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Hair Is Important

Hair: if you have it, you spend all kinds of time and money (if you are a girl or a guy who even remotely cares about his appearance) taking care of it: washing it, styling it, purchasing products for it.

Celebrity hair can be a trademark: remember the Jennifer-Anniston inspired “Friends Haircut”, or then there’s Don King, Elvis, Mister T and the “Beiber” .

Your hairstyle can also represent a lifestyle: long-haired hippies, bald-headed skinheads, punk rockers sporting mohawks, military buzz cuts, “rasta” dreadlocks,  etc.

And rumor has it that blonde’s have more fun, brunettes have more brains and red-heads are more “sultry”.

A colleague of mine (who used to own a hair salon in Newnan GA) passed on an interesting article on why the subject of hair fascinates us, citing several cultural examples of the significance of hair from around the world. An interesting and informative read. After all, hair is important!

http://www.thestar.com/living/article/1223740–why-the-subject-of-hair-fascinates-us-all

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Categories: Anthropology, Consumer Anthropology, Consumer Culture, Health and Beauty, Narcissists | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “Hair Is Important

  1. Interesting, but relatively light-hearted look at a very complex and difficult problem. Many of us multi-racial folks have lived with the good-hair / bad-hair paradox for decades and it leaves many scars on families! Documentaries and books delve into this subject in depth from the black woman’s (and man’s) point of view, as one recent celebrity did in support of his daughter! The Afro was popular in the 60’s and 70’s when I was a teen/young adult BUT although it was a cultural “norm” in some places in this world, it was NOT seen as beautiful or even acceptable on ME, a Cape Verdean woman growing up in Massachusetts! This subject needs to be more deeply explored by Anthropologists from a cultural realism point of view!

  2. Appreciate the perspective, Barbara…and agree. I think, in particular looking at black women and the role of hair in culture is a quite relative an interesting phenomeon…namely the affect of how mainstream is defined and the requirements for hair as an assimilation from a racial perspective: e.g. straight hair.
    Then you look at the phenomenon of white women wearing weaves to make their hair look fuller and longer: a tradition started in the black community.
    But with multiculturalism becoming a mainstay you do see more and more black women back to embracing the afro as a “hipster” trend.
    I have also noticed at a local beauty parlor where I live in a predominantly white are that hosts regular meetings for a group of women who have adopted mixed race or black children to teach them how to do their child’s hair in absence of having the cultural context.

    • Good point about the parents/guardian of mixed-race children needing guidance to style their child’s hair. My nieces both have white mothers, and they came to me for assistance! Also, I have noticed a unique juxtaposition still on the rise…while “natural” hair is being celebrated, many women are still dying their hair blonde…the “media model” of “good” hair, even black women seem to prefer blonde in an alarmingly more frequent rate than I am comfortable with. Knowing fully well that a person can color their hair any shade they want these days, the fact remains that our “cultural preference” in America is still toward blondes!! How sad that we cannot be happy with what we were born with and not need to differentiate between good and bad, blonde or not!!

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  4. First of all I want to say fantastic blog! I had a quick
    question in which I’d like to ask if you don’t mind.
    I was interested to find out how you center yourself and
    clear your thoughts before writing. I’ve had a hard time clearing my thoughts in getting my ideas out there.
    I truly do enjoy writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are usually lost simply just trying to figure out
    how to begin. Any suggestions or hints? Kudos!

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