Hair loss of any kind can be stressful, but seasonal hair loss usually is not a serious problem. However, the term “seasonal hair loss” is more complex than you may assume, so let’s unpack what that can actually mean.
Is My Hair Loss “Seasonal”?
First, noticing more hair loss at the end of summer does not necessarily mean it’s seasonal hair loss. Instead, you might actually be experiencing breakage from summer habits that have damaged your hair. Summer sun and heat, saltwater from the beach, and chlorinated pool water can all damage your hair over time. This hair loss is usually from breakage somewhere on the strand instead of the hair follicle falling out – though the extra strands shed, and possible decrease of hair volume will make it look like hair loss instead of breakage.
These bad habits combined with routine brushing and styling can result in more hair loss than usual. Since that normally occurs at the end of summer-long hair abuse, people will blame it on the change of seasons when it’s not.
Crash dieting to get or maintain a summer body can also contribute to autumn hair loss. Some health habits can take a few months to show the effects on your hair. Those diet changes, if not handled in a healthy manner, can result in hair loss as the weather starts to change.
How to Tell If You’re Losing Too Much Hair
Hair experiences natural growth, rest, and shedding cycles so it is easy to misunderstand and think you’re losing your hair when it’s just a routine phase or the result of some bad (but temporary) health habits. Luckily, an easy test can help determine if the hair loss you are experiencing is normal, temporary seasonal, or more serious hair loss.
- Before washing or brushing your hair, spread your fingers wide and slide them into your hair close to your scalp. For best results, use your dominant hand.
- Loosely close your fingers and then comb them through your hair from root to end.
- Count the hair strands released by your fingers. You can do that more easily if you drop the hair strands on a blank piece of paper
- Repeat steps 1-3 five times focusing on a different part of your scalp each time
0-10 Hair strands – Normal hair shedding
11-20 Hair strands – While greater than normal, this could be seasonal or temporary hair loss due to bad diet or health habits. Supplements for healthy hair or diet changes may help.
21+ Hair strands – More hair loss than normal. Document any physical strain, emotional stress, and/or health and dietary changes you may have been dealing with for the past few months. You may also want to consult your doctor.
How Long Does Seasonal Hair Loss Last?
Hair goes through normal cycles of growth, shedding, and rest before starting over again with growth. Individual hair strands do this on different time tables. That’s why you don’t shed and then regrow all of your hair at the same time.
However, warmer weather and increased sunlight in spring tend to trigger a growth phase for more hair strands than at any other time of year. Shorter days and cooling temperatures of fall often coincide with a shedding and rest stage. Since hair strands typically rest about three months, this form of seasonal hair loss usually only lasts about three months – give or take a couple of weeks.
How to Reduce Seasonal Hair Loss
Not much can be done for seasonal hair loss related to normal cyclical shedding. However, when “seasonal” hair loss is the result of summer dietary and lifestyle habits and hair breakage, a few things can help reduce seasonal hair loss.
- Get a haircut
That might sound counter-intuitive, but a haircut can make abused hair look better and, if you normally wear your hair long, lessen the weight that can exacerbate breakage.
- Reduce styling
If your hair has been abused all summer, giving it a break from blow dryers, flat irons, curling irons, hot rollers, and vigorous styling limits further breakage.
- Try hair growth products
That includes both nutritional supplements that foster hair growth and products that either thicken hair appearance or are vitamin-enriched.
Get a Free Hair Loss Evaluation
If you are experiencing hair loss, call us at RHRLI for a free consultation. I’ll use my many years of experience as a hair restoration surgeon to evaluate the reason for your hair loss and whether you’re a good candidate for hair restoration using the ARTAS® Robotic System. For more information or to schedule an evaluation, contact us today.