Is seasonal hair shedding real and if so, when does it happen and what can we do about it? TLDR - Yes it's real and there are ways to support your body to slow shedding. Skip to the end to find out what you can do.
In recent weeks, our clinic has been receiving numerous inquiries from patients expressing their worries about increased hair shedding. It's become somewhat of an annual occurrence, with concerns surging every year as July and August transition into September and October. This recurring phenomenon has led us to ponder the authenticity of seasonal shedding and whether there are measures one can take to address it.
Before delving into this, there are two fundamental aspects to grasp. Firstly, hair shedding is a natural process. On average, individuals shed between 50 to 100 hairs daily. Secondly, it's essential to understand that our hair follicles undergo a continual life cycle comprising three stages:
Anagen – The growth phase, which typically spans three to five years and is when new, healthy, and thick hairs grow from the follicles.
Catagen – The transition phase, which usually persists for around 10 days as hairs detach from their blood supply.
Telogen – The resting phase, extending for about three months, during which hair dies and falls out.
This cycle of growth and shedding is a continuous occurrence, and not all hairs are in the same phase simultaneously. However, an elevated number of hairs being in the telogen phase is what leads to increased shedding. Studies have revealed a cyclic pattern in the prevalence of hairs in the telogen phase. In a notable 2009 study (entitled "Seasonality of Hair Shedding in Healthy Women Complaining of Hair Loss"), after examining 823 cases, researchers found two peak periods when telogen rates were at their highest: one during the summer and another during the spring. Considering that the telogen phase lasts approximately three months, we should expect increased shedding to occur three months after these peak periods, around mid-summer and autumn. While the exact reason for this seasonal shift remains somewhat unclear, many speculate that it's linked to the extreme weather conditions experienced in late spring and summer.
While we can't change the weather, there are practical strategies to enhance the health of your hair during these seasons. In the scorching summer heat, hair tends to become dry and damaged, so it's crucial to use a high-quality conditioner. Additionally, supplements like our Medi Tresse Healthy Body Bundle can provide your hair with the essential nutrients it needs to stay healthy. Lastly, low-level laser therapy has been shown to effectively slow down or halt the increased shedding.
Lastly, if you happen to notice a surge in shedding during the fall, bear in mind that it's most likely attributable to seasonal shedding. In fact, seasonal shedding is even more prevalent during the autumn months than in the summer. Nevertheless, if you ever suspect that your hair loss goes beyond seasonal fluctuations, it's advisable to seek guidance from a hair loss specialist who can assess your condition and provide appropriate recommendations.