Stick to your hair treatment plans

After selecting the right products for your hair regimen, the next thing you need is patience. You’re not going to notice dramatic results overnight, it takes time for your hair to get used to new products. In some cases, this may be a week. Dry or damaged hair may even take at least a month to reap the benefits.

For those under a hair loss treatment, the growth cycle for new hair to grow from the follicle out of the skin is three months, so it will take even longer than that to see longer hair making a difference in your appearance.

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Disclaimer

The information we provide is not intended to mitigate, prevent, treat, cure or diagnose any disease or condition. If you have any concerns about your health, please consult your doctor.

 

Reference

Hsiang, E. Y., Semenov, Y. R., Aguh, C., & Kwatra, S. G. (n.d.). Seasonality of hair loss: A time series analysis of Google Trends data 2004 to 2016. 6.

Kunz, M., Seifert, B., & Trüeb, R. M. (n.d.). Seasonality of Hair Shedding in Healthy Women Complaining of Hair Loss. 6.