Winter Is Doing Terrible Things to Your Hair—Let Us Explain

Winter: A time for holiday movies, hot chocolate, and hair loss. Wait, what? It doesn't exactly add to that warm wintry picture, but unfortunately for so many of us, hair loss becomes big news every time winter rolls around. 

According to a six-year study by a group of Swedish scientists, even healthy women are prone to losing their hair more at this time of year than during any other season. Why? Well, the key to understanding the process lies in understanding the hair growth cycle, which charts the lifespan of each and every hair. First comes the anagen (or growing phase), which is followed by catagen (regression phase), then telogen (Resting phase), and then exogen (shedding phase).

According to brand research carried out by Roots haircare, hair loss is measured by the anagen to telogen ratio. When the telogen phase increases and the anagen phase reduces, hair loss occurs. This seems to start happening at the end of summer (warmer weather speeds up circulation, which aids hair growth during the sunnier months). So as winter arrives, that's when you'll start to notice more hair in your hairbrush.




Trichologist and hair loss expert Sara G. Allison knows full well that winter is peak season for hair loss. "Hair loss can occur at any time of year, however, January is my busiest month for new inquiries. Throughout the rest of the year, clients often cite Christmas as being a turning point," she explains. "This is because everything intensifies over Christmas, from stress, poor nutrition, a lack of sunshine to vitamin D and an increased risk of catching viruses. Plus excessive damaging from overstyling, including extensions and heat damage combined with the cold wind and central heating, can make your hair brittle."

While seasonal hair loss is pretty tricky to control, you can arm your hair with the correct arsenal to fend off its effects. Keep scrolling as experts share their tips for bolstering hair against loss.

Up next, read up on how to hair dry your hair without the frizz.

This story was originally published on Byrdie UK and has since been updated by Kaitlyn McLintock.