The days are getting increasingly shorter, the air is getting colder, and the leaves are beginning to change colour. But changing seasons don’t just impact our environment, it also affects our bodies in strange ways. So, if you’ve been noticing more hair on your floor, stuck on your bedsheets, or accumulating on your brush—worry not. There’s nothing wrong with you or your hair, it’s just your body adjusting to the new season.
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Why does more hair fall out during fall?
A popular theory is that during the summer, our bodies hang on to hair more tightly during the summer so that it can protect the scalp from the sun. When the weather begins getting colder, and the sun also loses its intensity, our hairs fall out because they are no longer needed. Dermatologist, Emily Wise Shanahan said in conversation with Allure:
The thought here is that perhaps in the summer months, we hang on to more hair to provide increased protection from the sun.
A few months after, when we begin shifting into late fall and early winter, those hairs that we held onto during summer will make a transition into the shed phase.
Researchers at John Hopkins and Washington University have other thoughts. Their study revealed an increased amount of inquiries about hair loss on Google during autumn and summer. Shawn Kwatra, the co-author of the study, says that it is completely normal and could be because it’s colder during winter and spring. She told Health:
Mildly increased hair loss in the summer and fall is normal.
This is speculative, but from an evolutionary perspective one of the roles of hair is to provide warmth.
This would be less necessary during the summer months.
While there are contesting theories as to why hair falls out during the fall, both scientific and anecdotal evidence proves that it is a common occurrence.
If you do want to minimise fall out during this season, here’s what you can do:
- Avoid putting your hair up in a tight ponytail or braid as it can damage your hair follicles.
- Cut back on any heat-based styling products like hair dryers, straightening irons, or curling irons.
- Use a microfibre towel to dry your wet hair.
- You can also take supplements like biotin to strengthen your hair.