The way of hair follicles to respond seasonal changes may vary from person to person. While some people are likely to find shedding hair in the spring and summer, others tend to notice it in the autumn and winter. Interestingly, there are also many people who don’t notice a significant change of hair loss all over the year.
The humidity may have an effect
The answer of how hair follicles respond the weather is not fully known. However, there are some explanations that have been proposed. One of the answers may come from changes in the ambient humidity.
Regardless of your hair loss type, the humidity around you can be an almost universal catalyst for uncooperative and frizzy locks. In high humidity, your hair is more difficult to manage and likely to become fry, or fluffy ends – even though you have hair that normally lacks frizz-factor.
Water (H2O) consists of two main components, hydrogen and oxygen. When the humidity around you is so high, there will be more hydrogen – and your hairs will know and respond this first.
Your hair and its structures are naturally designed with some chemicals that are extremely sensitive to respond airborne hydrogen. In fact, we can find many gadgets called hygrometers that rely on hair to measure humidity for their readings.
At a cross section of hair follicle, it has many layers. The sensitivity to humidity is located on the middle of layer, where there are many coiled bundles of keratin proteins. Chemical bonds created from neighboring hydrogen atoms hold together these bundles.
And hydrogen in the air is the key of where the humidity frizz comes.
Humid day means there are more water molecules in the air, including for hydrogen. And with high supply of hydrogen in the air, a hair follicle can make more hydrogen bonds. As a result, hair is likely to become frizzier or curlier.
There are some options for coping:
Choose the right shampoo and conditioner!
The best way to wash your hair is with the right shampoo & conditioner. This can be an effective trick to help ease hair frizz in humid days. The key point is to give more hydration so thus your hair doesn’t soak up excess from the high humidity of humid days.
Depending on your hair thickness, there are many products to choose from. For instance, you can try with shampoo and conditioner ‘Dove Pure Care Dry Oil Non-Greasy’ if you have fine & medium hair thickness.
Furthermore, it’s important to make sure you wash and clean your hair NOT too over! You may not need to shampoo your hair every day. So, how often you should shampoo it? The answer usually comes down to personal preference that varies from person to person.
But in general, the following conditions are likely to make a few people to shampoo their hair almost every day:
- For individuals who exercise a lot.
- If hair is very fine.
- Having oily scalp.
- If living in very humid areas.
After washing, dry your hair as natural as possible!
As well we know that there are so many tiny strands coming off your hair. And this is easier to frizz more if you rub it dry.
It’s much better to use an absorbent towel to squeeze out water safely after washing – or allow it to dry naturally. And never rub your dry hair!
A lightweight oil or serum may help, too
The use of lightweight oil or serum may help to cope with hair frizz since it contains essential substances act as a repellant to the humidity, providing a thin resistant coating to protect hair from the bad effects of high humidity. Just apply it while hair is still damp!
Pay attention on your crown!
The crown is usually where frizzy hair becomes more noticeable. Keeping your hair in alignment may help!
Use a natural-bristle brush!
Another thing you need to concern is your hairbrush. Natural-bristle brush is much smoother because it is made of keratin (just like the most components of our hair). It is great and so friendly hairbrush – it doesn’t cause burn like a metal one!
Shedding hair in summer
As the sun finally decided to shine bright after winter, it’s time to spend more time for outdoor activities. But some people worry about shedding hair. Do spring and summer really have an effect on your hair follicles?
The answer is debatable and may also vary from person to person. While there has been no proven answer, but experts think that hot days of summer days are also likely to trigger more hairs to go into their resting phase (when they stop growing and will fall out in the next several months).
A Swedish study suggests that hair follicles in women are likely to have greatest proportion of resting hairs in the middle of year, in July.
Though the exact cause is not fully known, but shedding hair in the summer may be associated with the following factors:
- Like other mammals, human hair may become thinner in order to provide a thinner summer coat, allowing the body to cool down more effectively. But this theory is difficult to prove!
- You are likely to wash and shampoo your hair more often in the summer days. Too often shampooing may cause irritation and hair loss. But some experts clearly deny this theory!
Interestingly, on the other hand there is also a widely-circulated rumor that summer may make hair become stronger and grow faster!
But it is a myth, there is no a direct link between increasing hair growth and summer (or warmer weather). If hair does grow more quickly and become stronger, this may result from good habits in summer particularly such as eating more veggies and fresh fruits in the summertime.
The sun light may also cause illusion in contributing to the myth. For instance, more sun oxidation and sun lights can lead to demarcation between scalp and base of hair to be more apparent.
The good news, if your hair loss does link to warmer weather, there should be nothing to worry since the problem is usually temporary. As hair shed away, the re-growth of hair is occurring as well (particularly true as long as you don’t notice actual balding)!
To have more protection, use a hat if you need to spend more hours for your outdoor activity. Sun cream for the scalp is also good option to protect the scalp and reduce the risk of skin cancer.
Stay away from bad chemicals in any hair products that can ruin your hair follicles! Nourish them with plenty of essential nutrients – here are excellent tips of diet and supplements for healthy hair! Some tips to cope with humid days mentioned before can help, too.
But there should be always exceptions to the rule. For instance, any irritation on the scalp should be concerned as well. If hair loss occurs in the irritated areas, it’s better to see a dermatologist or hair loss specialist. Irritation could be serious or may signal scarring alopecia which can cause hair loss permanently!
And if your scalp looks thinner than previous years, it may be a sign of hereditary and gradual hair loss called androgenetic alopecia (familiar known as female pattern baldness in women, and male pattern baldness in men). To learn more about this genetic balding, see this section!
How about winter?
More hairs are likely to go into their resting phase in July, summertime – according to a study mentioned before.
But remember that resting phase doesn’t mean that hair will fall out suddenly. It can take a few months. On average, it lasts about 100 days.
In other words, triggered hair loss is not instant. As some hairs have fallen out in the last few months of summer, this may continue and get its peak level within about 3-4 months latter (from October onwards). But this may not be the end of everything.
Contributing factors of shedding more hair in the winter
The problem may improve or persist when winter comes. There are some factors in the winter that can directly affect your hair and contribute to hair loss. These include: