As autumn moves into winter a number of changes happen which can affect our hair and skin. Whilst it’s not all bad news – the cold wind can help hair look shiny – there are a number of issues to be wary of.
Here are some of the key winter hair problems to be aware of and how to deal with them…
1 Seasonal Hair Loss
Regardless of whether you have a hair loss condition or not, everyone experiences extra hair fall in the late autumn to early winter months. The reason behind the evolutionary phenomenon known as Seasonal Shedding or Seasonal Hair Loss is unconfirmed but hypotheses largely suggest it concerns the scalp ridding extra hair it has been hoarding during the summer months when it needs extra protection from the sun. This involves persistent hair loss from all over the scalp for a short period of time, usually up to around four weeks. Whilst it may look worrying, seeing unusual amounts of hair on your clothes or in your brush, it is an entirely normal process and regular hair growth should resume quickly.
If after six to eight weeks the shedding still persists and at an alarming rate, we recommend visiting a hair loss specialist for a consultation so that a professional can check that nothing else is at play. If there is, they can provide a diagnosis and suitable recommendations for appropriate hair loss treatments or hair growth supporting products, as necessary, based on their findings.
2 Dry or Frizzy Hair
There is generally a lot more moisture in the air during the colder, rainier months, which can cause frizzy hair, especially for those with curls. This can generally be addressed via appropriate wet weather accessories – an umbrella, waterproof hat, hood, etc – though frizz-reducing serums can also help. It is also wise to keep longer hair tied back but take care not to pull or scrape the hair back or secure it too tightly as regularly wearing tight hairstyles can lead to a condition called Traction Alopecia. Whilst there are treatment options for this, prevention is certainly preferable.
Dry hair can be the result of cold winds outside and central heating indoors stripping the moisture from your hair. It can also be the result of the extra heat styling that tends to occur during the winter. This can give the appearance of dry, thin hair which is brittle and prone to breakage – where the hair snaps in two along the shaft. This is why it is important to keep your hair nourished with moisturising conditioner – in the same way it is often advised to use a heavier moisturiser for your face in winter – or leave-in treatments designed for this specific purpose. These can range from intensive conditioners and hair masks to leave-in conditioners, serums and dry oil sprays. If you would like advice as to the product best-suited to your hair, your stylist or barber should be able to guide you based on your hair type and the condition of your hair. A humidifier, to add moisture back into the air which is removed by central heating, can also be useful.
Just as the harsh weather and central heating can dry out our hair, it can have the same effect on our skin, including the scalp. This, in turn, can lead to dandruff. Whilst this is generally easy to treat using a medicated shampoo as often as directed and ensuring the scalp is kept clean – it is a myth that people with dandruff should wash their hair as little as possible, this can actually make the condition worse – should the scalp look scaly, inflamed or have significant flaking that is not controlled with appropriate treatment shampoos, another scalp condition may be the issue as many of these can be exacerbated by cold weather. As such, your GP should be able to help or, if the scaly scalp and flaking is also coupled with hairloss, then a hair specialist will also be able to provide a diagnosis and personalised advice on how to treat your condition.
The Belgravia Centre is an organisation specialising in hair growth and hair loss prevention with two clinics and in-house pharmacies in Central London, UK. If you are worried about hair loss you can arrange a free consultation with a hair loss expert or complete our Online Consultation Form from anywhere in the world. View our Hair Loss Success Stories, which includes the world’s largest gallery of hair growth comparison photos and demonstrates the levels of success that so many of Belgravia’s patients achieve. You can also phone 020 7730 6666 any time to arrange a free consultation.