Little-known cause of hair loss you might notice in spring – and how to combat it

By Staff 6 Min Read

An expert has revealed why you might notice hair loss when the weather gets sunnier – and has shared top tips on how to combat the surprising cause

You may be familiar with the typical symptoms of hay fever – from unbearably itchy eyes, to constant sneezing and coughing. But a leading hair expert warns that seasonal sniffles may even be the trigger for hair loss in men and women.

Dr Balwi, a hair surgeon at Elithair, claims it’s all down to our immune systems and their reactions to allergies, sparking a far less obvious impact over a longer period of time. “With the weather getting warmer and the days getting lighter, many of us will be looking forward to spending more time outside,” he said.

“However, recent research shows that 1 in 4 adults in the UK suffer from hay fever and 49% will experience common symptoms such as sneezing, coughing and a blocked nose. While these hay fever symptoms are well documented, a lesser-known symptom of hay fever might be impacting you: increased hair loss.”

Hay fever – or rhinitis – is an allergy that usually arises between late March and September. It takes place when our immune systems overreact to pollen, mould spores and other, similar allergens, mistaking them for harmful substances.

When this occurs, the immune system then releases a histamine which works as part of our body’s defence to rid of the pollen in whatever way it can – making you cough, sneeze or tear up. Dr Balwi continued: “[This] triggers inflammation in the nasal passages and sinuses. This inflammation can lead to hair loss.

“When your immune system is healthy, inflammation protects your body from further damage. However, when your immune system is impacted by hay fever it can respond to scalp inflammation by attacking hair follicles, resulting in hair loss.”

Itching and rubbing your scalp can worsen this too, causing even more hair follicle irritation and increased shedding over time. “Inflammation can cause stress which is a leading cause of hair loss,” he added.

While hay fever isn’t curable, Dr Balwi assures there are a few easy ways to deal with the hair loss caused by it. This includes managing your other symptoms by taking antihistamines, nasal sprays, or hay fever injections to alleviate inflammation and reduce the allergic response.

Protecting your scalp is also vital when outdoors, with hats or barrier cream advisable to shield your head from pollen exposure. Dr Balwi continued: “Practice good hair care habits, such as using gentle shampoos and avoiding tight hairstyles or excessive heat styling. Incorporating healthy foods and vitamins into your diet can also support overall hair health.

“Stress can exacerbate hair loss [too], so finding healthy ways to manage stress levels – whether through exercise, relaxation techniques, or hobbies – can help mitigate its impact on hair thinning.”

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