When it came to our appearance at school, there were rules we had to follow. Skirts had to be this length, socks that length, blazers were to be pressed, and hair neatly cut. As we enter the working world, there’s a general consensus on how one should present themselves. Come weekend though, freedom and personal style reigns. But not in North Korea. Media propaganda in the communist state is attempting to issue its people with strict, round-the-clock hair standards to enforce cultural and lifestyle values.
“To keep your hair tidy and simple… is a very important matter for setting the ethos of a sound lifestyle in the country,” Rodong Sinmun, the ruling-party newspaper said.
With a struggling economy and severe food shortages, hair problems should be the last thing on North Korea’s mind. But the paper says men and women’s hairstyles need to be addressed. It believes that men should keep their hair short while women should have it tied up. Nowhere, however, does it mention an acceptable look for those with hair loss.
“A short haircut is the basic style for men,” it said, adding that trimmed hair makes men look “elegant, neat, ambitious and passionate,” and that “for women to have their hair down and mussed up” does not suit the “people of the revolutionary age.”
Such a contradictory idea probably wouldn’t resonate in the western world where teenagers dye their hair blue, men grow their hair long, and women cut it short. The opportunity for self-expression and choice is a freedom not forgotten in modern society where even baldness is now a choice rather than our fate and women don’t have to put up with thinning hair that wouldn’t make a respectable bun even if they tried.
While the world is changing constantly, your hair needn’t. If you’d like to find out more about hair loss and what you can do about it, contact the Belgravia Centre for professional and expert advice on 020 7730 6666, or simply complete an online diagnostic form for a personal diagnosis from anywhere in the world.