We all know that feeling… when you run your fingers through your wet hair and clumps of it cling to your hands. These moments are usually followed by panic, and you start to wonder how much hair shedding is normal. “Is there something medically wrong with me? Am I going to wind up with bald patches?” Questions such as these will be circling your mind.
But chances are, you are just fine. In fact, you may just be dealing with seasonal hair loss. When the weather gets colder, this kind of hair shedding is no surprise at all, say the hair experts that Nutrafol has talked to. “There is evidence that people can note increased shedding in the late fall and winter months. The thought here is that perhaps in the summer months, we hang on to more hair. Why? To provide increased protection from the sun. A few months after, when we begin shifting into late fall and early winter, those hairs that we held onto during summer will make a transition into the shed phase. This may result in a temporary increase in shedding compared to your baseline,” Dr. Emily Wise, a Massachusetts–based dermatologist, explains.
Dr. Kristina Goldenberg, a New York–based dermatologist, raises another important factor – age. “By 50 years of age, 50 percent of women will experience some degree of hair loss. Hair loss is often seen after pregnancy, surgery or illness, no matter what your age is. It is also seen in pre- and perimenopausal women, during their early to mid-50s.”
Some hair loss is genetic, but when it comes to seasonal loss, the blame usually falls on the thermostat. So if you notice more hair shedding during the colder months, do not despair as this is normal. And chances are that the hair you lost during this period, will be back in the future.
New York–based dermatologist Dr. Jeremy Fenton explains it like this when Nutrafol reaches him to discuss seasonal hair shedding: “There is research that has shown there is some seasonality to shedding. One study showed that human hair has the highest number of hairs in the telogen phase (the resting phase) in July, and a second smaller peak in April. Hairs in the telogen phase generally fall out 100 days later, which means that people see shedding at the end of the summer and into the fall. These hairs are not necessarily lost forever. As a healthy hair follicle will eventually cycle back into its growth phase. The reason for this isn’t entirely clear. Some postulate that it is based on evolution, creating more hair in the summer to protect the scalp,” Dr. Fenton says.
The big question
Does hair shedding mean that the scalp is responding to changes in daylight hours?
“Yes, I believe that the body is responding in some hormonal manner to the changes in the amount of daylight. The longer hours of daylight in the summer triggers the hair to enter the telogen phase, which then triggers the shedding at the end of that phase. The precise mechanism is not clear,” Dr. Fenton explains.
Survive the shedding
Make sure to buckle up with some extra vitamin D when the days are getting shorter and the temperatures are dropping. Nutrafol contains a good amount of vitamin D which will help your hair to stay strong and survive the seasonal hair shedding.