Seasonal Hair Loss and the Importance of Scalp Protection

According to a popular internet poll on Reddit taken during the 2019 holiday season, people searched ‘hair loss’ most often during the fall and winter seasons rather than in spring or summer, suggesting that hair shedding and hair insecurity was predominant in the colder and harsher weather months.

But we didn’t need an internet poll to tell us – the hair care experts – how real and impactful seasonal hair loss can be. Here at groMD, we’ve recommended time and again the importance of scalp protection and hair health when weather conditions are harsh, and stress can be at a yearly high.

By the end of fall and beginning of winter, telogen hair loss, the phase when your hair stops growing and falls out, is in full swing. While more research is needed to explain why people lose hair in the fall and winter, we have some studied theories as to why this is the case. There has been research conducted at the Yale School of Dermatology suggesting that women may experience slightly higher rates of telogen during the months of November, where one sees the affected hairs falling out around three to four months later in mid-February and March. Exactly why this happens is unclear, but some suggest that stress brought on by winter deadlines and obligations may have a factor.

According to Dr. Cindy Jakreem of Dermatology News Today, seasonal variations in hair loss, astoundingly, also occurs in the animal kingdom – most notably in dogs, cats, monkeys and other higher primates.

As far as human hair loss goes, though, hair shedding throughout the year is pretty normal. According to the American Academy of Dermatologists, most people lose between 50 and 100 hairs each day, and stressors like giving birth, losing large amounts of weight, undergoing surgery, and so on can accelerate the amount you shed. Once that stress goes away, the hair tends to return to normal.

That being said, if you’ve noticed increased hair fall during the fall and winter months, it isn’t necessarily a sign of balding or androgenic alopecia. However, if you're interested in learning how to prevent seasonal hair loss, the groMD team has some tips for you:

  • Purchase a humidifier: A surprising way to fight dry hair in the winter is to use a humidifier. Humidifiers help rehydrate the air and your hair to keep moisture locked in to the follicles.
  • Take colder showers: Even though a hot shower might be just what you’re after when the temperature is cold, hot water can zap moisture from your hair making it brittle and more vulnerable to breaking.
  • Air dry your hair: Allowing your hair to air dry is best. Blow drying draws moisture out of your hair increasing the chance of breakage.
  • Deep condition once a week: Moisturizing is the name of the game for winter hair care. Using groMD’s deep conditioning shampoo to replenish moisture and combat the effects of hot styling tools, indoor heating, and cold winter winds is imperative.