How to Deal with Excessive Hair Shedding This Fall
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Excessive hair shedding can be alarming and concerning at any time of the year and in any person. But did you know that hair shedding is often tied to seasonal changes? And if that seems a bit absurd, think about any furry pets you or a friend may own: chances are they experience more hair shedding at the turn of the seasons. But unlike man’s best friend, we usually take excessive hair shedding personally and even worry about our overall health. But rest assured, an uptick in the amount of hair you shed as long hot summer days shift to cooler, shorter days is entirely normal. Here’s why it can happen and how to get through it.
Theories behind seasonal hair loss
Despite how common seasonal hair loss can be, we know little about why it happens. Of course, several theories exist, and each is just as likely as the next. One theory is that changes in daylight can cause hormone shifts in the body to trigger a transformation in our hair. This theory suggests that when the days begin to lengthen, our hair shifts into the telogen phase, or the resting phase, which lasts about three months. Once three months have passed, the hair sheds so that a new follicle may grow. Based on how the seasons work, summer typically lasts about three months and by fall is when hair starts to shed. To support this theory, one study found that people had the most hair in the telogen phase in July, with a smaller peak occurring in April (when once again, we are in the midst of a seasonal shift).
Another theory suggests that we hold on to more hair in the summer months as a way to prevent sun damage on the scalp. Thicker hair sticks with us until fall, and then we shed away unnecessary strands.
A further theory suggests that we shed hair in the fall to make way for thicker hair in the winter months. This theory is certainly in line with the hair changes our furry friends go through to keep warm in the fall. But alas, we really don’t fully know why seasonal hair loss occurs, but when it does show up, it can be frustrating and sometimes concerning.
What to do about seasonal hair loss
Perhaps the most common cause of gray hair outside of aging is stress. When most of us think of stress, we conjure up images of our busy and demanding lifestyles that inevitably lead to stress. But different types of stress can affect our hair color. And we must remember that behind any physiological change, such as graying hair (or even health problems like diabetes), is some form of physiological stress on the body’s tissues.
The cooler months can zap all moisture from your hair. And not only that, but the cold weather can also make your strands more brittle and prone to damage. Therefore, upping the hydration in your regular hair care regimen is important to keep your hair and scalp healthy. Not to mention, it can also prevent pesky skin flaking from dusting your shoulders.
Oh, and if you were thinking of just using products with more hydration, don’t forget that your hair also needs hydration from inside. In the winter months, we may be less inclined to drink water in exchange for warm, creamy beverages, so be sure you drink plenty of water daily.
Cut back on using hot styling tools
Using a blow dryer is much more common in the colder months when it is harder to let your hair dry naturally. But regularly blow-drying your hair can harm your strands and even irritate your scalp. What is more, hot styling tools like curling irons and straighteners are more commonly used in the colder months, but those can severely damage your hair.
Give your hair plenty of days off from excessive styling–especially with heat, and opt for a more relaxed and natural look for a healthier, thicker head of hair in the coming weeks.
Get a fresh cut
A new season is always a good excuse to get a new haircut. But if you find you are losing quite a bit of hair with the shift to fall, a fresh haircut can help your hair look and feel thicker and healthier. Trim up your ends or ask your stylist for easy-to-style suggestions to help you get through the harsh winter months ahead.
Use gentle hair bands
Fortunately, scrunchies are still in and we’re glad because they tend to be much gentler on longer hair than other bands (like those with rubber). Try to use a soft, gentle hair holder whenever you can to minimize any pulling or tugging on your locks.
Up your vitamin intake
As farmer’s markets start to wind down for the year and fresh local produce becomes more limited, it is common to shy away from nutrient-dense foods when they are out of season. Fortunately, we can get most produce year-round, but even then, it can be all too easy to miss out on key vitamins necessary for hair growth. Look into using a hair growth supplement like the REVITA Tablets for Hair Growth Support to be sure you get all the vitamins and minerals you need to help your hair grow back healthier and stronger than before.