Seasons change, leaves turn orange, and eventually fall. Your hair is no different. If you're noticing an excessive amount of hair going down your shower drain or on your brush, don't stress it could be a seasonal shed. If you're freaking out because you think that you're losing your hair, stop. In this article, we will be discussing the difference between seasonal shedding and balding from genetic hair loss.
Why Does Seasonal Hair Shedding Occur?
Hair follicles are living organisms that like leaves go through life cycles. The anagen (growth) phase is when the hair follicle is terminal or active. The catagen (transitional period) is when the hair follicle is transitioning into the dormant stage. The telogen phase is when the hair follicle is dormant; every person has around 10% of their hair in the telogen stage at any given time.
Studies About Seasonal Shedding
One study by Valerie A. Randall and F.J.G Ebling, published in the British Journal of Dermatology, studied fourteen men from ages eighteen to thirty-nine. These men provided beard trimmings, shed hairs, and even toenail clippings; I know gross. The researchers found that the peak growth (anagen) period topped in March, and the peak dormant (telogen) period peaked in August and September. The study found that the number of hairs that shed doubled in August and September.
Another study sponsored by L'oreal laboratories hair product giants in France had similar findings. The study followed ten participants for eight to fourteen years. Four of the subjects did not have any form of hair loss, while the other six did. Researchers used phototrichograms to figure out the percentage of hairs in the resting phase. The researchers concluded that the end of summer and beginning of autumn had the highest number of hairs in the dormant stage. January, February, and March had the least amount of hair shed.
How Can You Tell A Difference Between Seasonal Shedding and Hair Loss
There are a lot of forms of hair loss, but the most common is called androgenic alopecia (genetic hair loss)- this form of hair loss is hereditary and has a distinct pattern. For men, the hair loss pattern resembles a horseshoe, and for women, it resembles a Christmas tree on the top of the scalp. In most cases, the top of the scalp is affected, leaving the sides and back of the scalp healthy and strong. However, other forms of hair loss can affect the entire scalp.
Since hereditary hair loss is genetic, one way to rule it out is by checking your family history. If you have a lot of members in your family that suffer from male and female pattern baldness, the chances are you are suffering from the condition as well. Also, if you see the top thinner than the sides, that is a telltale sign of genetic hair loss.
If you still have doubts and aren't sure if you're hair shedding is seasonal or due to hair loss, visit a board-certified dermatologist or qualified hair transplant surgeon. Physicians have high-magnification lenses and cameras, which can detect miniaturizing hair follicles and hair follicles in the telogen stage. If you have over 25% of your hair in the telogen phase, it's most likely due to androgenic alopecia.
Studies show that seasonal shedding happens, and it occurs at the end of summer. There is a link between extended periods of sun exposure and hair shedding. There have been several studies that show peak hair shedding occurs in summer and the beginning of autumn. Hair shedding is a natural part of your hair follicle's life cycle; everyone sheds. It is normal to lose 60-100 hairs per day.
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