What do the numbers mean?
The numbers are not very helpful when it comes to determining if you are a child from the 1960’s, the decade when many people were born.
But, according to a recent study by the Child Protection Information Centre (CPIC), the numbers suggest that the majority of people who grew up in the 60s and 70s had an asymmetrical hairstyle, with most children growing their hair longer or shorter, with some having full hair.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, many parents opted to grow their children’s hair longer, often opting for a full head of hair.
But in recent years, parents and professionals have begun to recognise that this is a very unhealthy way of growing children’s hairstyles, with more and more children opting to grow shorter and more straight haircuts.
According to the CPIC, in 2012, nearly 90 per cent of the hair on the head was longer than 10cm, and in 2017, only 11 per cent was shorter than 10.5cm.
The study, which was conducted by a team from the Child Abuse Information Centre, looked at the prevalence of asymmetrical hair, the length of hair on children’s heads and whether a child had an uneven cut, all of which could be indicators of child abuse.
“Asymmetrical hair was defined as the length, or width, of hair falling below the average height of the head, which may be more or less than a full, unshaven head,” it read.
Of the people surveyed, 89 per cent had an imbalance of hair in the form of short and/or long hairs, with around half of those surveyed having an asymmetry of at least one of these characteristics.
Some experts argue that it is not a good idea to give a child’s hairstyle a name, but the CPEC’s study suggests that it might be worth trying to identify the cause of this imbalance, rather than just being told to cut it.
Asymmetric haircuts, with the exception of short haircuts which are generally shorter, are thought to be linked to problems with the child’s ability to focus, learn and understand the world around them.
A child with an asymmetric haircut is said to have difficulty in keeping track of objects, and may be at risk of a number of physical problems including ADHD, ADHD related anxiety and anxiety related illness.
This may be the reason why, according the CPBC, about half of children surveyed in 2017 had a hairstyle imbalance.
There are many things you can do to reduce the risk of being labelled as an asymmetrist, including having your hair styled or styling done at home, and by professional services.
Another possible way to identify an asymmetic hairstyle is to ask your GP if they are aware of any children whose hair has been growing abnormally, and if so, what kind of haircut they are suggesting.
Also, if you do want to go with a longer haircut, the CPCC suggested it is a good time to take extra care when washing your hair, and not to use a hair dryer while styling.
If you are worried about being labelled an asymmeter, the most important thing to remember is that your haircut is your own and you can change it to suit your lifestyle and needs.
Find out more about child abuse and mental health in the ABC’s “Catch up” program, available on the app or on your smartphone, on the day the ABC is broadcast on ABC TV or iview.