I'm a trichologist and here's the bizarre phenomenon that causes your hair to fall out in spring | The Sun
ARE YOU noticing your hair falling out more as we head towards spring?
Fret not, trichologists say.
Your hair loss is probably down to a poorly understood phenomenon called seasonal hair shedding, which tends to occur around the start of spring.
Think of how animals shed their winter coat as temperatures begin to rise.
Although we don't have a pelt of fur to shake off, it's common for some of us to lose more hair at this time of year,Harley Street trichologist Dr Hugh Rushton said.
Seasonal shedding affects some people more than others, he noted, and can also occur as we transition from summer to autumn.
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"For some people, they only experience it in the spring; for others, it's only in the autumn, while some, unfortunately, may be affected by both," the professor of trichological studies said.
Why does seasonal shedding occur?
Your hair has four phases: the anagen (growing) phase, catagen (transitional) phase, telogen (resting) phase and exogen (shedding) shedding.
According to Dr Rushton, seasonal shedding happens because a larger than normal percentage of growing hair shifts to the resting phase of the hair cycle.
This shift will usually occur during the winter or summer solstice – those are the shortest and longest days of each year.
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But you'll only notice your hair falling out about three months later.
The exact cause of seasonal hair shedding is unknown, but scientists believe it may be related to the shift in light levels at each of the solstices.
Dr Rushton explained that the hair follicle has a number of photoreceptors, such as CRY1, CRY2, OPN3 and OPN4, which respond to light.
He proposed that the changes in light levels as days get longer or shorter could stimulate the light receptor cells in hair, causing some hairs to move to the next phase of the hair cycle.
Dr Rushton said: "Because more hair than usual goes into the resting phase simultaneously, the shedding tends to occur all within a short time frame, making it far more noticeable and often leading people to believe they have a hair loss problem or are experiencing unnatural levels of hair loss."
"It's important to note that seasonal hair shedding should only last for a maximum of two to three weeks," he added.
And thankfully, all the hair you shed will grow back.
But if you're losing hair persistently, it might due to another reason.
"In such cases, it can be helpful to seek the advice of a trichologist or hair loss specialist who can help identify the cause of the increased hair shedding and suggest appropriate ways to treat the condition," Dr Rushton advised.
They'll be able to rule out underlying health conditions and get to the root of what's causing you to shed your locks.
It's possible you'll also experience seasonal hair loss in September, experts have said.
A combination of plummeting autumn temperatures, prolonged exposure to the sun during the summer, and stress from the return to work could be to blame.
Trichologist Mark Blake said: “Seasonal shedding is something that is left over from our ancestors.
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“September is considered the worst month for hair shedding, commonly thought to be related to temperature changes in the northern hemisphere."
Hairdressers have also revealed how your go to styles could be increasing your risk of nasty scalp conditions and even baldness.
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