Seasonal Hair Loss: Fact or Fiction?

What is Seasonal Hair Loss?

Every year, around the start of summer, you may have noticed hair fall slowly and steadily increase throughout the season, then even more so during the autumn months. Don’t worry, that’s not just you: this is a phenomenon experienced by enough people worldwide that many studies have coined it as “Seasonal Hair Loss.”

Why does seasonal hair loss happen? One possible explanation is that seasonal shift triggers a change in the environment or our lifestyles. For example: the sun's rays becomes more (or less) intense, the shift in the air's humidity messes with our strands, and our diets also change which also affects our hair's health.

However, others believe that there is no such thing as seasonal change. They believe attribute this phenomenon to our hair growth cycle.

Hair Growth Cycle

Just as there is a cycle to the seasons, our hair is constantly undergoing a natural process of shedding and new growth as well.

There are three* phases to this growth cycle: Anagen, Catagen, then Telogen and Exogen.

*Depending on who you talk to, there are four phases if they classify “Telogen” as separate from the “Exogen” phase.

 

The first phase is Anagen, the growing phase. When new hair is growing, its roots are attached to — and directly supported by — our blood supply, from which our hair receives the nutrients needed to grow strong and healthy.

Next is Catagen, the transition phase. This is the phase where hair growth slows down since our hair is no longer nourished by our blood supply, having detached themselves from the base of the follicle. This causes hair to shrink as well.

Finally, Telogen and Exogen, which are the resting and shedding phases, respectively. Once your strands graduate from Catagen to Telogen, they are no longer growing. Meanwhile, the base of your follicles are starting to form new strands. Naturally, this means that your old strands need to be shed in order to make way for these new strands to grow during their Anagen phase. This period of shedding old hair is classified as the Exogen phase.

It is said that the Telogen and Exogen phases occur for many people during autumn, but why is that so when one can also attribute hair loss to the stress of temperature and weather changes?

What Can We Do About It?

Each person’s physical makeup is unique. The situation could be entirely different from one person to another. Some experience seasonal hair loss, while others do not. That’s why this phenomenon has been widely debated. However, one thing we can be sure about is that it’s an extremely normal thing to experience.

There are many factors to hair loss, and there are also many ways to keep it healthy and prevent too much shedding.

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