Surprise at warning about dancers’ wigs

Doctors are urging young Irish dancers to beware of pinning on heavy ringleted wigs.

Doctors are urging young Irish dancers to beware of pinning on heavy ringleted wigs.

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An Irish dancing teacher in Derry says she’s surprised at claims that pins used to secure extravagant Irish dancing wigs can lead to hair loss.

Linda Doherty, from the LegenDerry Dancing School, was responding to a report in the Irish medical magazine, ‘Hospital Doctor’, in which two doctors urged young Irish dancers to beware of pinning on heavy ringleted wigs.

Dr Sally Jane O’Shea and Dr Aoife Lally, of St Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin, pointed to the case of a 16-year-old girl, who had a history of hair loss over three years.

However, Linda Doherty said she had never heard of the problem before.

“There is a risk with hair extensions and wigs and my heart goes out to this girl. But it’s the first time I have heard of something like this,” she added.

The teenager involved said she had found two distinct patches of hair loss on her head, but the hair grew back within two months.

A year later, the same thing happened but the hair grew back again. However, after a third bout of hair loss which lasted seven months, she attended the clinic.

The doctors discovered that she was a keen Irish dancer. They found that the pattern of her hair loss coincided with the annual Irish national dancing competitions.

Linda Doherty, who has been an Irish dancer since the age of six, said she believed wigs were a safer alternative to hair styling.

“When the pupils buy wigs they are shown how to fit them safely and common sense tells you that you shouldn’t wear them 24/7. But, for me, it was quite a relief when I started to wear wigs.

“Before then I had to use rollers, which I think are worse for the hair.”