If You’ve Been Shedding More Hair Lately, There’s a Scientific Reason Why

Don’t worry—you’re probably not going bald.

If-You’ve-Been-Shedding-More-Hair-Lately,-There’s-a-Scientific-Reason-Why_557050852_Dmitry-ADmitry A/Shutterstock

Shedding isn’t exclusively limited to dogs. But whether your tresses are long and luxurious or short and sleek, losing a few more strands than usual might cause some concern. Don’t panic! According to a new study published in the British Journal of Dermatology, shedding is totally normal—especially in the summer and fall. Learn more about the 7 sneaky reasons your hair is falling out.

Using Google trends data from eight countries in four hemispheres, researchers at Johns Hopkins and Washington University tracked worldwide search rates for the term “hair loss.” They compared those trends across months and seasons for a 12-year period, from 2004 to 2016.

Overall, searches relating to hair loss increased in the summer and autumn compared to winter and spring. Based on those findings, the researchers concluded that increased shedding in the summer and autumn is pretty ordinary, no matter where you live in the world.

While previous studies have examined seasonal hair loss in one geographical area, this is the first to look at shedding on a global scale. Now, the authors hope that future research will determine why this routine occurs to begin with.

The researchers have one guess: “This is speculative, but from an evolutionary perspective one of the roles of hair loss is to provide warmth,” study co-author Shawn Kwatra, MD, assistant professor of dermatology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, told Health. “This would be less necessary during the summer months.”

Of course, shedding isn’t the only sneaky thing your hair is trying to tell you about your health. Extreme hair loss could also be a sign of something more serious, such as stress, sudden weight loss, diet, or another underlying health condition. If you think you’re shedding more than 50 to 100 hairs each day, you might want to book an appointment with a doctor.

Struggling with thinning hair? Try these hair products that stylists swear by.

[Source: Cosmopolitan UK]

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Brooke Nelson
Brooke Nelson is a researcher at PBS FRONTLINE in Boston, Massachusetts, and writes regularly about travel, health, and culture news for Reader’s Digest. Previously she was a staff writer at Reader's Digest. Her articles have also appeared on MSN, Business Insider, and Yahoo Finance, among other sites. She earned a BA in international relations from Hendrix College. Follow her on Twitter @BrookeTNelson.