• Dr. Monisha Aravind

Seasonal hair loss - How to beat it

As the summer/winters approach, so, too, does seasonal hair shedding. Seeing more hairs than normal on your hairbrush, on the bathroom floor, or in the shower can leave an average man or woman in a bit of a panic. So, is this kind of hair loss normal?

First, let’s try to understand what seasonal hair fall is. During certain times of the year, you may notice an increase in hair shedding, especially during the summer months. This phenomenon is called seasonal shedding.

A study was done on healthy women after excluding the other causes of hair fall, over 6 years showed that the telogen hairs are more during summer, with a second peak in spring and less during winter.

A new British Journal of Dermatology study explored the relationship between hair fall and seasonality at the population level using Google Trends data, which also proved that hair fall is more during summer compared to winter.

A Chennai-based study has also proven that hair fall has been associated with air pollution and increased humidity. The dust particles in the air tend to block the follicles, increase the sensitivity of the scalp, cause itching, redness, dandruff all of which increase the hair fall.

Let’s take a look at the science behind this :

The exact physiology behind seasonal hair fall has not been explored enough though. But the harmful UV rays emitted by the sun can disrupt the disulfide bond and lead to protein loss, which can increase the brittleness of hair fibre leading to hair breakage, roughness, and hair fall. If your facing hair falls in summer, it could be normal because of the seasonal variations. It can also be vice versa for some individuals as they face hair fall more during winter than summer. Seasonal hair fall doesn’t have to be in the same season for all.

Factors that increase hair fall :

Physical factors such as medication or chemical treatments such as bleaching and high heat from styling tools can increase hair loss. Lacking protein, vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and essential fatty acids, all of which are necessary for hair growth, your hair may be looking dull or feel as if it is not growing at all. Bearing daily stress lately especially due to the pandemic stress, all these can contribute to hair loss.

Ways to prevent hair fall :

1. Follow a haircare routine

  • Use a sulphate free shampoo, at least twice a week, if you have oily scalp wash on alternate days. Don’t rub the shampoo too much onto the scalp or hair.

  • Use a conditioner after every wash.

  • Don’t rub your hair with a towel, pat dry it.

  • Don’t use a hairdryer, try to air dry.

  • Don’t use styling products daily.

  • Don’t pull your hair too tight into a ponytail or braids, choose hairstyles that don’t give more traction.

  • Use a heat and sun protectant serum before stepping out. Cover your hair with a scarf.

  • Drink 3-4 litres of water per day to keep yourself well hydrated.

  • Oil massage - 2 times a week, will help in improving the blood supply and also reduces the protein loss from the hair fibre.

  • If you have an oily scalp - don’t apply oily on the scalp, just apply to your hair fibre and wash off in 20 mins

  • Don’t apply oil overnight

  • Avoid perming, straightening, colouring during this season of hair fall.

  • Use an anti-dandruff shampoo weekly twice to keep dandruff under control.

2. Food items for healthy hair :

  • Fruits and vegetables that are high in antioxidants

  • Melons

  • Lime

  • Cucumber

  • Berries

  • Buttermilk

  • Amla juice

  • Nuts like almonds, walnuts, cashews, figs

Prevent it with Armoraa

If your hair fall is the same for more than 2 months then rather than attempting to self-diagnose whether your hair shedding is seasonal or something more, consider visiting our clinic - Armoraa which gives you an in-depth analysis designed to help determine the health of your hair. We can also help you to customize a hair care protocol which will ultimately help in reducing and preventing hair and scalp problems.

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