International Journal of Trichology International Journal of Trichology
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COMMENTARY
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1-6

From hair in India to hair India


Center for Dermatology and Hair Disease Professor Trüeb, Wallisellen, and University of Zurich, Switzerland

Correspondence Address:
Ralph M Trueb
Center for Dermatology and Hair Diseases, Bahnhofplatz 1A, CH-8304 Wallisellen
Switzerland
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijt.ijt_10_17

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In all cultures, human hair and hairdo have been a powerful metaphor. Tracing back the importance and significance of human hair to the dawn of civilization on the Indian subcontinent, we find that all the Vedic gods are depicted as having uncut hair in mythological stories as well as in legendary pictures. The same is true of the Hindu avatars, and the epic heroes of the Ramayana, and the Mahabharata. Finally, there are a number of hair peculiarities in India pertinent to the creed and religious practices of the Hindu, the Jain, and the Sikh. Shiva Nataraja is a depiction of the Hindu God Shiva as the cosmic dancer who performs his divine dance as creator, preserver, and destroyer of the universe and conveys the Indian conception of the never-ending cycle of time. The same principle manifests in the hair cycle, in which perpetual cycles of growth, regression, and resting underly the growth and shedding of hair. Finally, The Hair Research Society of India was founded as a nonprofit organisation dedicated to research and education in the science of hair. Notably, the HRSI reached milestones in the journey of academic pursuit with the launch of the International Journal of Trichology, and with the establishment of the Hair India conference. Ultimately, the society aims at saving the public from being taken for a ride by quackery, and at creating the awareness that the science of hair represents a subspecialty of Dermatology. In analogy again, the dwarf on which the Nataraja dances represents the demon of egotism, and thus symbolizes Shiva's, respectively, the HRSI's victory over ignorance.


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