The Autumn Lash Shed

Why autumn can make hair, including eyelashes, fall out…

The season changes, the wind and rain are bad enough, but autumn’s return has another sting in its tail for lash extension wearers: you’ll lose more hair and that includes your eyelashes!  So this means the lash extensions will not last as long as usual, because we need the natural (donor) lash to hold the extension.

Why does this happen?

In a study published in the journal Dermatology, the scientists followed more than 800 healthy women over six years and found that they lost the most hair in the autumn months.  To understand why, you need to know something about normal hair growth.

Hair cells are the second-fastest produced cells in the body, so hair is often the first thing to suffer from any bodily changes.  Hair is in a constant state of growth, 90 per cent of our hair is growing, while the remainder is in a resting state (known as the telogen stage), before it falls out.  The hair follicle itself then rests before the whole process is repeated.

Researchers found that women had the highest proportion of resting hairs in July — with the telogen state in most of them ending around 100 days later, from October onwards.  This pattern is thought to be evolutionary: the body holds on to hair to protect the scalp against the summer’s midday sun.

What can you do?

Unfortunately as a lash technician there is not much you can do to help with your client’s retention during this time.  The natural lashes are shedding and renewing themselves so it’s nothing to do with what adhesive you are using, the weather conditions or how the client is maintaining them (although for some clients it could as well!)  My only advice is to offer an infill slightly earlier than usual and to use extensions that are slightly lighter (.15’s or .12’s) so that you can use the baby natural lashes during this time.  As a little extra, for my regular clients, I usually provide extra time at their infill appointments.

 Some more useful information!!!

‘Autumn is not the only cause of unexpected hair loss.  It can even forewarn you when there are no other symptoms of illness because we don’t need our hair for survival, so if it’s a choice between your hair growing or keeping blood going to the vital organs, the former will suffer’, explains Dr Hugh Rushton, honorary senior lecturer in trichological sciences at the University of Portsmouth.

If your client’s suffer from unexpected hair loss

Here are some possible causes that could help with your clients…

A number of medications can trigger hair shedding.  It is thought certain drugs switch more hairs from the growing into the resting phase, and these hairs are then shed a few months later.

Most of the iron stored in the body is bound to ferritin — a protein which helps in the production of hair cells and guards against hair shedding.  Good food sources of iron are red meat, egg yolks and green, leafy vegetables. Vitamin C helps with the absorption of iron, so have a glass of orange juice when eating.

The second most common cause of hair loss in premenopausal women is polycystic ovarian syndrome, leading to excessive amounts of testosterone.  This can trigger excessive body hair — but hair loss on the head.

Pityriasis amiantacea — basically adult cradle cap — can cause hair loss.  It’s linked to eczema, and may be confused with psoriasis.

Crash dieting, particularly low-carb diets, can cause hair loss.  You can eat as much protein and iron as you like, but without any energy your hair will suffer.  That’s because if the brain or other vital organs are desperate for energy, it will often be taken from non-essential sources, such as the hair and nails.

A thyroid problem can affect the normal timing of the hair cycle.  Usually, hair will ‘rest’ before falling out. With a thyroid problem, the hair will have a tendency to fall out sooner, before growing to a normal, reasonable length.’

All oral contraceptives contain progestogens, synthetic hormones that produce similar effects to the natural hormone progesterone — needed to help prevent a fertilised egg being implanted. Some of these progestogens are good for the hair; others less so.  That’s because the protestogen used can have a male hormone-like effect on hair.

Being overweight increases the risk of metabolic syndrome — essentially a precursor to type-2 diabetes.  This is where insulin levels are higher than they should be.  ‘The problem is that a high insulin level in women can trigger a higher testosterone level — and increase the risk of baldness.’

Stress can lead to a type of hair loss called teleogen effluvium —forcing the hairs into the resting state before their time.  Chronic stress might also push the immune system into overdrive so that it makes white blood cells attack the hair follicles.



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