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Can Side Bangs Give You a Lazy Eye?

Nicole Richie
Christopher Polk/Getty

Side bangs (or “emo” or “scene” hair) may be an ultra-hip fashion statement, and a hairstyle often worn by celebs like Nicole Richie and Cameron Diaz, but can they give you vision problems? According to the Daily Telegraph, the coif, which typically has hair hanging over one eye, can actually cause amblyopia, otherwise known as lazy eye.

But not so fast, say eye doctors. According to Dr. Leonard Press, an eye specialist on amblyopia, the condition typically develops in young children, and only when vision through one eye is completely obscured.

“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,” said Press. “The reason it’s false is that you don’t have that constant deprivation.”

Amblyopia is a condition of reduced vision where the brain doesn’t recognize visual information. If left untreated in children under the age of seven, lazy eye can often be very difficult to correct.

But after the age of seven, Press said, vision is generally well-established, so a hairstyle like side bangs would have no effect on visual acuity. “Combing your hair over your eye will not do anything to [your visual] system,” he said. Whew! That must be a relief to literally every single girl under the age of 25.

For examples of the side-swept hairstyle, see below.

Cameron Diaz
Ethan Miller/Getty
Ashley Olsen
Junior Fashion
Kirsten Dunst
Kevin Winter/Getty

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