Are you discouraged by the number of loose strands that come away when you brush, comb, or style your hair? Do you find that your hair loss becomes even more significant during the fall than usual? If so, you're not alone, and you're certainly not imagining it. For thousands of men across Canada, seasonal hair loss is an annual phenomenon that can cause considerable misery and distress.
Read on to discover the answers to these and many more common questions men have about seasonal shedding (hair loss).
Losing some hair on a daily basis is entirely normal. When you wash your hair, brush or comb it, you can expect to lose around 50-100 hairs a day. This is a normal part of the hair renewal process - around 10% of your hair will be shed (and subsequently replaced by new hair) at any one time.
It's also natural for many men to experience hair loss as they age. Known as androgenetic alopecia, it's caused by the body's reaction to one of the by-products of testosterone (dihydrotestosterone (DHT)). DHT causes hair follicles to shrink, eventually meaning they no longer have the capacity to grow fresh hairs.
In addition to age-related male baldness, factors such as heredity, stress, poor diet, hormonal changes, or some health conditions can all cause hair shedding. While little can be done to stop age-related hair loss, if hair loss is caused by other factors, paying more attention to living a healthy lifestyle may help.
Losing some hair on a daily basis is entirely normal. When you wash your hair, brush or comb it, you can expect to lose around 50-100 hairs a day.
Yes! Research into seasonal hair loss in autumn shows both men and women do, in many cases, experience noticeably more hair loss during the late summer months and early fall, in comparison to seasonal hair loss in winter, seasonal hair loss in spring, or seasonal hair loss in summer.
The good news is that in most cases, seasonal hair loss isn't permanent. Although a greater percentage of hair tends to be discarded from the scalp as the thermometer begins to fall, once winter is over and we begin to move into spring, hair loss due to seasonal variations slows. The new hair that grows back is discarded at its usual rate. This means that although some people will notice that their hair is markedly thinner in the fall, this isn't a permanent situation - if the only reason you're losing hair is due to the time of year, hair growth should resume to normal levels by springtime.
The short answer to this question is sometimes - if you're losing hair for other reasons, you may find that as spring progresses, your hair loss remains higher than previously. This may be due to factors other than seasonal hair loss and may require different management to reduce their effects.
The good news is that in most cases, seasonal hair loss isn't permanent.
Although hair loss is common in both seasonal hair loss and alopecia conditions, there are significant differences between the two.
Alopecia is hair loss that's usually caused by internal factors such as heredity or health. Aside from trichotillomania (a condition characterized by constant pulling or fiddling with the hair, which damages it), alopecia frequently results in permanent hair loss.
Seasonal hair loss in men (and women) is a temporary condition that will usually improve significantly as the temperatures start to rise. Individuals experiencing hair loss due to seasonal shedding should notice that their hair begins to thicken up again (and the number of strands that come out when hair is washed or brushed will diminish) once autumn is over.
Seasonal hair loss during the late summer and autumn is a natural response to something that actually happened earlier on in the year: summer!
Obviously, during the summer, there's more UV light, as it's sunnier. UV is well-known for its destructive effect on the skin, and the damage that heatstroke can do is also well-documented.
As part of a suite of defences your body deploys to combat the effects of heat and minimize the damage it does, increased UV light prompts a larger percentage of hair follicles to rest rather than grow. This means that hair loss is reduced as the body holds onto its hair for longer. A thick head of hair helps to protect the body from the sun's rays.
When the temperature starts to fall (in late summer and early autumn), the hair's rest and growth cycles return to normal. This prompts a large-scale hair loss, as more follicles stop resting and start growing (meaning old hair is discarded to make way for fresh, new hair). The process results in increased shedding, which is what people notice during seasonal hair loss.
Many people want to know how long seasonal hair loss lasts and what can be done about it. In most cases, all that's necessary is to wait for the weather to finish cooling down - your hair loss will gradually stabilize over the winter and spring. It should diminish over the summer. Then the loss will pick up again as summer draws to a close and autumn begins.
For most men, there's no need to treat seasonal hair loss. That said, if you find that you're still losing more hair than you would like, it may be worth seeking assistance from elsewhere to see what options are available.