Do You Really Shed More Hair In The Cooler Months?

If you find that your hair sheds frequently, but not because of another form of hair loss, particularly when the weather gets cooler, you've probably wondered why. You might be wondering if you're imagining things or if you're doing something (such as using a new haircare product) that might be causing your hair to shed more than it would otherwise. Trust us, though, when we say that you're not the only one who has noticed this phenomenon and the association between colder weather and shedding more hair; resources from haircare companies to magazines and newspapers have provided their input, too. An academic study published in the British Journal of Dermatology even looked at whether or not different seasons affect hair loss.


So, is the cold weather really to blame for those pesky stray strands of hair you're finding everywhere? If not, what is the cause of your frustration? We've clarified what you need to know about shedding hair during the colder months of the year, as well as what you can do to stop your hair from shedding quite as much.

Cold weather can cause your hair to shed

Although some people might think it's nothing but a myth, it turns out that cold weather really can cause your hair to shed more than it might otherwise — but it doesn't have to do with the month on the calendar. According to GQ, different academic studies have come up with various findings over the years, but there is another likely culprit here: Your scalp is too dry. While Healthline notes that a dry scalp itself won't cause your hair to fall out, scratching might. Additionally, GQ suggested that wearing hats in colder weather might worsen the problem, but Dr. Angela Phipps, DO, ABHRS, countered this when speaking with Bustle, saying, "Cover your hair to shield it from snow, wind and rain. The elements dry your hair out and make it more prone to breakage."


Dermatologist and hair transplant surgeon Craig Ziering, DO, FAAD, gave Who What Wear a different answer, saying that your body might just be adapting to the changing weather. Dr. Ziering said, "Seasonal hair loss happens when the change in temperature puts stress on the scalp and hair follicles, leading to hair strands falling out faster than usual. One way to think about it is simply — your body often reacts to the changing seasons; hair fall may be one of the ways your body is adapting. For some that change may be seasonal allergies, for others, it may be a shedding of hair."

You can keep your hair from shedding as much

Luckily you don't have to travel to a warmer climate to keep your hair from shedding as much when the weather gets cooler. Stylist suggests taking steps to avoid breakage or drying out your scalp, including not heat-styling your hair if you can. Likewise, Dr. Angela Phipps advised Bustle readers to refrain from going outside with wet hair in colder weather. Dr. Phipps elaborated, "Wet hair is more vulnerable to damage than dry hair. Walking outside in winter with a wet head can cause hair to freeze and break."


Per the American Academy of Dermatology, shedding shouldn't be any concern if you're losing only up to 100 hairs a day. Additionally, the organization notes that dermatologists can tell whether you are experiencing hair shedding or hair loss, so seeing a dermatologist for advice or further treatment could be an option for you if you feel your hair shedding has become excessive.