Increased Winter Hair Loss | Salon Secret Africa

Increased winter hair loss - is it a reason to worry?

Salon Secret
04 October 2018
Increased winter hair loss - is it a reason to worry?  : woman with thick curly afro hair
There are many reasons for hair loss, ranging from stress and medical conditions, to the continual pulling of tight hairstyles. But what about Mother Nature? Do you lose more hair during the colder months of winter? Is hair loss actually influenced by the season?

Let’s start with some facts. Hair loss is pretty normal, so don’t be shocked by the number of strands left behind on your pillow on any given day, or how many come out while you’re brushing or washing. Statistics say that people lose 50 to 100 hairs a day. For African women, that figure hovers around 60.

Your hair also has a growth cycle, divided into four stages:
1) The Anagen or Growth Phase, which sees your strands grow between 1-1.5cm every month, and last 2-7 years.
2) The Catagen Phase - a transitional phase of around 10 days.
3) The Telogen Phase, also known as hair’s Resting Phase, which lasts around 3 months, and usually affects 10% of your strands at any one time.
4) The Exogen Phase, which is a shedding period sometimes included at the end of the Resting Phase. At this point, the strands are more easily released by the follicles in your scalp, and simply fall out from the root. 

Each strand on your head is at a different stage of this cycle, which continually repeats with new, regrown hair. However, while summer months are when your hair often grows well – supposedly so it’s thicker and offers more sun protection – by winter, the need for that extra protection is over, and many of your strands will enter resting and shedding stages (the Telogen and Exogen Phases respectively). Basically, you’ll probably notice less hair growth and more loss during the colder months.

So, yes, human hair loss patterns are affected by the seasons. 

Many South African women see their hair becoming increasingly fragile in winter due to the cold and increased dryness. With less moisture in the air, hair can become more brittle, and therefore more prone to breakage-related loss. And if you’re using hot styling tools and hair dryers, you may be causing further damage. It’s essential then to make sure your hair is well-hydrated at all times, and protected – especially when styling.

Use gentle, non-drying shampoos, and incorporate multi-purpose treatment Mizani 25 Miracle Milk (suitable for all hair types) into your haircare routine. Hanson Ndabeni, Dark and Lovely Brand Educator, also recommends massaging your hair and scalp regularly with Dark and Lovely Moisture Plus Satin Oil to nourish and strengthen strands, and stimulate all-important blood flow to your follicles. 

Hanson’s final tip is to trim split ends as soon as you notice them. “Your ends are the oldest and most fragile parts of your hair, and excessive heat styling and chemical treatments can split or fray them,” he explains. “If left unchecked, the damage can continue down the hair shaft, causing hair to become weaker and weaker, and eventually break off.”

If you are still concerned about the amount of hair you’re losing, even in winter, speak to a knowledgeable haircare professional. You can find your nearest salon here.
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