Background: A number of otherwise healthy women with or without clinical alopecia complain of recurrent hair loss, presumably reflecting seasonality in the growth and shedding of hair.
Objective: To test the hypothesis that periodicity in hair shedding reflects seasonal changes in human hair growth.
Methods: Retrospective case study over a period of 6 years of apparently healthy women with the complaint of hair loss. All underwent biochemical investigations, and trichograms were made.
Results: After exclusion of patients with a disease or on drugs known to cause hair loss, 823 women remained. Analysis of trichograms demonstrated annual periodicity in the growth and shedding of hair, manifested by a maximal proportion of telogen hairs in summer. A second peak seems to exist, though it is less pronounced, in spring. The telogen rates were lowest in late winter.
Conclusions: These results confirm the findings of former authors who have indicated seasonal changes in human hair growth, though this is the first study performed systematically in a representative number of women.
Copyright 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel.