Your Hair: How Much Shedding Is Normal?
Updated: Sep 15, 2018
With fall upon us, autumn can bring many changes; not just to the atmosphere, but also to our internal rhythm and life-cycle. As a master stylist of 20 years, my experience has shown me that hair shedding during the autumn months is as natural as the leaves falling. As the days grow shorter and colder, the roots of your hair also go into a dormancy phase, and for a period of 4-6 weeks, you might see increased hair shedding. For most people, at any time, 90 percent of our hair is actually growing, while the remaining 10 percent is in a resting state (known as the telogen stage) for about two to six months before it begins to shed.
Although a slight increase in shedding is normal as previously stated, if you notice an excessive amount of shedding the experts reveal the root (pun intended) causes could be:
MEDICATION: a number of medications can trigger hair shedding. This side-effect may not be listed, but is certainly possible.
IRON DEFICIENCY: in premenopausal women, lack of iron is the most common cause of hair loss, says Dr Rina Davison, an endocrinologist with a special interest in female hair loss at Whipps Cross University Hospital, London. Good food sources of iron are red meat, egg yolks, and leafy green vegetables. Vitamin C also helps with the absorption of iron, so have a glass of orange juice when eating, says Dr Davison.
POLYCYSTIC OVARIES: The second most common cause of hair loss in premenopausal women is polycystic ovarian syndrome, leading to excessive amounts of testosterone. ‘Contraceptive pills designed to lower the level of testosterone, such as Yasmin, can be helpful,’ she adds.
SKIN CONDITIONS: Pityriasis amiantacea — basically adult cradle cap — can cause hair loss, says trichologist Glenn Lyons. It’s linked to eczema, and may be confused with psoriasis.
CRASH DIETING: Crash dieting, particularly low-carb diets, can cause hair loss. As trichologist Dr Hugh Rushton explains: ‘You can eat as much protein and iron as you like, but without any energy your hair will suffer.’
THYROID PROBLEMS: An overactive or underactive thyroid can cause hair thinning, says Dr Davison. It’s particularly common where there is a family history of the disease or in women who have just given birth.
CONTRACEPTIVE PILL/HRT: All oral contraceptives contain progestogens, synthetic hormones that produce similar effects to the natural hormone progesterone — needed to help prevent a fertilized egg being implanted. ‘Women worried about hair loss, or who have a predisposition to genetic hair loss, should speak to their doctor about choosing a hair-friendly pill such as Yasmin, which lowers testosterone to a degree.’
BEING CHUBBY: Being overweight increases the risk of metabolic syndrome — essentially a precursor to type-2 diabetes — explains Gaynor Bussell of the British Dietetic Association. This is where insulin levels are higher than they should be. ‘The problem is that a high insulin level in women can trigger a higher testosterone level — and increase the risk of baldness.’
STRESS: Stress can lead to a type of hair loss called teleogen effluvium—forcing the hairs into the resting state before their time. Chronic stress might also push the immune system into overdrive so that it makes white blood cells attack the hair follicles.
Should you experience any of the above, following are some recommendations to ensure that your hair remains healthy and moisturized throughout the fall and winter months:
Shampoo less often to help with itchy, flaky scalp.
Switch to an oil-based moisturizer to lock in extra moisture.
Commit to weekly treatments to keep hair hydrated.
Use leave-in conditioner to combat static.
Forgo platinum hair color for a darker dye this winter.
Cut down on your heat-heavy styling routine.
Never go outside with damp hair to bypass breakage.
Line your winter hat with silk or satin to stop split ends.
Use dry shampoo for volume if your hair has gone limp.
Hydrate hair overnight with an oil or serum.
Most important is to maintain two-way communication with your professional stylist and inform him or her about what you may be experiencing. Also, keeping regularly scheduled trims and professional treatment for any of your hair concerns is also recommended for healthy hair and a healthy scalp. Remember, beauty begins within, so staying hydrated with H2O is a must!
In Light and Love,
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Source: Why autumn can make women’s hair fall out…Anna Hodgekiss
Gia Wilkerson Peebles is a master stylist and savvy entrepreneur with over two decades of experience. She is the proprietor and stylist at Aura Salon and Boutique, a full-service salon and day spa located in Durham, North Carolina. With a charming personality, remarkable smile and the ability to multitask, Gia is a master in the cosmetology industry – styling an array of prominent women and men in business and entertainment, in addition to her existing and growing clientele. Highly sought after to style for professional photo shoots, editorials, and fashion segments, Gia is an industry leader and a household name.