Films have long had it that all it takes for fugitives to evade the law is a new hairstyle (preferably a blonde bob, if you’re a woman).

But it seems researchers have only just realised that a trip to the hairdresser can be the best way to escape arrest.

A team at Stirling University reports that witnesses place more reliance on hair than facial features. Even the smallest changes in the length and colour of hair can throw witnesses, according to experiments with photofits. They conclude that police should consider producing photofits of bald suspects instead.

Obiter wonders if such a move might be open to challenge for unfairly implicating follically challenged individuals, if witnesses always believe it’s a bald man they’re looking for.