October. It’s a month we associate with significant seasonal change. Daily temperatures typically drop into the crisp-cool category as the month progresses. Green leaves on trees transform color, their viridescence morphing to a bevy of yellow, orange, and russet hues, creating a striking spectacle we know as autumn colors and nature’s way of indicating significant seasonal change is at hand.

With October and falling leaves and the autumn season of change upon us, do you sense a change with your hair’s density? Are you shedding more hair than usual? Maybe you are.

There is consensus amongst scientific and medical communities about hair shedding being a natural part of the hair growth pattern, and select research studies lend credence to the notion of seasonal hair loss. To understand the cycles, you must first consider the 3 stages of hair growth:

  • Anagen: The growth phase. It begins in the papilla. The papilla is a large structure at the base of the hair follicle. This phase lasts from 2 to 6 years. The longer a male or female’s hair remains in the Anagen phase, the longer the hair growth. During this phase, hair can grow anywhere from 18 to 30 inches.
  • Catagen: The transitional phase. The time duration for the Catagen phase is approximately 2 weeks, during which approximately 1% of a male or female’s hair follicles shrink and the papilla detaches and rests.
  • Telogen: The resting phase. During this phase, the affected hair follicles remain dormant from 4 to 16 weeks. 10 to 15% of the hairs on a man or woman’s cranium are in this phase at any given time.

At any given time, each strand of a man or woman’s hair is at its own stage of development. Once the cycle is complete, it restarts and a new strand of hair begins to form.

We see from the hair growth pattern phases that shedding hair is part of the cycle. Daily, men and women shed hair at the rate of 50 to 150 or so strands. Although hair shedding is recurring, research shows male and female humans (and most other mammals) shed most in early autumn and the spring. In the spring and fall the daily shred rate may be in the 100 hairs per day range, whereas in the summer and winter the daily shred rate may be substantially decreased to the 50 hairs per day range. Research goes further still to suggest that women experience higher rates of the Telogen phase in the summer, and that increased hair loss is experienced in the autumn months (e.g., October and November). In 2010, the publication The Journal of Dermatology published hair-loss research based on the study of 800 women over 6 years. The finding: the women experienced increased hair loss during autumn. More information about this fascinating topic can be found at the following links:

The bottom line is that shedding hair is a natural part of the hair-growth cycle experienced by men and women, and that shed rates vary for individuals. You may shed quite a bit of hair, but you may also have high rates of hair growth/replacement so your net hair loss is balanced out. If you’re already dealing with a thinning hair problem and your increased autumn hair loss is making it more noticeable to the point you’re feeling uncomfortable with your appearance and you’re considering options to counteract and/or conceal the hair loss you’re experiencing, you are invited to contact NCHR. Our non-surgical approach includes pattern hair systems and complete hair systems that function to conceal hair loss and restore a man or woman’s look with hair.