New England’s Foremost Authority on Hair Restoration Reminds Everyone Shedding Hair in November and December is Normal
CRANSTON, Rhode Island – Dr. Robert Leonard, chief surgeon and founder of Leonard Hair Transplant Associates, says the seasonal shedding of hair that people can experience in the cooler-weather months of November and December is normal and healthy, and should not be confused with male pattern or female pattern hair loss.
“Every fall, I see a dramatic jump in calls from people who are concerned they are losing their hair,” said Dr. Leonard. “Then, just as suddenly as the calls started, they stop about two months later as people see a reduction in hair in their brushes and drains.”
According to Dr. Leonard, there are two popular hypotheses for why seasonal shedding occurs.
The first theory states that people shed their “coat” in the fall, similar to other mammals, in order to grow a fuller “coat” for the coldest months of the winter in January and February. Dr. Leonard says this theory has been talked about since he entered the field more than 25 years ago.
The second hypothesis is based on a small study undertaken in Italy several years ago. It states that during the hottest months of the summer, the sun causes inflammation around the hair follicles on the scalp. The study says this causes hair to shed three to four months later (in November and December), though it will ultimately regrow.
Dr. Leonard says seasonal shedding also occurs in July and August, and that patients treating hair loss with Rogaine®, Propecia® and/or laser therapy should not be alarmed because they too can experience seasonal shedding.
In the United States, 50 million men suffer from male pattern baldness, and 30 million women suffer from female pattern hair loss. Most people do not realize they are losing their hair until 50% of it is already lost.
Dr. Leonard has five quick tips to help anyone tell the difference between seasonal shedding and clinical hair loss.
• Having more than 100 hairs fall from your head each day:
Watch how many hairs are in your shower drain, on your towel, in your brush, or on your clothes each day. More than 100 could be a sign of clinical hair loss.
• Getting a sunburn on your scalp:
If your hair is thick enough, it will protect your scalp from the sun. But, as it thins, your scalp becomes exposed, meaning sunburn could be a sign of clinical hair loss.
• Being able to see the contour of your head in the rearview mirror:
The next time you get in your car, take a look in the rearview mirror. If you can see the contour of your head through your hair, then you probably have clinical hair loss.
• Trying a new style to cover up thinning hair:
Have you tried a new hair style to cover up spots that appear to be thinning? From the infamous comb-over, to coloring the scalp, people will try just about anything to create the illusion of thicker hair. If you’ve started to employ some of these tricks, then you probably have clinical hair loss.
• Friends point out that you’re losing your hair:
This may seem obvious, but family and friends often notice someone else’s thinning hair first. Problems arise when it is pointed out during a public and often embarrassing time, such as a holiday party or important function. Take these comments as a friendly push to be checked out for clinical hair loss.