A study team noticed an interesting trend when analyzing Google searches for “hair loss”. They noted that the volume of such searches tends to peak during the summer and fall, in both hemispheres. Because of this, the researchers pointed to the possibility of there being a so-called “human shedding” period.
Hair Loss Linked to Seasonality?
The analysis looked at data from eight countries around the world in between 2004 to 2016. Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and India, are some of the selected countries. The team decided to use only English-speaking countries to avoid language-based confusions.
According to the results, the hair loss search volume peaked during the summer, and the fall came in second in both of the globe’s hemispheres. However, the researchers point out that such searches do not necessarily point to the users’ experiencing hair loss.
In countries in the Northern Hemisphere, the study team defined the summer seasons as being June, July, and August with the Fall ones being September, October, and November. Countries in the Southern Hemisphere are precisely the opposite, as the Northern summer is the Southern Winter.
The research team pointed out that these study parameters help back up the findings of previous studies.
They “back up the results of smaller studies involving patients that showed greater [hair loss] in the summer months,” according to Dr. Shawn Kwatra. He is the senior study author and a Johns Hopkins Medicine dermatology resident.
The researchers point out that such studies indicated a possible link between seasonality and losing hair. Namely, they found higher rates of “telogen” hairs in the summer and the lowest ones in the winter. Telogens are hair in the final stages of growth, and also the most likely to fall out.
However, the study team of this latest analysis underlines that the hair type is probably just one of the varied possible reasons for the seasonal hair loss. According to them, the UV index, which returns the strength of the outdoors ultraviolet rays may also be an influencing factor.
A study paper is available in the British Journal of Dermatology.
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