Articles on Hair

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Hair speaks of the past, and of cultural heritage. Steve Evans/Flickr

The heritage of hair: stories of resilience and creativity

Hair has long been modified for aesthetic and other ends. But skewed power structures have meant that women, particularly women of colour, have borne the brunt of stereotyping and prejudice.
One of the first dilemmas that black people face is whether to let strangers touch their hair – and under what circumstances. Thomas Mukoya/Reuters

From slavery to colonialism and school rules: a history of myths about black hair

When it comes to black hair, “common sense” is the least reliable tool for decision making since even black people are constantly changing their minds about what they want to do with their hair.
Nationwide, barbershops are on the decline. 'Barber' via

Goodbye to the barbershop?

Is the decline of the corner barbershop another indicator that male friendships and community ties are eroding? Or could it simply mean that concepts of masculinity are shifting?
Balkissa Maiga, 17, wears a traditional Songhai headdress made by artisan Hally Bara in Gao, Mali. Reuters/Joe Penney

Untangling the knotty politics of African women’s hair

Traditionally, African women wore their hair in different ways to signify class or marriage status. Now with globalisation, hair is becoming less traditionalised and more politicised.
Almost 60% of Australian women are predisposed to female pattern hair loss. faungg's photo/Flickr

Health Check: why does women’s hair thin out?

Balding in men is so common it doesn’t raise an eyebrow. But when a woman starts to lose hair, it can be extremely distressing. Will she end up bald, too?

Minor DNA changes determine hair colour

Hair colour in humans is largely determined by a molecule critical to stem cell function and development, according to a…
Bad news: one study suggests bald men have fewer sexual partners. Tony Deifell

Health Check: are bald men more virile?

The suggestion that bald men are more virile than their well-thatched contemporaries is probably an old wives’ tale, but it must be conceded that old wives are likely to be unusually authoritative in this…
You may achieve your pigmentary potential a little ahead of schedule, but you can’t go grey overnight. Image from

Monday’s medical myth: stress can turn hair grey overnight

The belief that nervous shock can cause you to go grey overnight (medically termed canities subita) is one of those tales which could nearly be true. There are certainly cases in medical literature of…
Some teenage boys hope this is true, but most others will be relieved to know it’s a myth. Dharion

Monday’s medical myth: shaved hair grows back faster and thicker

Hair removal is a modern obsession. Despite the economic downturn, the beauty industry is booming, and it seems that a big part of looking good is getting rid of unwanted hair. Men as well as women are…

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