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Last Updated: Tuesday, 20 May, 2003, 13:47 GMT 14:47 UK
Hair today - gone tomorrow?
David Beckham

Schoolchildren who copy David Beckham's latest madcap hairstyle could end up bald and smelly, according to experts.

Hairdressers have been inundated with requests from youngsters to mimic the braided look unveiled by the England captain at the weekend.

But TV doctor Hilary Jones said anyone plaiting fine hair that severely could damage it - or even lose it permanently.

He told GMTV viewers: "The braids are so tightly pulled, you could pull the hair out of the skull...and get a nasty case of what is known as traction alopecia."

Salon boss Trevor Mitchell agreed, saying: "If these breakages happen at the base - or follicle - the hair might not be replaced."

He warned that the style was difficult to keep clean and could cause headaches.

Mitchell even went as far to say Becks himself could be at risk of losing his famous locks.

"Beckham has a fairly good head of hair, but he is receding a little and may find his hair is pulled out of the temples," the hair guru told The Sun.

Still, at least he's always got Elton John on hand if he needs any advice.

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