Stocks & Blondes... Japanese Women Style Their Hair to Suit the Times

Shorter hair marks return of the bearShorter hair marks return of the bear
A Japanese cosmetics company has noted a curious trend: the nation's women appear to choose their hairstyles based on the current economic outlook: going long in good times and cutting short when things turn bad. It would seem somewhat silly... if it weren't so accurate!

What's noteworthy about the regular surveys conducted by Kao Corp. and reported in the respected Nikkei business daily, is that the ladies appear to begin adjusting their hair length upward or downward before stocks & bonds begin making their corresponding moves.

Kao is Japan's second-largest cosmetics firm and over the past 20 or so years has always gone right to the source - the streets of Tokyo and Osaka - when conducting their surveys. The hairstyles of roughly 1,000 women are noted each time and the results eerily mirror the rise and fall of Japan's major stock indices.

The Nikkei Average's rise & follicleThe Nikkei Average's rise & follicle

Are things really so cut & dried? Historically in Japan, women's hairstyles tended toward lengthiness until the bursting of the economic bubble in the early 1990s. Bobbed do's then became popular as Japan's boom turned to bust. Then beginning around 2002, longer hairstyles became common once again, coinciding with a mild economic recovery.

Now it seems, things are changing: shorter styles have made a noticeable comeback on the streets of Japan's major metropoli. The tale of the (pony)tail is lending a little extra weight to predictions the U.S. subprime fiasco is about to burst Japan's revived bubble. Will Japan's "bond girls" be right again? (via Reuters)
Steve Levenstein     
Japanese Innovations Writer     
Feb 21, 2008
by Steve Levenstein
Steve Levenstein's picture

At least they'd have

At least they'd have something to do with the hair they cut when times turn bad, lol!

Feb 25, 2008
by Shay (not verified)

bummer :P

I'm a fan of short-haired girls so it's a bummer that they frequent that hairstyle more when things are lookin' up so much. Oh well, even if things get good I'll look to the ladies that hold out and keep it short ^^