Autumn, the leaves are falling from the trees... and the hair from our head too! Many of us, in fact, especially in this period, experience an increase in hair loss. But it is also possible to realize to have more fragile hair, dandruff and itching. This is a normal condition linked to seasonality and pollution, but this does not mean that we cannot take action to improve the situation. So let's try to understand why hair tends to fall more abundantly in autumn and what are the natural remedies for the beauty and health of your hair.
Autumn, pollution and hair loss
The hair life cycle is divided into three phases, the anagen phase, in which the hair grows, this can last for years, catagen, the hair growth stops and the follicle enters the resting phase, this lasts a few weeks, and finally telogen, the vital activities have ceased and the hair is preparing to fall within a few months. Well, scientific studies have observed that the telogen phase peaks in autumn (Courtois et al, Br J Dermatol, 1996). Not only that, even seborrheic dermatitis has a seasonal trend with peaks between autumn and December (Borda et al, J Clin Investig Dermatol, 2016). Finally, in autumn and the onset of cold weather we turn on the heaters, we move more in the car, we spend more time indoors, perhaps in rooms that are not often ventilated with the consequence that the pollution we come into contact with is greater than to other times of the year, such as summer. It has been observed that pollution damages the fibers that make up the hair, which can thus appear brittle (Naudin et al, Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A., 2019). So let's see some natural remedies for hair beauty and health, both in this period but also throughout the year.
A help comes from scalp massages, which aim to make the skin more elastic and improve blood flow with the consequence of making the hair stronger and thicker (Koyama et al, Eplasty, 2016). You can perform scalp massages every day, while distributing the shampoo on the hair, or before shampooing by applying a little jojoba oil to the moistened head. If you do not wash your hair every day, you can also perform the dry massage, or if you prefer after spraying a hydrolate such as lavender water, lavender in fact shows to stimulate hair growth. The important thing is that the massage should be delicate, performed with circular movements of the fingertips.
In case of brittle hair but also dandruff and itching, here are some hair masks to be performed before shampooing. These masks will help to relieve and hydrate the skin, to regulate the production of sebum but also to coat the hair to make it stronger. In a small bowl, mix 2 tablespoons of shea butter, 1 tablespoon of coconut oil and 1 tablespoon of jojoba oil, add 2 drops of lavender essential oil, which is shown to stimulate hair growth (Lee et al, Toxicol Res, 2016), and apply from root to tip, do a little massage on the scalp. Wrap your head with a plastic wrap and leave on for twenty minutes.
Then rinse. For what concerns the health of hair, a research compared the action of coconut oil, sunflower oil and various mineral oils commonly used in cosmetics dedicated to hair. What emerged was that coconut oil was the only oil capable of reducing protein loss in hair, both in damaged hair that therefore needs care and in healthy hair as a prevention (Rele et al, J Cosmet Sci, 2003). While shea butter is antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, useful to moisturize the skin and to soothe irritation (Lin et al, Int J Mol Sci, 2018). Another very useful remedy in case of itching and dandruff is aloe, which is beneficial for the integrity of the skin, soothes itching and erythema and is anti-inflammatory and antiseptic (Zaid et al, BMC Complement Altern Med, 2017). You can apply the aloe gel directly on the scalp. Make a quick massage and let it act, you no longer have to rinse, even if your hair should seem hard at first. Once the gel has dried, a good brushing is enough to have very soft and shiny hair.