Head to the hairdresser before your next trip to the dermatologist: a deadly form of skin cancer may be hiding under your hair. When scientists at the University of North Carolina reviewed more than 50 000 cases of melanoma, they found that patients with cancer on their scalps were 84 percent more likely to die of the disease than those with melanoma elsewhere on their bodies.

That could be because the skin on your head is densely packed with blood vessels that can quickly spread cancer cells. “So help your doctor by getting a haircut to make your scalp easier to scan,” says study author Dr Nancy Thomas.

And between screenings, cover your cranium with a wide-brimmed hat when you’re out: hair is not an effective sunscreen.