A member of Thailand’s national breakdancing team has spoken about one of the lesser known challenges of the sport – hair loss.
At the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, where breaking – known in the media as breakdancing – debuted this year, Thailand’s national team was asked about the kinds of support performers need. They said there was a lack of facilities for training in Thailand, meaning people have to practise in parks or shopping malls.
But team member Kantapon Rodsaart said there was another issue that he would like to ask for help with: hair loss.
“I have to wear a hat while dancing to protect my hair because it’s thin. The more I dance, especially on a rough floor, the more my hair falls out. So, I would like to ask for support or sponsorship for hair treatment,” he said.
Kantapon and his teammates laughed as he spoke, but he added that this was actually a genuine problem.
“I am serious about this, it would boost my confidence. Currently, I have to wear two hats. If I don’t wear it, you will see a shine from my head,” Kantapon said.
According to a study published in the Journal of Dance Medicine and Science this year, a form of alopecia known as “headspin hole” or “breakdancer overuse syndrome” is unique to breakers. People who practise more than three headspin sessions a week were significantly more likely to have hair loss, the study said.
It also found that breakers were less likely to seek medical help.
Breakdancing’s debut at the Asian Games in Hangzhou comes less than a year before it will appear as the newest Olympic sport at Paris next year. B-Boys and B-Girls, as performers are known, competed in front of a panel of judges and thousands of spectators.
The men’s gold medal was won by Japan’s Shigeyuki Nakarai, while the women’s gold medal was won by China’s Liu Qingyi on Saturday.
Kantapon later shared a clip of his media interview on Facebook, with the caption “I’ll keep sharing until a sponsor appears” – referring to his search for hair treatment sponsorship – along with a laughing emoji.