January 31, 2023

Does Hair Slow Down Shedding In Winter?


One hair loss-related question that we are asked quite often is if the hair will slow down its shedding in the winter. Many things do tend to slow down somewhat when the weather turns cold, so this is a good question. Could the colder temperatures and shorter days cause your hair to shed less? The answer may not be what you are expecting.

A study was conducted by the British Association of Dermatologists about how seasonal changes can affect hair loss. What researchers found was that most hair loss does seem to happen during the summer and fall months. However, a different study determined that our hair follicles are more prone to enter the exogen phase, or shedding phase, during the winter months. If you’ve heard the terms seasonal hair loss or winter hair fall, this is what they are referring to. Seasonal hair loss is normal and usually temporary, but if your hair is thinning already it can be a bit unsettling if it suddenly starts thinning more rapidly. But normal shedding isn’t the only culprit behind us losing hair in the winter.

Winter air contains so little humidity that it is very drying to your hair and scalp, and when your hair gets dry it is not as strong. It becomes brittle and starts to break off which makes your hair appear even thinner. Scalp infections and dandruff tend to flare up in winter as well making the problems of a dry, flaky scalp and hair loss even worse. So if you have thinning hair you need to take extra precautions to protect your hair and scalp during the winter months to keep the harsh winter weather from wreaking havoc on your head and hair. 

Is there anything that can be done to stop seasonal hair loss? Well no. Sadly you can not completely halt seasonal hair loss, but there are some changes that you can make to minimize how much hair you lose. If you follow these tips this winter you will keep your hair thicker and healthier looking throughout the season.

  1. Keep your hair trimmed regularly. You have heard it a million times, but it is such good advice that it is worth repeating again. Trimming your hair on a regular basis removes damaged ends before they have a chance to split and break resulting in thicker, healthier-looking hair
  2. Give yourself a hot oil scalp massage. At least once per week warm up a high-quality scalp oil and gently massage it into your scalp for 3-5 minutes using the pads of your fingers in a circular motion. This will help keep your scalp and hair from drying out as well as increase circulation to your hair follicles which will increase the flow of nutrients, oxygen, and moisture resulting in stronger, healthier hair. After your massage shampoo and condition as you usually would.
  3. Use only moisturizing hair care products. The lighter formulas that you use during summer to keep your hair from looking greasy are not nearly moisturizing enough to combat the dry air of winter.  Look for products that contain moisturizing oils, emollients, and humectants to help replenish your hair’s moisture and lock it in. 
  4. Use a deep conditioner weekly. If you do not replace the moisture that winter robs from your hair and scalp, not only will you have far less hair come spring, but what you do have left will be a dry, frizzy mess. Weekly deep conditioning treatments will help combat winter’s harsh effects and keep your locks soft and manageable..
  5. Take cooler showers. A hot shower may feel good when it’s cold outside, but it is not good for your hair. Hot water opens the cuticle, strips away the protective natural oils, and dries out your strands. So turn down the heat and give your hair a cool rinse at the end to smooth the cuticle and lock in moisture.
  6. Let your hair air dry. You shouldn’t go outside with wet hair in the winter, but you also shouldn’t blow dry it frequently. The hot dry air from the blow dryer zaps your hair’s moisture. Plan ahead for shampoo days to allow time for your hair to air dry when you can. If you have to blow dry, always apply a moisturizing thermal protectant and set it on the lowest heat setting to minimize moisture loss.
  7. Keep your hair covered while outdoors. A silk or satin scarf or satin lined hat is the perfect choice for protecting your hair from cold winter winds. The smooth fabric reduces friction to prevent breakage while still keeping your hair protected.

If you’re concerned about how much hair you’ve been losing since the weather has turned colder you should speak with one of our hair loss experts to find the cause and discuss solutions. Hair loss isn’t something that you just have to learn to live with. There are treatments and hair replacement options available to give you a healthy-looking head of hair again.

Schedule a discreet and private consultation at the Hair Restoration Institute to discuss your hair transplant options with one of our caring hair loss professionals. We will evaluate your hair and scalp health and degree of hair loss and discuss the best treatment options available to restore your hair. Call us at 612-588-HAIR (4247) for your complimentary consultation. You can find us at 8030 Old Cedar Ave S Ste 202 in Bloomington, MN.