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Is Hair Loss Affected by Seasonal Changes?

Hair loss afflicts millions of people worldwide and causes a significant decrease in the quality of life for patients. It is a common but difficult problem to treat since it has multiple causes. Therefore, combination treatments usually work best to combat hair loss.

Understanding the Causes of Hair Loss

Hair loss can be a naturally occurring event in the life cycle of the hair. The life cycle of hair has 3 phases: a long anagen (growth) phase, a very short catagen (transition) phase, and a short telogen (resting) phase where hairs fall out.

Hair loss can also be caused by internal problems, such as age, thyroid dysfunction and other medical conditions, hormones, genetics, and inflammatory skin conditions affecting the scalp. It can also arise from external problems, such as stress, dieting/poor nutrition, smoking, alcohol, UV damage and pollution, hair care practices, and even seasonality. Hair loss takes 3-6 months to appear after the initial insult that caused the hair loss to occur.

The Impact of Seasonal Changes on Hair Health

Seasonal hair loss, which occurs in fall/winter, appears to result from various causes. The drier air that is present in fall/winter can suck moisture from the scalp, leaving it dry and damaged. This, in turn, leads to dry, damaged hair and, ultimately, excessive breakage and loss. The increased use of hats during fall/winter causes excessive breakage from mechanical trauma to the already dry, damaged hair. Stress, which is usually elevated around this time of year due to all the holidays in fall/winter, also plays a role in hair loss. Hair loss from stress occurs because of increased cortisol levels, which causes the hair to enter a resting phase and then to be shed. In the summer months, many people diet to lose weight for bikini season. Often, diets can lead to poor nutrition and subsequent hair loss in the following months. Without proper nutrients, like vitamins and amino acids, delivered to hair follicles, hair cannot grow. Finally, longer daylight hours in summer have been thought to cause the retention of hairs to aid in protection from UV damage from the sun. When daylight hours shorten in fall/winter, and the hairs are no longer needed to protect the scalp, the hairs are shed.

What you use externally on your hair and scalp is just as important as proper nutrition and lowering your stress. You want to pick products that promote hair health by treating the different causes of hair loss. Better Not Younger Superpower™ Fortifying Hair and Scalp Serum contains an abundance of ingredients that promote hair health. A lot of products on the market target one aspect of hair loss. For example, over-the-counter minoxidil (Rogaine) increases circulation to the scalp, and prescription finasteride (Propecia) inhibits DHT, a hormone that causes hair loss.

Better Not Younger Superpower™ Fortifying Hair and Scalp Serum addresses both hair and scalp health. It contains caffeine, centella asiatica, ginger, and niacinamide, which lead to increased strength by improving scalp circulation. Increased blood flow brings more nutrients to the scalp to nourish hair. Centella asiatica helps support and strengthen hair follicles. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of ginger, apigenin, and niacinamide promote hair by decreasing inflammation and destruction of hair by free radicals created by UV radiation from the sun and pollution. Niacinamide helps to rebuild keratin, the structural protein found in hair. Apigenin promotes proteins at the dermis for improved hair health. Ceramides and ginger help retain moisture in the hair. Hydrated hair is healthier and less likely to break.

A recent consumer perception study showed that 90% of women who used Better Not Younger Superpower™ Fortifying Hair and Scalp Serum for hair loss saw visible improvement in the appearance of their hair after 8 weeks and felt that the product was easy to use and incorporate into their hair care regimen. Also, after 8 weeks of using the serum, 80% of women found less hair on their hairbrush and felt that their hair was stronger. More than 70% of women reported that their hair looked healthier, they were losing less hair, and the overall appearance of their hair improved. Over 60% of women felt their hair's texture, volume, and thickness improved.

Hair loss is difficult to treat and causes significant psychological stress for patients, especially women. Since hair loss is multifactorial, the best treatments target several reasons for hair loss, not just one. In particular, seasonal hair loss can stem from dry temperatures, leading to hair breakage, stress, dieting, and loss of daylight hours. Better Not Younger Superpower™ Fortifying Hair and Scalp Serum uses a variety of ingredients to combat hair loss by increasing circulation and delivery of nutrients, decreasing inflammatory and free radical destruction of hair, and adding moisture to the hair. 90% of women were happy with the results they achieved by using it.

Dr. Jennifer Trent, MD FAAD is Medical Director at American Dermatology Associates, Inc.