My hair falls out in spring, is this normal?

We spoke with Dr. Virginia Sanchez on seasonal hair loss.

What is seasonal hair loss?

It is well known that at certain times of the year there is a more intense hair replacement than usual. Dermatologists refer to this increased hair loss as telogen effluvium.

Telogen effluvium can occur at any time of the year, but is more common in spring and autumn. When it occurs in recognized seasons of the year it is called seasonal telogen effluvium.

How can we know if we are suffering from normal hair loss or seasonal or more than usual hair loss?

We are used to seeing our hairs on our clothes, around the house or picking them up in the shower when we wash our hair. It is completely normal. However, when we notice that the number of hairs we have to collect is higher than usual, we will be in a situation of seasonal hair loss or seasonal telogen effluvium.

Are there other reasons for telogen effluvium besides seasonal?

Yes. There are multiple causes that increase hair loss such as vitamin or iron deficiencies, thyroid problems, postpartum, situations of emotional or physical stress, cancer treatments, etc.

Are there other types of hair loss other than Telogen Effluvium?

Yes. There are other types of hair loss that are not of the telogen type. The most frequent, after telogen effluvium, is androgenetic alopecia, which occurs in both men and women. The main difference is that in telogen effluvium hair loss recovers in a few months, while in androgenetic alopecia hair loss is definitive, reducing hair density forever. In men, androgenetic alopecia appears mainly in the so-called “receding hairline” and the “crown of the head”, while in women it appears diffusely in the front part of the hair from the forehead to the back.

Is there such a thing as chronic telogen effluvium?

According to a recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology, the existence of prolonged or chronic hair loss is highly questionable because, when pronounced hair loss is prolonged over time beyond 6 months, it could be due to many other causes such as incipient androgenetic alopecia or factors impossible to determine at the time of diagnosis.

(Chronic Telogen Effluvium: Is it a Distinct Condition? A Systematic Review. Am J Clin Dermatol 2023 Apr 13. doi: 10.1007/s40257-023-00760-0)

What should I do if I detect increased hair loss?

If hair loss does not return to normal within 2-3 months, a dermatologist should be consulted. If the usual increase in drooping is excessive (exaggeratedly increased), a dermatologist should be consulted as soon as possible to try to identify a possible medical cause.

What solutions are available to treat seasonal hair loss?

There are nutricosmetics or food supplements indicated to prevent and treat this situation. It is recommended for those who are prone to seasonal telogen effluvium. It is most effective to start taking them 1 month before the usual onset of hair loss. One month before spring and one month before autumn, for example.

The most suitable composition for hair vitamins is the one that combines all those nutrients that hair needs to grow in the healthiest possible conditions: cystine, methionine, zinc, selenium, silicon, vitamin B1 (Thiamine), vitamin B2 (Riboflavin), vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine), and vitamins B7 and B8 (Biotin).