Have you noticed excess shedding recently? Seeing all that extra hair caught in your brush can be scary… I know the feeling all too well (see my hair-loss journey).
This is a common problem for so many women during autumn. In fact, during the late summer/early fall, Google searches for the words ‘hair loss’ spike according to a scientific analysis of Google Trends data.
I took the time to dig a little deeper into the scientific literature on hair loss to see if I could better understand why it seems to increase around autumn.
Based on my findings, I can say with confidence that many of you out there Googling ‘hair loss’ in the fall months are indeed dealing with seasonal hair loss!
This is great news because it means seasonal hair shedding is just a phase – so your hair will grow right back again next season!
Scientific links between hair loss and seasonal shifts
The Google analysis isn’t the only scientific study linking seasonality with hair shedding.
To help you understand if seasonal hair loss is affecting you, let’s dive into what’s happening to your hair during each season, and look at some hair-care tips to help you keep your hair thriving through autumn, winter, spring, summer – every single season!
Understanding your hair growth cycle
Before we jump into the science of seasonal alopecia (aka, seasonal hair loss), it will help to have a basic understanding of the three phases of your hair growth cycle, including:
- Anagen (growth) – during this stage, which can last years, your hair is continually growing. Depending on the season, about 80% – 90% of your hair is in the anagen phase.
- Catagen (transition) – in this stage, your hair stops growing and detaches from the base of the follicle. However, this does not necessarily mean your hair will fall out. Though your hair is detached from the base of your follicle, it has not yet detached from your scalp entirely. Only 1% of your hair is in this phase at any point in time.
- Telogen (rest/shed) – the final phase of your hair’s life cycle, your hair is ready to shed away from your scalp. It will either fall out on its own, or, will shed when you brush your hair (or something of the like). When these hairs shed, your follicle is triggered into the anagen phase once again. Depending on the season, around 10% – 20% of your hair is in the telogen phase.
Though your hair moves naturally through these phases, there are a number of factors that can influence how quickly your hair will transition between them, including:
- general health (stress level, diet, hair-care routine)
- environment – (including the season, of course! 🍁)
Seasonal hair care tips to keep your hair fresh and fabulous
Winter hair care
When the weather outside is frightful, the majority of your hair – up to 90% – is in its anagen (growth) phase. This actually makes sense when you look at the animal kingdom – most mammals experience increased hair growth which helps keep their bodies warmer during the colder months!
Tips to care for your hair in winter
Though your hair is growing strong, it’s also susceptible to environmental damage – especially if you live in a harsher climate. From dry air to freezing temperatures, make sure you’re protecting your hair with regular, deep-hydrating treatments (hello Nourish + Repair Serum!).
Above all else – never go outside with wet hair. It’s so damaging -> see my blog: How to Maintain Fabulous Hair Through the Coldest Winter Weather
Spring hair care
As that warmer weather moves in, your hair (which is mostly in its anagen phase) shifts into telogen (rest/shed) stage – after all, you don’t need all that extra hair if it’s warmer, right? Thanks, body. 🙄 So, you’ll likely see increased shedding, especially in those later spring months.
Tips to care for your hair in spring
It's time to shake off those winter blues and breathe new life into your hair care routine! Try a scalp detox massage, followed by a deep conditioning treatment to replenish moisture. This is also a great time to get a trim to promote healthy new hair growth.
Summer hair care
Those sunshine summer days are hard to beat – except for hair. Your hair is at its highest proportion of telogen hairs, meaning up to 20% of your hair is not growing. Instead, those follicles are preparing to shed… which is also why the next season sees the most shedding!
Tips to care for your hair in summer
HAIRLOVE Growth Complex contains a holy grail ingredient that helps keep your hair in its natural anagen (growth) phase longer. That ingredient? Cynatine HNS! This is also why it’s key to take Growth Complex year-round, as it will help to lower the number of follicles in the telogen phase throughout every season.
-> For a ton of summer haircare tips, grab our Summer Healthy Hair Guide!
Autumn hair care
In late autumn, you’ll tend to see more hair shedding. That’s because all those hairs that entered the telogen (rest) phase in the summer are now, finally, starting to fall out. The good news is, your hair growth phase is just around the corner. In early winter, you should start to see less hair loss because any hair you’ve shed is now replaced by hair in the anagen phase.
Tips to care for your hair in fall
Combat seasonal shedding with a nutrient-rich diet and consider adding supplements like Growth Complex and Omega-3 fatty acids to support hair health. And don’t forget a few gentle scalp massages to stimulate blood flow and promote healthy hair growth!