It’s so beautiful to witness the leaves and snowflakes drop during the fall and winter time. Unfortunately, those aren’t the only elements that are dropping off…
Seasonal hair loss is a real issue that some of us experience during this time of year. The copious amounts of hair strands left in our detangling tools may seem far from normal, but relax. Although it’s frightening to imagine our curls falling from our head, it’s nothing that we can’t remedy.
Normal Hair Shed
On average, we naturally shed about 50 to 100 pieces of hair per day. This number may seem pretty big, but remember: we have hundreds of thousands of hair strands on our head. Those 50-100 pieces seem pretty pale in comparison!
Hair grows just as quickly as sheds away. It’s completely normal to see some shedding while you’re styling your hair from day-to-day. However, if you’re noticing that the shedding is a bit extreme, there may be other factors attributed to this, such as:
-Age-related Hair Loss
-Unknown Health Issues
If these factors resonate with you, here are a few signs to look for to determine if your hair shedding is more damaging than usual:
- If you notice your hair parts appear wider than usual
- If the loss you’re experiencing appears to be localized to one area of your head, rather than just the appearance of thinning all over
If these signs are familiar to you, we recommend consulting with a licensed stylist or physician for a hands-on assessment! It never hurts to get a professional’s perspective.
The 3 Hair Stages
The amount of shedding we experience can be determined by the hair life cycle.
The first phase of our hair life cycle is called the anagen phase (otherwise known as the growth stage). Approximately 90% of our hair is in this stage at this very moment. While in the anagen stage, our hair grows about ½ an inch per month. This equals to six inches every year, which is a ton of growth!
After anagen, the next phase is catagen. This is where growth takes a full stop; fortunately, only about one to two percent of your hair will be in this stage at a time, and it only lasts around two to three weeks!
The last stage is the telogen phase. Approximately eight to nine percent of your hair is in this stage; essentially, this is your hair’s resting period as it prepares to shed.
The most important thing to remember about the hair cycle is that whatever grows must also shed!
During the spring and summer months, we typically experience more growth. Emily Wise Shanahan, a Massachusetts-based dermatologist, told Allure that “The thought here is that perhaps in the summer months, we hang on to more hair to provide increased protection from the sun.” By the year’s end, it’s no surprise that we experience an increase in shedded hair during the autumn and winter.
This may sound alarming, but remember: this is a natural process. Healthy hair follicles will always continue the cycle by growing back shed hair that has detached itself from the scalp. Have confidence in knowing that whatever you lose, you’ll gain back!
How to Remedy Seasonal Hair Loss
Keeping your hair healthy during all seasons is important, but this is especially true for the winter time! Here are a few healthy hair habits that will help combat against unnecessary hair breakage or shedding:
- Deep-conditioning is a great way to ensure that your curls are getting essential hydration. Also, using water-based moisturizers or leave-in conditioners in your routine will boost your hair's moisture levels as well!
- Have a healthy intake of water and vitamins
- Avoid styles that include a lot of pulling (to prevent causing tension to your strands)
- Use a detangling tool that can easily glide through your hair (this will help ensure that you’re not pulling out hairs that aren’t ready to shed yet!)
How has your experience been with seasonal hair loss? What do you find to be helpful while navigating it? Let us know down below in the comments!