Can having a side fringe give you a lazy eye As one eye doctor warns hairstyle can cause long-term damage to sight, another slams his theory as 'false'
Leading optometrist Andrew Hogan said a fringe across the face can obstruct light and stimulation to eye making it amblyotic
But expert Dr Leonard Press said this can only happen if the eye is permanently covered BEFORE the age of seven
11:33 GMT, 15 May 2012
It's a hairstyle favoured by celebs from Rihanna to Justin Bieber and often copied by their young fans.
But a leading optometrist has warned that having a side fringe that falls into the face can cause long-term eye damage.
Andrew Hogan told the Australian Daily Telegraph: 'If a young emo chap has a fringe covering one eye all the time, that eye won't see a lot of detail. And if it happens from a young age, that eye can become amblyotic.'
Hair raising: Rihanna, left, and Cameron Diaz often wear a side fringe – but could it damage their sight Not according to experts
Amblyopia is more commonly known as a lazy eye and is a childhood condition which means the sufferer can't see as clearly out of one eye, so they rely on the other.
It can occur as a child's sight develops so if a child has one of their eyes blocked, eg by an eye patch, when they are in a key developmental stage then they could develop a lazy eye.
Mr Hogan believes having a side fringe means the hair can become like an eye patch across the eye and so cause the condition, and also short-sightedness, by restricting sunlight and stimulation from reaching the eye.
'If you walk around with an eye patch on all day, then that eye will end up seeing more poorly than the other eye,' he explained.
Emo trend: Members of the band 30 Seconds To Mars favour the fringe across the face look
He added that he was aware that visual development took place between birth to seven years, but that research had shown him vision could still be affected at later stages.
But experts have poured cold water on Mr Hogan's theory.
Amblyopia specialist Dr Leonard Press told MSNBC: 'The story would only be true if you had somebody young enough, and if that person never looked out of that eye – if it was blocked 24-7. The reason it's false is that you don’t have that constant deprivation.'
Dr Press added that vision is 'so well-established' after the age of seven that 'combing your hair over your eye will not do anything to that system'.
So teenagers and young people can rest assured that they won't be risking their long-term eye sight by wearing the trendy style.
However, a leading Australian hairdresser told the Australian Telegraph they do run another risk – a sore neck!
Roseanne Anderson said: 'I have to wonder how they don't get a stiff neck. I
have seen lots of fashions come and go – but really when I think about
it, this is probably the only hairstyle in my 40 years of hairdressing
that could be a health hazard.'