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Seasonal Shedding Explained (Read 4262 times)
waiting4longlocks
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Seasonal Shedding Explained
Sep 8th, 2008 at 9:14pm
 
http://www.keratin.com/aa/aa015.shtml


We, and much of the mammalian world, have two main shed seasons. The biggest shed occurs in early autumn and a smaller one in spring. Essentially we are replacing our summer coats with winter coats. Perhaps the best example is the arctic fox that sheds a pigmented summer coat and replaces it with a white coat (camouflage) for winter conditions. Much of the research on seasonal shedding and hair regrowth is conducted with mink (some studies from Australia on sheep and goats too). Researchers have looked at prolactin and melatonin levels among other factors as a potential regulator of the changes in hair growth. Giving mink melatonin, or reducing exposure to daylight, promotes shedding of the summer coat and the onset of the winter anagen growth stage. Possibly it is a similar situation for humans where changes in daylight hours modify the melatonin secretion rate from the pineal gland and this in turn affects hormones and/or their receptors in the skin.

The shed cycle in humans has not been investigated in much detail, but a few studies from the UK demonstrate the seasonal shed cycles. Although there is an increase in shedding during spring and fall, the number of hairs shed still falls within the generally recognized limits of 50 to 100 hairs a day. So in spring and fall the daily shed rate may be closer to 100 hairs a day and in summer and late winter the typical shed rate may be closer to 50 hairs a day. However, the average rate of shedding does vary from person to person. Some people can be high shedders, but also have high rates of hair growth and replacement so they have no net hair loss. To understand your own seasonal hair shedding it is better to compare the hair shed rate in spring/fall to summer/winter within yourself rather than compare it to other people. Whether there are still seaonal shed cycles for humans living at the equator is not known - I would guess not if the changes are entirely due to melatonin levels.

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Sakina
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Re: Seasonal Shedding Explained
Reply #1 - Sep 9th, 2008 at 10:45am
 
Thanks!  I live in Arizona where we get sun 99% of the time.  I don't shed that much, for sure I'm closer to the 50 than the 100.  I've lived here 9+ years now and since I've been paying attention I know I don't shed much.

However, I think I shed more when I switched to the curly girl method as I switched shampoo and conditioner to ones that are for curly hair.  That transition worried me a little.
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Drear
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Re: Seasonal Shedding Explained
Reply #2 - Sep 10th, 2008 at 8:23am
 
I know that at the end of summer i begin to notice these short hairs sticking up all along my parting.  It looks as if I've taken a scissor and just done a mad chop.  I once asked a hairdresser what I was doing wrong to break off my hair and she said I wasn't doing anything wrong, those were new hairs growing back.  My hair grows in an upward and outward pattern.  It looks absolutely stupid so it's little comfort that this is a result of something naturally occuring. Sad
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Jilayne75
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Re: Seasonal Shedding Explained
Reply #3 - Sep 10th, 2008 at 6:01pm
 
Oh i know exactly what you mean, Drear! I have alot of those little short hairs around my part sticking up, too. They just stick straight up off my head.  Huh It's wierd.
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Drear
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Re: Seasonal Shedding Explained
Reply #4 - Sep 11th, 2008 at 2:57am
 
Jilayne75 wrote on Sep 10th, 2008 at 6:01pm:
Oh i know exactly what you mean, Drear! I have alot of those little short hairs around my part sticking up, too. They just stick straight up off my head.  Huh It's wierd.


Yesterday it was visible on one of our newsreporters because her long hair was tied tightly in to a low ponytail. Smiley  I know it's not nice of me to smile like that. Wink
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