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Seasonal Hair Loss

By: Jennie Kermode - Updated: 14 Dec 2014 | comments*Discuss
 
Hair Loss Seasonal Spring Autumn Summer

Do you ever get the feeling that your hair is thicker in the winter and thinner in the summer, just when you're getting out and about more and really want to look good? What you're experiencing could be a real phenomenon. Just as animals like dogs and cats grow thick winter coats which they shed in spring, some people experience hair loss that changes with the seasons.

Patterns of Seasonal Hair Loss

How do you know if you have seasonal hair loss? Because some other hair loss conditions can result in rapid shedding, it can be hard to tell. The only real way to be sure is to look out for a repeating pattern over two to four years. Any one bout of seasonal hair loss should not last for more than four months, after which new hair should start growing in. If this doesn't happen, Talk To Your Doctor to find out if you have a different problem.

Seasonal hair loss in people usually happens in spring or in autumn. If the latter sounds strange, remember that some animals shed their light summer coat in autumn in order to grow in a warmer winter one. Although changes in people are not usually as dramatic, they work the same way. An important factor to note is that seasonal hair loss does not normally result in you losing more than twice as much hair as usual. A healthy scalp can easily replace the lost hair.

How Seasonal Hair Loss Happens

There are two major factors thought to be involved in seasonal hair loss, both involving Hormones. The first is exposure to sunlight. Even if you spend most of your time indoors you will be exposed to more sunlight in spring and summer. This can lead to your body producing less melatonin, which interferes with hormone levels in your scalp. It can push hair follicles into their natural shedding phase for longer periods of time than usual.

The other major factor is the effect of testosterone, levels of which are usually higher in spring and autumn. Although testosterone is often thought of as a male hormone, it exists in both men and women and is known to trigger Hair Loss.

Usually part of the hair on the scalp is shedding and part of it is growing at any one time. Seasonal hair loss occurs because it shifts the balance between these two states. When you're growing as much new hair as you're losing, you won't notice any change. The good news is that seasonal conditions that push more hair into the shedding state are normally followed by a shift in balance so that more new hair is growing than being lost, and the lost hair is replaced.

Treatments for Seasonal Hair Loss

For most people, seasonal hair loss may be a bit worrying, but it doesn't really do any harm. If you have another hair loss condition, however, it can make your normally thin hair seem to disappear at times. The good news is that, in many people, this is treatable.

Because a drop in melatonin levels can be triggered by sunlight anywhere on your skin, simply covering your hair won't help. What has been shown to help is using a melatonin supplement. Melatonin can be taken orally, in pills, or can be injected into the scalp by a doctor. It's important to talk to your doctor before you take melatonin as it can have unpleasant side effects in some people with other medical conditions.

Swimming and your Hair

During the summer months, you need to be aware of the effects of swimming pool chemicals on your hair. Find out how to keep your hair in the best possible condition by reading our article Protecting Your Hair When Swimming.

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I have written a post on my blog which deals about the same topic: One of the reasons for this is because our body holds on to hair to protect the scalp against the strong summer’s sun; Another reason is the fact that we tend to get more easily sick in the cold months rather than in the summer time, and since our hair cells are the second-fastest produced cells in the body, so hair is often the first thing to suffer from any body condition, and hair can actually be used as a barometer of our health!
paolo8808 - 14-Dec-14 @ 7:37 PM
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