Yet what’s its role in our lives? Is it merely an added attraction to our charms or is there more to it than meets the eye?
In religion, hair has always been a “bone” of contention. (Apologies for the pun).
Did you know that in the Sikh religion hair is sacred? Followers of Sikhism are forbidden to cut any hair on their bodies. In Sikhism, Kesh is the practice of allowing one’s hair to grow naturally as a symbol of respect for the perfection of God’s creation. The hair is combed twice daily with a Kanga and tied into a simple knot known as a Joora or Rishi knot.
Contrast that with the obsession many Western women have with every single hair on their bodies. Billions of dollars is spent every year in trimming, styling and curling hair every year across the globe.
The mythology around hair is not just restricted to Sikhism alone. The biblical account states that Samson was a Nazirite, and that he was given immense strength to aid him against his enemies and allow him to do spectacular deeds such as killing a lion with his bare hands, slaying an entire army with only the jawbone of an ass and destroying a temple of the Philistines with his bare hands. However, if Samson’s long hair was cut, then his would lose his strength as his vow would be violated.
Who can forget Rapunzel and the trials she underwent due to her long tresses!
In the recent times, there is usually a direct correlation between what’s happening on our heads and what’s happening in our lives – Whether it’s to signal the end of a relationship or a new promotion at work. Actress Kirsten Stewart is the most recent example who changed her hairstyle to reflect her changed relationship status.
The length of your hair usually feeds into society’s perception of you. Short hair is seen as more professional and shows the wearer with a business like attitude. Longer hair is associated with youthfulness and is generally credited with making the owner more attractive.
Psychologically, people with curly hair are not taken as seriously as their straight haired counterparts.
People who sport non traditional hair colours are seen as rebellious.
Losing hair during illness such as during chemotherapy treatment causes considerable mental trauma and highlights the unconscious importance we attach to our tresses in our lives.
Changing your hairstyle dramatically signals that you have changed; that you’re different from whom you were before; that you’re different from those around you; or that you’re similar to a particular set of people. It is an accepted way of asserting a new identity.
There is no hair colour, texture or style that has any inherent meaning. Our notions of appropriate colour, type and style are always a reflection of a particular place and time.
So what are you waiting for? Make yourself stand out to the world by a simple act of changing your style and shaping your tresses.