Turning over a new leaf
As summer passes into Autumn and the leaves on the trees burst into a blaze of colour, I can’t help but notice the similarities between our hair health and the crinkling of leaves as I watch them fall to the ground. The bright colour changes and fades, the smooth and shiny texture becomes dry, crunchy and breaks easily – any of this sounding familiar?
In my 35+year career, the most frequently asked question around this time of year is ‘what is it with my shedding hair right now?!’ The answer is simple, you’re experiencing seasonal hair loss. During the summer months our scalp holds on to hair as a protection against the sun, but come autumn the cooler temperatures signal the end of this period and so the increased shedding begins. It’s not necessarily damaged hair (although sun, sea and chlorine wouldn’t have helped), just your natural hair growth cycle.
To understand seasonal hair loss better, I researched it further and came across some interesting facts….
Hair shedding season
In a study published in the journal Dermatology, scientists studied more than 800 healthy women over a six year period and discovered they lost the most hair in the autumn months. The Swedish researchers found that women had the highest proportion of resting hairs in July, which would explain why approximately 100 days or so later, hair shedding was more than any other time of the year.
Our hair grows on average half an inch per month and goes through a three phase cycle of growth – anagen, catagen and telogen.
1. Anagen: this is the first stage and lasts between two and seven years. At any one time, 90% of our hair is in this growth phase.
2. Catagen: the remaining hair enters the second phase, which is a transmuatation phase of detachment. Put simply, hair follicles shrink and hair growth slows.
3. Telegon: this is the resting stage where strands remain in their follicles, but aren’t actively growing. It lasts for between two to four months and is when hair sheds as the cycle readies itself to start again.
So, if you notice you’re losing more hair than usual during this seaonsal shedding season, chances are it’s normal and nothing to worry about.
Diet for healthy hair and hair growth
Of course, this is not the only reason for your hair falling out. Health and diet play a huge part in hair growth and hair health. Here is a list of follicle feeding foods and vitamins that will help ensure you and your hair are a picture of health:
● Salmon and other oily fish: rich in omega 3 fatty acids with anti-inflammatory properties that can help open up follicles and promote healthy hair growth.
● Carrots: contain all essential vitamin A that will help give hair that extra shine.
● Spinach: the high iron content in spinach helps red blood cells carry oxygen to hair follicles.
● Lentils: contain zinc and biotin which help promotes good hair health.
● Chicken and other poultry: contains protein that strengthens the hair and increases the bioavailability of iron to promote hair growth.
● Oysters: a high source of zinc and delicious with a glass a champagne! A lack of zinc may result is hair loss, but not with these mollusks at hand.
● Walnuts: a good source of that all-important vitamin E to keep your hair strong.
● Biotin: is a water-soluble B vitamin found in foods such as whoelgrains, liver, egg yolk, soy flour and yeast. Too little biotin can cause brittle hair and may lead to hair loss over time.
● Avoid sugars and refined carbohydrates.
● Avoid drastic weight loss diets.
For optimum performance, supplement your healthy hair diet with a blend of highly active botanicals, such as those found in the Swell haircare range. Its results-driven natural formula is designed to strengthen and nourish providing ultimate hair health, hair volume and growth. Discover more here and start your Swell hair journey today.