During the warmer summer period, many people experience more hair shedding than usual. A study showed female hair loss increased by up to 6% per day in summer, compared to the average hair loss rate . But summer hair loss or seasonal hair loss can impact both men and women, and is caused by many different factors — from sun exposure to dehydration.
Why do some people lose hair in summer?
When the weather is warmer, our bodies search for ways to conserve energy and keep us cool. Hair insulates our bodies, so when we’re already hot, our bodies don’t expend energy growing more of it.
Researchers monitored hair loss in 800 women over 6 years and found that there are more resting follicles over the summer months . Resting follicles shed their hair in preparation for regrowth, suggesting shedding can last well into autumn.
Exposure to sunlight also causes our bodies to produce less melatonin, which affects the hormone levels in your scalp. It signals hair follicles to carry out their natural shedding phase for longer than usual.
It’s worth remembering that most people shed around 100 hairs every day. It’s only if you notice significant hair loss that you may need to take preventative measures.
Is it hair loss or breakage?
Dryness caused by heat and humidity can cause hair to break. This can lead to the appearance of thinner hair, even though you’re not actually losing hair from the follicle.
If your hair has a very dry or brittle texture, it’s likely that you’re experiencing hair breakage rather than hair loss. Use conditioner and nourishing oils, minimise heat exposure, and trim your ends regularly to improve the condition of your hair.
4 tips to prevent summer hair loss
There are lots of treatments and techniques you can try to encourage your follicles to wake up and see the sunshine.
Protect your hair
Keeping your hair healthy is a great way to minimise the chance of hair loss and breakage. This includes:
- Minimising the use of heat treatments such as blow drying and straightening
- Towelling and shampooing your tresses gently
- Using heat protection sprays and serums to safeguard your hair against damage
- Don’t scrape your hair back into tight ponytails or buns
These tips should be used all year round to avoid hair loss in spring and summer.
Use hair treatments
Certain treatments can help you stimulate your follicles to grow new hairs. If you’re really worried about your summer hair loss, you can ask a trichologist to recommend medicated treatments. Alternatively, you can try natural remedies such as coconut oil.
Here’s how to use coconut oil to stimulate hair regrowth:
- Comb your hair to remove tangles – you don’t want them to become knots!
- Warm the oil to make it easy to apply. Either place a bowl containing the oil into a larger one containing hot water, or pop it in the microwave for a few seconds (stir well to avoid scalding hot spots). The oil needs to be pleasantly warm to penetrate the hair and follicles.
- Apply the oil to your scalp and gently massage through your roots to nourish and stimulate your scalp.
- Wrap your hair in a hot damp towel to allow the oil to really penetrate into your scalp. Leave it in place for about an hour, then gently wash with lukewarm water to close your pores up again.
- Avoid heating your hair and tying it back into tight hairstyles immediately after treatment.
Wear protection against summer hair loss
The most stylish and traditional way to protect your head is to wear a sun hat or scarf, but if you’re not a hat person, there are alternative ways to protect your hair in the sun.
Protective hair products are available to combat brittleness, dryness and damage caused by sun, sea and pollution. Many Brazilian women — for whom beach life is daily life — use protective hair oil when out in the sun. This helps their hair stay nourished, smooth and intact.
Eat well and stay hydrated
Diet has a significant impact on the health of your hair. Like the rest of your body, hair needs nourishment to grow, so you need to eat a healthy, balanced diet to ensure your hair gets the nutrients it needs. Hair growth is an optional extra from your body’s point of view, so hair growth is one of the first things to be affected if you have nutritional deficiencies.
You also need to drink plenty of water to minimise the risk of summer hair loss. This is important all year round, but the heat makes dehydration much more likely in summer. Dehydration leads to dry, brittle hair, so make sure you’re drinking plenty of water to keep your hair full and fresh.
Spring hair loss
Some people also experience hair loss in spring. As the weather becomes warmer, your hair follicles can react and move swiftly into their resting phase. Like summer hair loss, spring hair loss is usually temporary, and can be managed using the methods above.
Should you be worried about summer hair loss?
A slight increase in hair loss over summer isn’t necessarily a cause for concern. Because dehydration, UV exposure and heat can all play a part in hair loss, it’s normal for some people to experience greater hair loss.
However, if you’re losing significant amounts of hair, the cause may be beyond seasonal.
Beyond summer hair loss: what if your hair loss is more than seasonal?
If you begin to see consistent heavy shedding across the scalp (for women) or in specific areas such as the crown or temples (for men), there may be a wider hair loss issue in play.
Male pattern baldness starts with recurring hair loss over the crown and temples and doesn’t regrow. With female pattern baldness, hair loss tends to be diffuse to begin with, with larger bald patches eventually occurring around the temples and the crown.
If you’re worried that your hair loss is permanent rather than seasonal, seek the help of a professional hair loss consultant. It can be distressing to learn you’re suffering from hair loss, but there are many treatments out there for stimulating hair growth and restoring lost hair.
If you need more help get in touch
At the Wimpole Clinic, we provide a range of hair loss and hair restoration options for those suffering from ongoing hair loss issues. We specialise in natural-looking hair transplant procedures and can also provide expert advice on non-invasive hair loss solutions such as lotions and medication.
We offer all our new clients a completely free, no obligation hair loss consultation with our leading hair specialist. Get in touch with us now to find out more.
Talk to a specialist ☎ 020 7935 1861.
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