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'Tis The Season for Shedding Hair
by Jane Meggitt
Winter is approaching, the season of major holidays, snow and ice, and excess hair shedding. Yes, if you think there’s more hair in your brush on in the sink as colder weather comes on, you’re not imagining it. The good news is that extra hair shouldn’t raise your anxiety levels – it’s a perfectly natural phenomenon. On average, a person loses 80-100 hairs daily. During shedding season, the number may rise to 150 or more.
The Three Phases of Hair Growth
Hair grows in three distinct phases throughout the year. The growth, or anagen phase, lasts between three and six months and generally starts up in the spring. Then there’s the short catagen phase, which only lasts a matter of weeks. The final phase, beginning in the fall, is the telogen, or resting phase. At this point in the hair growth cycle, hair is no longer growing but just taking a nap. Evolution may prove responsible for these phases, as people didn’t need hair for sun protection in the winter.
As long as your hair and scalp are healthy, those lost hairs will replace themselves as the follicles return to their growth phase. There’s one caveat: As women age, fewer of those hairs may replace themselves.
Combatting Seasonal Shedding
While some extra hair loss is normal in winter, that doesn’t mean you should find yourself losing large amounts of hair or see bald patches on your head. If that’s the case, you may want to consult your doctor and have health tests performed. If you want to combat normal seasonal shedding as much as possible, concentrate on keeping your scalp healthy year-round. That means avoiding putting a lot of chemicals and dyes onto your hair that may harm your scalp, and using serums specifically designed to help your scalp, not your hair.
Avoid using heating devices and keep blow drying to a minimum. You may want to consider taking vitamins for your hair’s health, such as biotin. While biotin doesn’t affect the shedding cycle, it does aid in keeping hairs from breaking, which can also lead to hair loss. When you’re outside, it’s fine to wear a hat to keep warm – there are more important things than some lost hairs – but take hats, hoods and other headgear off once you are indoors. Wearing head coverings for too long a time can cause friction, which further exacerbates hair shedding.
If you or someone you know would like to learn more about hair loss and how to treat it, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!