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Seasonal Change Effect on Hair- Reasons you Should Know

by Outlook Health
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Hair is one of the alluring features of the personality of an individual that often gets subjected to seasonal changes. The weather conditions or fluctuations in temperature, humidity, and the environment of the place where one lives have a role in how good or bad one’s hair looks and even influence the overall condition of one’s hair strands. The scalp condition is greatly affected at times during seasonal transition periods throughout the year. When there is minimal humidity and mildly warm climatic condition, healthy hair growth is possible.

Scroll down till the end of the blog to know about seasonal hair fall or loss, what causes it, and tips or suggestions to support hair growth as well as build up an effective, healthy hair care routine for changing weather. [1, 2, 3]

What Effects do Seasonal Changes have on Hair?

In every seasonal transition, the hair texture and growth gets affected by different weather conditions including:

  1. Wind- It can make hair dry, and brittle, and produce tangles and knots if long hair is left untied. Dry hair is because of loss of moisture from hair cuticles resulting from the wind making the trapped water in hair evaporate more quickly.
  2. Humidity- When the weather is humid and the hair is prone to natural dryness, the hair can absorb moisture from its surrounding air and dilapidate its molecular structures. As per hair experts, if the hair strands are fine, the excess locking in of water vapor at the hair ends could lead to heavy hair strands and induce loss of volume and shape of the hair. In contrast, if the hair is thick, additional trapping of moisture could result in expanded hair strands which further leads to almost uncontrollable frizzy hair.
  3. Heat- The overall health of hair is extremely impacted when it is exposed to UV rays coming from direct sunlight. Just like heat styling tools (blow dryers and straighteners) or washing hair without conditioners produce deleterious effects on hair, a similar thing happens when a person with an uncovered head gets outside on a sunny afternoon during the summer. The heat from the sun can break down the molecular structure of the hair and leave it dry, dull, and deprived of its natural sheen.

During summer, the UV rays are extremely powerful and the temperature is hot and humid. Therefore, people must sun-protect their scalp and also avoid head sweating by keeping proper air circulation. If there is sweating, there is more chance of erosion of hair’s outer protective layer and occurrence of dandruff due to the build-up of bacteria, dirt, excess oils, and pollutants present in the sweat.

Upon the arrival of monsoons and the end of the summer season, the scalp condition can get affected due to considerable changes in food intake. The rainy season is extremely humid. It could leave the hair dry, brittle, thin, lifeless, and itchy and even increase the risk of fungal infections that further could cause dandruff, itchiness, and extensive hair fall or hair loss.

During winter, the scalp and hair get dry and flaky. That’s because the cool and dry environment outside reduces blood circulation in the scalp, thereby preventing the nutrients and oxygen supply to the hair roots. Moreover, people staying indoors often switch on room heaters and wash their hair with warm/hot water which results in dry, heated air build-up on their scalps. To battle this dryness, the scalp starts secreting more natural oils that cause dandruff. [1, 2]

Seasonal Hair Loss in Women

During the sudden turn in season, most women notice extensive hair shedding as compared to men. Researchers tell the fact that seasonal hair loss is the most familiar concern among women because of two main reasons: awareness and hormonal fluctuations that affect their psychological state.

Seasonal hair loss often is seen during the autumn season such as in September and October and even at some point in the spring season, like in April and May months. That’s when the telogen and exogen phase of the hair growth cycle coincides with the changing seasons. Luckily, seasonal hair loss can last for only 2-3 months but if ignored, women can quickly face long-term hair loss. [4, 5]

Hair growth treatment for women

There are various treatment options available for female hair loss, including:

  • Hair-growth stimulating medications like Minoxidil with or without low-light therapy.
  • Corticosteroid injections work for conditions like alopecia areata.
  • Drugs like ketoco-nazole might help reduce inflammation and enhance the looks and strength of the hair in case of androgenetic alopecia.
  • Hormone replacement therapy for either progesterone or estrogen (the female sex hormones) or the use of anti-androgens such as spironolactone.
  • Platelet-rich plasma therapy speeds up the repair of the weak or damaged hair follicle by natural growth factors and essential proteins.
  • Medicated shampoos promote healthy hair.
  • Hair transplant surgery in case of extensive hair thinning or balding in women. [6]

Some Hair Care Tips to Avoid Hair Damage Induced by Changing Weather and Arrest Hair Fall

  • Guard hair against pollution, dust, sunlight, and extreme hot or cold weather. This can be done by covering the head with a silky scarf, a hat, or an umbrella and also by not keeping long hair always open.
  • Do scalp massage to improve blood circulation in the area of hair loss, keep dandruff at bay, and ensure a healthy scalp and hair.
  • Regularly apply hair oils on the scalp and let the scalp absorb them. After oiling, do not immediately comb the hair. Gently comb hair after a few minutes with a natural boar bristle brush or hardwood brush and detangle hair to avoid hair breakage and hair loss.
  • Do not tie wet hair as this practice could result in bacterial or fungal scalp infection.
  • Avoid taking very hot showers as they could burn, damage, or dry the scalp skin, and hair. While doing hair washing, use cold/lukewarm water and not hot, steaming water to preserve hair health as well as shine.
  • Keep the body well-hydrated and eat a hair-healthy diet.
  • Make use of SLS-free/mild shampoos to wash hair and partake in a deep conditioning treatment on regular basis to address dryness and revitalize the hair.
  • Take natural dietary hair-health supporting supplements. [1, 2, 3]

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References:

  • https://mygoodhair.com/blogs/ayurvedic-hair-care-tips/how-does-the-change-in-weather-affects-your-hair
  • https://aaranyaa.in/blogs/news/season-change-scalp-change-know-what-to-do
  • https://www.timesnownews.com/lifestyle/is-seasonal-change-causing-more-hair-fall-than-usual-heres-what-you-need-to-do-article-92080629
  • https://goldielocks.com/blogs/news/seasonal-hair-loss#:~:text=Seasonal%20shedding%20often%20occurs%20during,where%20more%20hairs%20are%20shed.
  • https://www.dailysabah.com/life/health/seasonal-hair-loss-can-the-weather-actually-make-your-hair-fall-out
  • https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/327194

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