How To Avoid Seasonal Hair Shedding During The Cold Months

Seasonal hair change

The colder season is upon us, and during these winter months it pays off to spend a little extra time and effort on your hair. In a previous post, three experts explained why seasonal hair shedding is occuring. We are continuing with this subject by asking dermatologists Jeremy Fenton and Emily Wise Shanahan what precautions you can take to avoid experiencing seasonal hair loss.

How to Keep Your Hair Health During the Winter Months

“It is always a good idea to make an extra effort in the winter months,” Dr Emily Wise Shanahan tells Nutrafol. “Keep the hair hydrated and moisturized. Use a deep conditioning mask. Likewise, limiting heat styling can be helpful for the same reasons,” she continues.

Dr Jeremy Fenton is of the same opinion: “To prevent breakage of winter hair it is recommended to moisturize with a conditioner. And avoid too much friction from prolonged wearing of hats.”

Another way to give your hair a helping hand when the temperature drops a few degrees is to do what your mother has been telling you since you where little: Take your vitamins!

“You can strengthen the hair that you have by taking supplements,” says Dr Fenton. “Biotin is one of the most effective options out there. And it is available over the counter at most drugstores. It may not prevent shedding, but it can prevent breakage, and also make the hair you do have actually appear thicker.”

What To Look For In A Supplement

seasonal shedding
One way to prevent breakage of winter hair is to moisturize with a conditioner.

Even if a supplement will not stop seasonal hair shedding, giving your body the nutrients it needs will show in the health of your hair. Nutrafol’s supplement is all natural and when regularly taken helps ensure your hair is as healthy and strong as possible throughout the year. One of the benefits of Nutrafol nutraceuticals is that they stimulates the follicles to enter into the anagen (growth) phase of the hair cycle. This can prevent some of your hair from entering that telogen phase of summer that we have mentioned in previous texts, and ultimately reduce the cold season hair shedding. When using the Nutrafol supplement, it is important to note you might have to give it a few months to notice a difference. As always when starting to take a new supplement, it takes time for the body to adjust to the change.

How Do I Know If It Is Seasonal Hair Shedding?

Make sure to pay extra attention to the part of your hair that is shedding. That way you will be able to tell if the hair shedding is seasonal or if there is a bigger underlying problem – like female pattern baldness. By looking closely, you will also be able to see if what you are experiencing is shedding or hair breaking off.

“With the winter months comes drier weather and hats rubbing against the hair. Dry, brittle hair is more likely to break, and the friction of hats can further contribute to this. Although this is not true hair ‘loss’, it can make your hair appear thinner,” says Dr Fenton.

When Should You Worry About Hair Shedding?

“There is no need to panic if you find a few strands on your pillowcase or clothes,” says Dr Wise Shanahan.

There is no need to push the “panic button” unless you find local bald patches, or if your hair shedding is focused to a specific area, such as the front of your hairline or the top of your head.

“This may represent a different type of hair loss and should be evaluated by a doctor,” Dr Wise Shanahan explains.

 

Dry and Frizzy? Try These Winter Hair Care Tips at Home

Winter Hair

The cold months of the year can result in a true case of winter hair – brittle strands, hat hair, static electricity, or hair that easily breaks. The cold, dry air outside is only one factor. You also get less vitamin D, a vitamin that keeps our hair, skin and bones healthy. And dry indoor heating is just as bad for your hair as being outside. But no worries, we have some remedies you can easily try at home.

Avoid Hat Hair

Contrary to some hair myths that hats could cause hair loss or make your hair white, hats are a good idea in the winter. They protect our hair from strong winds that can cause a tangled mess, from rain or snow that would certainly mess up any do, and cold air that makes our strands brittle. But hat hair that goes flat and electric is not very desirable, so make sure to protect your hair with a silk scarf before putting the hat on. Another option is to use a heat protection product that combats frizzy hair and often is smoothing and calming.

Take Care of the Scalp

Drier air will inevitably also make your scalp drier. Use a dandruff shampoo to avoid getting an itchy, dry scalp, and check out or article on how to give yourself a stimulating scalp massage with essential oils to improve blood circulation and moisturize.

The Most Important: Conditioner

Clearly, one of the most important factors to keeping a nice and hydrated winter hair is repeated conditioning. Always use conditioner when you wash your hair, but do not wash it too often. It is normally enough to wash every three or four days. Make sure to not go outside with wet hair, and try to let the hair dry by itself. If you do use a blow-dryer, turn the settings to cool or let the hair dry a little bit before you start.

Also, a conditioning hair mask once a week is a good idea no matter the season. There are a ton of different versions depending on your hair thickness, what season it is, if you have dyed hair or not, and so on. Some of them need 15 minutes or more to have effect, but some take only a few. Make sure you apply the mask before you shampoo and condition your hair, as you do not want any product residue in there. There are also many ways to make your own hair mask at home.

• A popular mask is made from an avocado mixed with half a cup of coconut milk and three tablespoons of olive oil. If you warm this messy mashup for a few seconds in the microwave and apply it to your hair for half an hour, it will make your hair as shiny as ever. Avocados are very nutritional and good for our health, as it contains healthy fats, fibers, potassium, several vitamins and folate, which is beneficial for hair growth.

Winter Hair
Both eggs and avocado are good for your hair, whether you eat them or turn them into a DIY hair mask.

• Fight frizzy winter hair by mixing equal parts yogurt and honey with a tablespoon of almond oil. Apply to your hair and let sit for 20 minutes. This will calm and moisturize hair to reduce frizz, which is a common winter problem. Yogurt has been used for its health benefits for a very long time. this is because it contains lactic acid that not only for the stomach, but also for treating dull hair or dandruff. Eating yogurt has been scientifically proven to be linked to increased hair growth and shiny hair. And yogurt’s anti-fungal properties will prevent and treat dandruff if massaged into the scalp.

• Another very common ingredient in homemade hair masks is egg. Eggs are rich in vitamins, proteins and fats, which your hair needs. It may sound gross, but applying eggs to your hair will provide moisture, prevent breakage and make your hair lustrous. You can also mix an egg with a banana and half of an avocado. Add three tablespoons of buttermilk and olive oil and two tablespoons of honey. Let this mixture sit in your hair for 20 minutes and it will revive your locks.

Spontaneous Moisture

To keep your hair moisturized on the go, touch and scrunch the ends of your hair every time you apply hand cream. This allows you to get that little moisture boost every now and then. You can also grab some oil from the kitchen whenever you feel dried out or after washing the hair. Rub some coconut, olive or vegetable oil in your palms. Run your fingers through your hair, starting at the ends. If you have thin hair or hair that easily gets oily, avoid the upper parts closer to the scalp. This will make your roots oily fast.

Winter Hair Supplements

If you have tried these home remedies for your winter hair but want an extra boost, consider natural hair supplements. These contain a mix of the most important ingredients to help gain and maintain healthy hair. Make sure to also eat a mixed diet and remember to drink enough water, to get enough moisture from within. This will benefit your hair, skin, and overall health.

Text by Emma von Zeipel

Photo credits: Mitya Ku via Flickr

Stacy via Flickr