In fact, a 2010 study published by the Journal of Dermatology followed 800 healthy women for six years to see how their hair reacted to certain factors. One of their biggest findings was that almost every woman in the group lost more hair during autumn than any other time of the year.
To understand why this fall hair shedding occurs, we need to understand the natural hair growth cycle in order to understand how to recover hair growth after summer.
Autumn Hair Care: Explained
On any given day, about 90% of our hair follicles are in the growing stage (the anagen phase), and 10% are in the resting stage (the telogen phase). So although the average person loses between 50-150 hairs every day, it’s mostly unnoticeable.
Starting in October and lasting for four to six weeks, the scalp sheds hair at a much faster rate — up to four times faster than normal. Naturally, our first instinct is to think that we’re experiencing progressive hair loss, and panic sets in. These seasonal shifts in hair loss are most noticeable in women.
Some scientists believe that this period of accelerated hair loss is an “evolutionary leftover” from our mammal ancestors, and others think that our hair follicles evolved to protect our scalps from summertime UV rays, shedding themselves during the cooler, cloudier months later in the year. Either way, many women are shocked when they see large clumps of hair in their hairbrushes without having made any lifestyle changes. And of course, they wonder if their hair will ever grow back.
Seasonal Shedding? Here’s How to Find Out
First things first: don’t panic. Any type of hair loss should be approached with reason and a level head so you can find the cause of the problem and give yourself the best shot at reversing it. If you think that your hair loss is seasonal, there’s a simple test that you can perform to confirm your suspicion: the hair tug test.
Here’s how you perform the hair tug test:
- As soon as you wake up in the morning (before brushing or washing your hair), spread the fingers of your dominant hand and run them through your hair, staying close to the scalp.
- Gently bring your fingers together and comb your hair with your hand from root to tip.
- Keep track of how many hairs your fingers collect. Drop them on a plain piece of paper to make it easier to count them.
- Repeat five times or until you feel like you’ve combed through all of your hair.
How to score yourself in the hair tug test:
- 0-10 Hairs: You’re fine! Your hair is shedding at a completely normal rate.
- 10-20 Hairs: Your hair is shedding slightly more than average but is still consistent with the symptoms of seasonal hair loss. Keep an eye on the situation and perhaps add hair-boosting vitamins to your diet or hair growth supplements to your daily routine.
- 20+ Hairs: You are shedding more than you should but don’t panic. Take a look at your lifestyle, diet and any external factors that could be causing you stress. It may be worth discussing what’s going on with your doctor.
How to Grow Your Hair Fast After the Summer
If you find that this is just seasonal shedding, you don’t need to take any drastic steps to grow your hair super-fast. All you need to do is take normal steps to create a healthy hair growth environment. Here’s what we recommend:
- Add essential oils to your haircare routine. They will clean your scalp and help blood circulate to your hair follicles. Our favorite essential oils include horsetail plant extract oil and castor oil.
- Be gentle to your hair! Try protective hairstyles that cause less tugging and pulling on your follicles. Also, try to dial down the heat on your styling tools whenever you can.
- Add a hair growth vitamin to your diet. They contain follicle-boosting nutrients like vitamins B, C, and other minerals like iron and zinc. A consistent daily vitamin supplement lets you worry less about your diet, too.
Remember, no matter what your hair problems or goals are, don’t panic. If you’re looking for the ultimate tips for growing hair in autumn, our number-one tip is to stay consistent. Take a methodical approach with proven vitamins, oils and diet tips to make sure everything is balanced.