Have you ever noticed that during the months of October and November, your hair seems to fall out more? We all lose some hair, either when brushing or washing it; that is normal. However, around certain months of the year, I have noticed that my hair brush always seems to have more hair in it, and that I always leave more of it in the shower than regularly. This used to worry me, however, I recently discovered that seasonal hair loss is normal, too.
Humans tend to shed between 50 and 100 hairs, every day. Hair follicles on the scalp do not continuously produce hair, but go through a number of life-cycles through which they grow, regress to a resting stage for up to two months, shed dead hair, and then re-start to grow new hair again. A typical strand of hair spends two to six years growing, and it is a known fact that usually, while 80-90% of the hair grows, the remaining 10-20% is to be found in a state of ‘rest’, also known as the ‘telogen stage’.
A study published in the journal, Dermatology, by a Swedish researcher showed that the cycle with the highest proportion of resting hairs, usually starts around the month of July / August. This means that approximately two or three months later, we would be experiencing a larger amount of hair loss than usual, since the resting phase is always followed by the shedding of old hair. It is during this time that we might feel as though our hair is thinning. However, this too is totally natural in our yearly ‘hair’ cycle.
It has been noted that the body produces more hair during the warmer months, in order to protect the skin and scalp from the hot sun and ultraviolet rays, therefore it is the ‘extra’ hair produced in summer that replaces older strands, which are then shed in autumn. The same sort of hair loss phasing happens in the spring as well, though with a much lower percentage of hair lost.
Although seasonal hair loss is normal, it could be masking other issues related to hair problems. Hair follicles are very sensitive, often influenced by a person’s levels of stress or change in diet. If hair loss persists even after the autumn months, it is important to consult a dermatologist or other specialised hair and scalp professionals. The fault could also be found in a particular medicine or product one has recently begun using. It might also be due to a lack of vitamins which are important for our bodily needs, as well as our nail and hair growth (these often go together). In this case, one could purchase vitamin supplements, such as iron to combat iron deficiency, cod liver oil, which contains Vitamin A, or eat more beans, leafy greens and nuts, which contain Vitamin E.
Our hair is an important part of our bodies, not just for aesthetic purposes, but also because it is a direct pointer, as to how well the rest of our body is working.
Healthy hair means a healthy body!