In an attempt to save energy, a Japanese company has launched a national campaign to make all staff have the same haircut.

The construction firm Maeda Corp. has asked its 2,700 staff to get identical haircuts – short back and sides and slightly longer on the top for men and a “cute” bob with a side sweeping fringe for the women.

A spokeswoman for Maeda Corp, Chizuru Inoue, said: "Our company is very keen on protecting the environment and we encourage our staff to adopt many environment-friendly actions.

"We are not sure of the data yet, but we believe if people have short hair they do not need to use their hair driers for so long and they will use less water.

"If all our staff do this, then it may save a lot of power."

She added that short hair is easier to keep neat after staff have worn hard hats on construction sites.

Inoue said: “I've had a lot of our staff calling me yesterday and today to ask where they can get their hair cut in the correct style."

Since the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear plant was destroyed by the earthquake and tsunami in March, the Japanese government has urged businesses and households to dramatically reduce their energy consumption.

Other plants have been closed for safety tests during the summer, which is usually the peak time for energy usage in Japan because of the heat.

Other companies have brought in measures to save power, including shifting production to weekends and at night.