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Cold Weather and Hair Loss: Myths and Facts


Are You More at Risk for Hair Loss in Cold Weather?As the weather outside becomes more frightful, you might be worried about the effects it will have on your hair. While winter weather can be damaging to your hair and scalp, the damage might not be as extensive as you’re expecting.

Just like other times of the year, there are a number of myths out there about the causes of hair loss in the winter. Protect your scalp this winter by learning what will and won’t affect your hair.

 

Myth: Cold Temperatures Increase Hair Loss

Despite what you might have heard, a drop in temperatures does not mean an increase in hair loss. The cold weather doesn’t have any effect on the amount of hair on your head. If anything, cooler temperatures might increase the number of hairs a person has. Similar to the way dogs grow a thicker coat of fur in the winter, people might get more scalp hair in the cooler parts of the year to help them stay warm.

A study from the University Hospital of Zurich backs up the fact that winter doesn’t lead to hair loss. Conducted over  the course of six years, the study found that people tend to lose the least amount of hair during the chilly months of the year.

Fact: Hair Loss Can Be Seasonal

Everyday, people lose between 50 and 100 strands of hair. During some months of the year, usually October or November, the number might be much closer to 100 than it is to 50, making hair loss more  noticeable. Known as seasonal shedding, the condition usually affects women, but can also occur in men.

Usually, people experiencing seasonal shedding have nothing to worry about. The belief is that more hair than usual is being shed to make way for a somewhat thicker head of hair in the winter. Even if the hair doesn’t grow back thicker, losing up to a 100 hairs a day for a period of time is still well within the normal range for hair loss. If you think you are losing more than 100 strands of hair daily or start to see patches of baldness, you may want to speak with a hair restoration specialist, as the cause might be male or female pattern baldness, and not seasonal shedding.

Myth: Keeping Warm With a Hat Will Make Your Lose More Hair

Hats provide a number of benefits to your scalp and hair. They keep your head warm in the winter. They can make a stylish statement. They can cover up your hair on days when it’s just not behaving.

Unfortunately, hats get a lot a blame when it comes to hair loss. Although a hat might add static to your hair or cause it to stand on end, wearing a hat won’t contribute to baldness or increase your chances for hair loss. The thinking here is that wearing a hat puts friction or strain on your hair follicles, weakening them and causing the hair to fall out. In reality, the big thing you have to worry about when it comes to wearing hats is whether or not yours is clean or not. A dirty hat can give you an infection on the scalp, which might give you some trouble with your hair.

Fact: Hair Does Get Drier in Winter

While winter weather and fashion won’t make your lose your  hair, those cold temperatures and dry air will change your hair slightly. You might notice that it’s drier or feels more brittle in the winter. Keep your hair soft and strong in the winter by giving it a bit more TLC. Skip the long sessions with the hot hair dryer and either let it air dry or use a cooler setting.

You may also want to swap the shampoo you use in the winter for one that is more moisturizing and nourishing. If dandruff is an issue in cooler weather, look for a shampoo with a dandruff-fighting ingredient. You might want to cut back on the number of times you shampoo your hair in the winter, if you find that it’s becoming very dry.

Another way to add moisture to dry, brittle winter hair is to amp up your conditioning efforts. Try adding a once-a-week deep conditioning treatment to your routine. Instead of using drying hairspray or gel, use a hair cream to keep styles in place.

When you do go outside and put on a hat, wrap your hair in a silk scarf first. The scarf protects your hair from the friction of the hat, reducing static buildup and the likelihood of cowlicks.

If you do notice an increase in hair loss this winter, it might be because of your genes. Learn more about your options, such as hair restoration surgery, by reaching out to Dr. Kyle Choe in Virginia Beach. A hair restoration specialist, Dr. Choe can let you know what your options are. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Choe by calling (757) 389-5850 today.

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The Choe Center for Facial Plastic Surgery offers state of the art cosmetic and reconstructive surgical care in a private, comfortable and safe setting. Our center is an AAAHC Accredited Office Base Surgery Center staffed by board certified anesthesiologists and experienced nurses. Quality and highest standards define medical staffs at the Choe Center.
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