There is no doubt that thousands of people suffer from hair loss every day, leading to their distress and depression. There are many reasons why our hair may fall out and it can often be something as commonplace as the natural process of regeneration to allow new, stronger hair to grow.
Swedish researchers demonstrated that the greatest hair loss occurs in the autumn: these scientists studied the lives of 823 women for more than 6 years and discovered that September is the month of the year when we shed the most hair, followed by October and November, thus making autumn the season of greatest hair loss (Kunz M., Seifert B., Trüeb RM., Seasonality of hair shedding in healthy women complaining of hair loss, Dermatology 2009; 219:105-110).
What is the life cycle of hair?
Firstly, it is completely normal to lose a little hair every day. However, it is important to distinguish between normal hair loss and the sort of hair loss that needs to be treated as soon as possible in order to prevent it from becoming permanent.
A human hair grows for between 3 to 6 years. Under normal conditions, 90% of our hair is growing (anagen phase), whilst the other 10% is resting or dormant (catagen phase) for between 2 and 6 months before falling out (telogen phase).Our hair follicles rest for 3 months before the whole process repeats again.
According to the Swedish research, the women observed had the highest proportion of resting hair in mid summer, with the catagen phase ending after two months in most cases, as of the start of September.
What causes seasonal hair loss?
One of the causes of this loss is that our body holds onto hair to protect the scalp from the strong summer sun and high temperatures. This speeds up the hair’s transition from one phase to another, meaning that the telogen phase begins sooner. This process of hair renewal affects both men and women. In principle, we shouldn’t worry, provided it is natural hair regeneration, because this affects everyone, but we do need to be careful if the hair loss is excessive, because this could be the sign of a serious, non-seasonal problem.
What can we do about it?
If we notice an abnormal amount of hair loss and our hair does not regrow after a period of time, this is when we need to take action to remedy this situation and regenerate lost hair. Therefore, we must start looking after our hair during September, to prevent it becoming weak and to be in optimal condition come winter.
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