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As the Economy Falters, Japanese Hairstyles Change


If you're an economics-policy wonk, you might want to pay attention to hairstyles. That's because Kao, a Japanese cosmetics company, has been surveying women throughout the past few decades to see whether their hairstyles change with the state of the Japanese economy. According to the entertaining (but not-so-scientific) research, women wear their hair long during boomtime, and they go in for a trim when things aren't looking so hot:

Until the early 1990s, when Japan's economic bubble burst, 60 percent of women in their twenties kept their hair long. . . . During the 1990s economic slump, short hair — defined as above the collarbone — became the dominant hairstyle for Japanese women. But since 2002, long hair has regained some popularity — just as the economy started to expand.

The original story points to shorter haircuts in Japan's future. But do you think this has anything to do with money, or is it just about style?

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