Do you feel like you’re collecting more hair on your brush than your cat? (Wait, that’s just me?) Well, hair loss among women is real. On average, women lose between 100-150 strands of hair per day and can increase as you age. But if you’ve noticed unusual hair loss and you’re under fifty, listen up!
If you’ve noticed shedding or thinning hair during the summer, there’s nothing to worry about. (Yay!) Seasonal hair loss is not uncommon. Your hair is often thicker during the winter and thinner during the summer. In the northern hemisphere, people tend to experience extended hair growth during January and February. During the summer months, longer hours of sunlight reduce hair growth as the hypothalamus signals hair follicles to relax and enjoy the heat! (More or less.)
What to expect when you’re expecting: longer and more lustrous locks! (Some women just glow.) Hormone production during pregnancy often boosts hair growth for some women. Once the baby has arrived, hormone production will fall back to normal levels—leading to sudden shedding for several months, so don’t panic!
A new baby is just one potential stressor that can lead to moderate hair loss. Emotional stressors include moving, separation, unemployment, or medical emergencies; for some people, stress can build up over time due to ongoing issues like a toxic work environment or a bad relationship. Physical or bodily stressors, like a car accident or other injury, can also cause sudden hair loss. Stress causes hair to enter the resting (catagen) and falling (telogen) phases; first retarded growth for several months and then hair loss after a period of prolonged stress, or sudden and excessive hair loss within a few days or weeks after a physical trauma. We shouldn’t have to tell you this but, if you’re experiencing physical symptoms like hair loss as the result of anxiety or stress, see a doctor and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Finally, diet. Insufficient nutrition or aggressive dieting can accelerate hair loss. If you’re thinking about going carb-free but worried about thin hair, don’t. A significant reduction in carbs is associated with an increase in average shedding. Your body wants a well-balanced, nutritious, and healthy diet—that includes protein, fats, and carbohydrates.
Hair loss is often an early warning signal for stress and poor nutrition! I’s time to Listen to your body and cut yourself a little slack.