This Hairstyle Looks Like A Cute Animal’s Tail, But It Could Put Your Health In Real Danger

While the beaver tail takes its name from a cute little animal, there’s nothing endearing about this beast of a hairstyle. In fact, the matted mass of hair not only looks alarming but it could have horrifying consequences for your well-being.

By 2018 the hair care industry was valued at a whopping $87.73 billion. What’s more, by 2024 that enormous figure is expected to rise to over $100 billion. That’s a lot of money spent on shampoo, hairspray and serum.

However, in recent years, some consumers have turned their backs on traditional chemical-heavy treatments in favor of more natural solutions. As a result, herbal hair care products have seen a surge in demand.

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Herbal-based hair care solutions are marketed as being better for the hair and better for the environment, given that they tend to avoid strong chemicals. However, there are some people that have decided to abandon grooming products all together, no matter how eco-friendly they appear.

One such group includes those sporting the beaver tail hairstyle. The distinctive look comprises of one solid mass of hair which grows down the wearer’s back. As time passes, the mane simply becomes longer and more matted, resembling the tail of a beaver – hence the name.

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The hairstyle requires minimum effort to achieve. In fact, the beaver tail forms when the wearer simply stops washing, cutting and even combing their locks. So, you could say that the tangled beaver tail is simply the result of letting nature take over when it comes to grooming.

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But while the hairstyle might appear to take care of itself, that’s not to say that it’s problem free. In fact, lovers of the trend have reported a number of issues that the beaver tail can cause. And some of them can even lead to worrying health problems.

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The first and perhaps most obvious problem with the beaver tail is hygiene – or the lack thereof. Although there are no real medical grounds on which the average person should wash their hair, doing so helps to remove debris, dirt and oils, all of which build up in our tresses over time.

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Unlike dreadlocks, which are also created by matted hair, beaver tails prevent the hair from functioning as it should. Since dreads are separated into individual cords, they allow air to circulate the scalp, helping dandruff and natural oils to escape.

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Since those cultivating a beaver tail are forbidden from washing their locks, over time they become filthy, festering masses of hair. Dead skin, dandruff and sweat no doubt form the majority of the debris. However, the beaver tail could also be harboring insects – both living and dead – which may be defecating and reproducing.

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While that already sounds terrifying, it doesn’t take into account the dirt particularly long beaver tails can accumulate while being dragged around on the floor. Because, as we all know, our streets and homes are teeming with bacteria, including Staphylococcus and E. coli.

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Those who do try to keep their beaver tail clean are faced with another issue – getting the mass of hair to dry. Most bacteria linked to disease thrive in warm, damp environments, making a soggy beaver tail the ideal breeding ground for a number of nasty germs.

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One beaver tail fan learned that lesson the hard way. Writing on the Runboard forum, user THEQUAL wrote, “So yesterday I washed my dreads and put a shirt over my hair like I always do before I slept. But I dried them until they were only a bit moist before I went to bed.”

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THEQUAL continued, “I woke up and put my finger in the fat beaver tail and smelled it and there’s definitely some mold.” Turning to the online community for advice, he added, “My question is, is there a way to get rid of this mold?”

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Some users suggested THEQUAL should try rinsing his hair with apple cider vinegar, before letting it air out properly without placing a T-shirt over his head. Others suggested he should blow dry his hair after washing. However, the truth is that keeping a beaver tail clean is nigh on impossible.

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Later on in the thread, THEQUAL revealed he had to tackle his mold problem by tearing into his beaver tail. “I cut it into three pieces and I isolated the nasty spots,” he explained. “I plan on cutting my dreads in half horizontally once they get long enough to get rid of the waxy mistakes.”

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Another worrying side effect of the beaver tail is its enormous weight. It is believed hair that hasn’t been washed for more than 12 months increases its weight five-fold versus clean and fresh locks. Consequently, that’s a lot of pull for one scalp to bear.

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All these things combined can have dire consequences for hair and overall health. Growing a beaver tail can lead to skin disorders, scalp problems and even hair loss. So, if you care about your tresses, it probably isn’t the hairstyle for you.

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One former beaver tail aficionado who saw the error of his ways after 23 years was Lee Hicks from Cornwall, England. He shed his mop for charity in 2017, raising an impressive £900 ($1,186) in the process.

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Following his long-awaited haircut, in 2017 Hick’s told Britain’s the Daily Mail newspaper, “I didn’t take much persuading because it’s such a good cause. It’s a bit cold on top now, but it is starting to grow back already.”

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