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Daily Combing of African Hair May Maintain Length

In some people, regular combing may break hair and result is similar to daily haircut

THURSDAY, April 27 (HealthDay News) -- African hair tends to break off with combing, and daily combing may have the effect of a regular haircut, according to a report published in the May issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.

Nonhlanhla P. Khumalo, M.B.Ch.B., of the University of Cape Town in South Africa, studied hair length in three Africans who combed their hair every day and compared it with a 38-year-old African woman who switched hairstyles to sport dreadlocks.

A 37-year-old man who went six months without a haircut had hair measuring about 40.1 millimeters; a 20-year-old woman who went a year without a haircut had hair measuring about 60 mm; and a 45-year-old man who went three years without a haircut had hair measuring about 69 mm. They had not dyed their hair, nor chemically straightened it, and their grooming routine consisted only of washing and combing the hair.

By comparison, the hair of the 38-year-old woman who changed her hairstyle grew from 35 millimeters after a year without a haircut to about 300 millimeters after five years of dreadlocks.

"This observation raises the possibility that combing African hair on a daily basis may result in the equivalent of a daily haircut in some people," the author writes. "This observation is based on few participants and will require confirmation in population studies."

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