While we may have been experiencing an Indian summer this year, rumour has it things are about to start feeling a lot more autumnal, and when that happens you may start to notice more hair shedding than usual.
Don’t panic! Seasonal hair loss is totally normal. Much like dogs and cats experience moulting with the change of the seasons, so do we. Typically, however, this excess hair shedding is far more likely to happen to women than men.
So, why does it happen and what can we do about it?
Why does seasonal hair loss occur?
Well, although it might feel like it, seasonal hair loss in women is not really the same as it is in our furry friends. Dogs and cats shed their summer coats in Autumn to grow new, thicker ones for winter. For us, it tends to be much more about the way we treat our hair in the different seasons.
Some of the major factors experts have identified that cause autumnal hair thinning include:
- Sea salt
All of these things are part and parcel of summer life, but each of them can do damage to your hair, leaving it dry, brittle and more prone to breakage and shedding.
Some scientists believe that we actually grow more hairs in the summer, to protect our scalps from the sun’s rays, and so the hair shedding that we experience in autumn actually is a form of moulting, as we lose those excess hairs.
Why would women be more likely to shed hair in autumn than men?
Opinions are divided on this, but one school of thought says it’s really more down to an awareness of the problem. While men might notice the receding hairline that comes with male-pattern hair loss, this diffuse shedding is likely to escape their attention.
Women, on the other hand, tend to spend a lot of time on their hair – brushing, styling and blow drying – so we’re far more finely-attuned to subtle changes in its texture and volume.
Another suggestion is that the hair loss is linked to hormonal changes, and as we all know that’s something women are more prone to.
What can be done to prevent seasonal hair loss?
One thing you can do is to pre-empt the problem, by protecting your hair during the summer months.
Hats and swim caps offer maximum protection, but if that’s not your style you can get hair products that will go some way to provide a barrier between your hair and the sun and sea.
It’s probably a bit late for that now though, so experts suggest using moisturising treatments to inject a bit of life back into your hair. You can also try sulphate-free shampoos, which are gentler on the hair.
As with any hair loss problem though, if it’s really bothering you it is worth consulting a hair loss specialist, in case there is another underlying cause. For more information or to book a consultation with one of our experts, please contact us.