It’s that time of year again…I’m definitely SHEDDING. It can be very scary at times, especially when you consider that I only do my hair twice a week (sometimes 3). Lately, my hair ball could be mistaken for a small animal…not a good look.
I did a little research on seasonal hair shedding. I wanted to know if it’s a myth, or a real phenomenon. I was also curious about what the causal mechanisms are and what, if anything, we can do to curb it.
Apparently, there hasn’t been much ‘scientific’ research dedicated to seasonal hair loss in humans (lots of studies in rats, minks and other small mammals). Several UK studies have concluded that seasonal hair shedding is an actual phenomenon, occurring in the fall and early spring of each year (similar to other mammals, we essentially replace our summer coats with winter coats, and vis a vis). We typically shed anywhere from 50-100 hairs a day (telogen hairs, or hairs with little white or pigmented bulbs on the end…mine are almost always pigmented). The difference is, during the summer and winter, we probably shed close to 50 per day, but during the shedding seasons, we lose closer to 100 hairs per day. Generally, the hair loss, no matter the season, stays within that range. But of course, every head is different….you may shed a lot more than this…or a lot less. I use to get very anxious about my shed hairs, so much so, that I’ve been tempted (key word tempted) to count them. I actually started counting on several occasions, but it is a very tedious process, and actually only exacerbated the anxiety! And as you know, stress and anxiety can lead to hair loss…so, this would definitely be counterproductive!
Lately, I’ve seen a lot of posts on Longhaircareforum and Nappturality about garlic supplements and topical garlic treatments for shedding. Now, don’t get me wrong, I loooove garlic…but I don’t want to smell like it! So, I’m very curious about the odorless supplements. I think I’ll pick some up when I get back in town and see if I notice a difference. I’ll keep you guys posted! Edited to add: So, I’m out of town in CA. I left the hotel room to walk around the neighborhood to find food, and low and behold, there was a Trader Joe’s in the same parking lot as my hotel!!!!! I picked up a bottle of Oderless Garlic Tablets (100, 400 mg tablets for 4.99). I just opened them up, and they damn sure aren’t odorless…almost though. I’ll start today and post my results soon.
Garlic supplements ‘may’ help with hair shedding, but it’s good for your health too:
- Lower total cholesterol (but raise the good-type HDL cholesterol)
- Produce more “natural killer” cells in the blood that will tackle infections and tumours
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduce the risk of blood clots (that are responsible for most heart attacks and strokes
- Regulation of stomach function
- Helps with arthritic pain
For those of you interested in a topical/stinky treatment, this one has been shown to be effective in several ladies (note: I haven’t tried it, nor do I plan to):
1 tablespoon of aloe gel
1 tablespoon of honey
1 tablespoon of garlic juice
2 egg yolks
3 tablespoons of chamomile (tea bag content is fine to use)
24 fluid oz of water
1) Peel garlic and use a garlic press to squeeze the juice out
2) Mix it with honey and place the bowl in the fridge
3) Boil water with chamomile tea for about 30 minutes
4) Stir occasionally
5) When tea is done, take the bowl with honey and garlic juice out of the fridge
6) Stir in an egg yolk into the garlic juice/honey mix
7) Add aloe gel.
8) Use the mix and gently rub it in your scalp. When you run out of the paste, wrap a towel around your head.
9) Keep on your head for 20 minutes and wash once with a neutral shampoo (I used Johnson’s Baby shampoo). Rub in the second egg yolk and wash off using only warm water.
10) To finish off, wash your hair off with the previously prepared chamomile tea.
***This article touched on Seasonal Hair Shed only. If you’re experiencing excessive hair loss that is showing no signs of letting up, you should definitely seek the advice of a dermatologist. Other reasons for hair shed/loss are chemotherapy, childbirth, major surgery, poisoning, and severe stress.