While many people enjoy long hair, it can present some unique challenges if they are ever forced to defend themselves. A dedicated assailant will quickly move to grab the hair in an attempt to better control the victim. If not addressed quickly and effectively, a hair grab can end up taking a person off their feet and into even more dangerous territory. Escaping from a hair grab is not a simple matter. While the technical side is not complicated, there will be other factors such as fear, anger and adrenaline.

Hair grabs are used for two primary reasons—to get a firm hold on the victim, and to physically move the victim around, dragging them against their will to a more remote spot or possibly into a vehicle. This is most commonly done from behind. Painful and shocking, it can be disorienting to say the least. Scroll through the photos above to learn how to escape a hair trap in 7 steps.

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This article was originally published in the SURVIVOR’S EDGE  Fall 2014 issue. Subscription is available in print and digital editions here.