Did you know that seasonal hair loss is more common during the fall? However, it should not be a source of concern. It is perfectly normal for this to happen. Just like with the leaves on the trees, our hair undergoes a process of renewal in the fall.
If you lose more hair during the fall, it’s probably due in part to the legacy we inherited from our mammalian ancestors. In fact, all mammals lose parts of their hair during this season. Then everything goes back to normal when it’s over.
The process by which we lose more hair during the fall is called “seasonal hair loss”. It affects all people, but it is those with long hair who notice it the most. Some people get worried when it happens and try to get more vitamins and other supplements. However, this is neither necessary nor effective.
Seasonal hair loss
Regardless of the season, all people – both men and women – lose hair continuously. Under normal conditions, between 12 and 15% of our hair is renewed every day. Thus, we lose around 80 to 100 hairs every day.
This means that we renew our entire hair in four years. However, there are periods when the loss is greater. This is usually only in the fall, but it is not uncommon for it to happen during the spring as well.
This renewal process has only one exception: newborns. Babies are born with a kind of down that disappears completely after three or four months of age. This is when their real hair starts to grow.
What causes seasonal hair loss?
In principle, all mammals are evolutionarily conditioned to change fur to prepare for winter. This is because cold weather requires renewed hair that can cope with low temperatures. Thus, this is the first reason why we lose more hair during the fall.
In the same way, hair loss is part of a natural physiological renewal process and has a seasonal factor. For example, hair usually dies in the spring, but it takes up to three months before it falls out, which coincides with the fall. That is why hair loss peaks during this time of year.
Similarly, the variation of light and the number of hours of sunshine also affect hair loss. Overall, these factors lead to a variation in the secretion of melatonin and prolactin. The consequence is a change in the hair’s content of telogen effluvium, which leads to hair loss.
Myths and facts
There are some myths about seasonal hair loss. For example, some say that it affects women more than men. However, this is not true. What happens is that women usually have longer hair and therefore pay more attention to it.
Others say you need to brush your softest hair to prevent hair loss or that the loss will stop if you do not braid it. Both statements are untrue since the hair falls out because it is already practically loose. All hair that is not part of this felling process has a root that is approximately 6 mm below the scalp. It is thus very difficult to pull it out.
Some people claim that vitamin supplements prevent hair loss during the fall. However, this is also untrue. This is because this process does not occur due to a vitamin deficiency, but a completely natural physiological change.
When should one worry about hair loss?
Let’s make this clear: seasonal hair loss is not really a loss, but a renewal. The hair we lose during the fall grows back in three to four months by itself. There is therefore no need for treatment or changes in our routine. When a hair loosens, it is simply because there is already another strand of hair pushing it out.
The best course of action is to wash your hair often and brush it every day. In this way, it gradually falls out. This is because a collection of loose hair on your head will occur if you only brush once in a while, which will give you the impression that you are losing a lot more hair than you should.
Finally, you should only worry about hair loss in the fall if it is really extreme or if you continue to lose your hair after the season is over. In these extreme cases, it is always a good idea to go to a dermatologist who can assess the situation better.