The Hair Clinic London

Could Christmas Be The Cause Of Your Hair Loss Or Thinning?

When people think of Christmas, images of decorated trees, Santa in his sleigh and children setting out plates of mince pies typically spring to mind. However, for some, it could also mean the start of a hair loss journey. 

There are many reasons why your hair might begin to fall out over the festive period. Read on to find out more. 


Festive stress

Christmas might be a joyous time, but there’s no doubt about it, it can also be very stressful. 

Whether you’re rushing around trying to buy teachers’ gifts, attend school plays or find the right Christmas jumper, you’re trying to finish work before the holidays, or you have to face the day with family you don’t get on with, there are many reasons why people suffer from overwhelm and anxiety at this time of the year. 

According to a poll from Skipton Building Society, a third of Brits said they have poor mental health over Christmas. 

It revealed 41 per cent feel the pressure to make it special; 29 per cent struggle with the expense of food and presents; 29 per cent worry about January debt; and 20 per cent find it tough to juggle work and social arrangements. 

This stress can have a negative impact on hair, although Christmas-related hair thinning or loss might not be noticeable until March next year. 

It is caused by a surge in adrenaline, which tells hair follicles to stop growing. Although stress-related thinning can return to normal after a few months, it could lead to permanent male or female pattern hair loss in some cases. 



One of the most popular Christmas plants, a poinsettia, might be the cause of hair loss this season, due to the sap inside its leaves.

Although this is unlikely to occur unless there is prolonged contact with the sap, it is a good idea to wash hands thoroughly after touching them. 


Lack of sleep

As the festive season is so busy, and you might have one or more late nights celebrating with co-workers or friends, you are likely to lose out on good-quality sleep in December.

Not having enough sleep means there is a reduction in the hormone melatonin, which affects the quality and production of hair. 

Without having enough time to recover, the body is unable to work as effectively, and your hair might suffer as a result. 


Excessive drinking and poor diet

Although alcohol and junk food are not causes of hair loss or thinning, they can exacerbate feelings of stress. At the same time, if you are out late drinking, you are probably not sleeping enough, and eating a poor diet means you will not be getting the right nutrients needed for hair growth. 

This means it is likely to break more easily, while being dehydrated damages hair fibre. 


Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)

It is not just Christmas that could be bad for your hair, but winter on the whole. Lots of people suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD), which makes them feel lower during the colder, darker months. 

This typically leads to an increase in the stress hormone cortisol, which impacts hair growth and quality by causing hair follicles to die prematurely. 

Stress can also flare up underlying skin conditions, such as atopic eczema, which can lead to itchy scalps. The more they scratch, the more they are likely to damage their hair, resulting in balding.