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Why do we experience more hair fall in winter?

Hair fall in winter is connected to the environmental changes that happen during the chilly season. There are more reasons why you may experience hair fall in winter.
View All Images Woman facing hair fall problem
Know the causes of hair fall in winter. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Natalia Ningthoujam Published: 3 Jan 2024, 01:30 pm IST
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Winter not only makes your skin and lips dry, but also your hair. A drop in temperature and chilly winds can lead to various hair-related problems. You may have to deal with dry and frizzy hair, itchy scalp, dandruff, and hair fall. It can be heartbreaking to see so many hair strands on the floor. We tell you why hair fall in winter happens and ways to take care of them.

What causes hair fall in winter?

Hair fall in winter can be attributed to various factors. But it’s important to remember that everyone will experience things differently and not everyone will be impacted by these factors in the same way. Here are some of the potential causes of hair fall in winter:

1. Dry scalp

Cold winter air tends to be dry, and indoor heating systems further contribute to reduced humidity. This can lead to dry scalp, causing itching and flakiness. Dry scalp conditions may weaken hair follicles and result in increased hair fall, says cosmetologist and skin expert Dr Jatin Mittal.

Woman facing hair loss
Hair fall in winter is common. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

2. Lack of moisture

It is not just the heaters which can strip the air of moisture, but also hot showers that can dry out the scalp and hair. Lack of moisture can make the hair more brittle and prone to breakage.

3. Poor diet and nutrition

During winter, people may be less inclined to consume a balanced diet rich in essential vitamins and minerals. They may want to eat more of hot fried foods. Less intake of vitamins A, C, D, and E, as well as iron and omega-3 fatty acids, leads to weakened hair and increased shedding.

4. Reduced sun exposure

In winter, there is often less exposure to sunlight. Sunlight is a natural source of vitamin D, which is important for hair health, says the expert. Reduced sunlight exposure may result in lower vitamin D levels, potentially impacting the strength and growth of hair.

5. Stress and lifestyle factors

The difficulties of adjusting to lower temperatures, work demands and holiday season can lead to stress. Stress can interfere with the hair growth cycle. Also, changes in routines and habits, including wearing hats and scarves more frequently, may be a factor in hair breakage.

How to prevent hair fall in winter?

We tend to lose about 100 strands of hair in a day, but if it’s more, it can be worrisome. So, try to prevent hair fall in winter with these steps:

1. Eat a well balanced diet

Include vitamins A, C, D, E, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. Have a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and whole grains in your meals. Do consider taking biotin, vitamin D, and omega-3 supplements for hair health, says Dr Mittal.

2. Drink plenty of water

Drinking water is important to keep your body and scalp hydrated. If you stay hydrated, it will help in preventing hair dryness.

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3. Be gentle during hair wash

Use a mild, moisturising shampoo and conditioner to prevent over-drying. Avoid using hot water on your head, as it can strip your hair of natural oils. Dry your hair with a soft towel in a gentle manner instead of rubbing vigorously. Stay away from excessive heat styling, but if you have to do it, use a heat protection spray.

Does hair fall that happens in winter grow back?

Yes, in many cases, as winter-time hair fall is only temporary and hair can regrow, says Dr Jatin Mittal. There are three phases of the cyclical process of hair growth:

• The active growth phase, or anagen phase, is when hair follicles are actively creating new hair strands.
• The catagen phase is a transitional stage in which the follicle gets ready for the following phase and slows down hair development.
• The telogen phase is the resting phase, when the follicle goes inactive for a period and hair gets shed.

These phases are normal for hair growth. During the telogen phase, hair fall is common. Seasonal variations, hormone swings, stress, and dietary components are a few of the variables that might affect how these phases balance out.

Woman experiencing hair fall
Stay hydrated for healthy hair. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Best ways to take care of hair during winter

We all have different hair types and so, you should take care of them accordingly.

1. For dry hair

To add moisture to your hair, use a shampoo and conditioner that is moisturising. Do deep conditioning treatments or use hair masks once a week to hydrate and nourish your hair.

2. For oily hair

To prevent depriving the scalp of its natural oils, use a mild shampoo without sulphates, says the expert. Apply the conditioner concentrating on the ends of your hair instead of the scalp.

3. For curly hair

Use a sulfate-free, moisturising shampoo and a rich conditioner to keep curls hydrated. Consider co-washing (using conditioner only) between regular washes.

4. For fine or thin hair

Use volumising or light-weight shampoos and conditioners to avoid weighing down the hair. Consider using a leave-in conditioner for added moisture without heaviness.

5. For coloured hair

To maintain colour, use shampoos and conditioners that are sulfate-free and suitable for colour. Use scarves or caps to shield hair from UV radiation and minimise the use of heated styling equipment. Think about applying a hair mask or go for a treatment that protects colour.

It is important to observe how your hair reacts to various methods and treatments then make changes in your regimen.

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About the Author

Natalia Ningthoujam has written on various subjects - from music to films and fashion to lifestyle - as a journalist in her career that started in 2010. After getting stories from the crime scene, police headquarters, and conducting interviews with celebrities, she is now writing on health and wellness which has become her focus area. ...Read More

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