Some believe the act originated in South America; others claim the act hails from China. Performers hang suspended by their hair, which is tied into a hairhang rig; the techniques used to tie the performer's hair, and the acrobatic techniques involved in the act are key.
Many people underestimate the tensile strength of hair. A single strand can potentially carry a weight of up to 100 grams; in theory, with proper technique, a full head of human hair could eventually hold between 5,600 kg and 8,400 kg (12,345 to 18,518 lbs) without breaking individual hairs or pulling out any follicles. However, the act still hurts, especially for new performers.
Hair hanging acts are prominently featured in the Cirque du Soleil touring productions Volta and Bazzar.