The significance of hair in contemporary Western society is not something that has roots in recent celebrity obsessed culture, it is something with a history that’s developed socially, emotionally and culturally along side humanity.
Hair is a more intimate signifier of the self than clothing, make up or other forms of body decoration as it is part of the body itself; cutting of hair is a Big Deal because in doing so, you are literally cutting away a part of yourself.
On a purely evolutionary level, hair is a barometer for the health of the person it belongs to - thick, glossy, long hair suggests optimal health - making them a more attractive prospect when it comes to finding a mate.
Social connections with hair have developed through human history, the bible, for example, uses hair to enforce a patriarchal society. 1 Corinthians 11 tells us that it is shameful for men to have long hair, but that women should keep their hair long for their glory and modesty; to keep short hair she is dishonoring her husband by denying the principle of male headship.
Social movements often use hairstyles to make a statement of solidarity, for example a punk rocker’s Mohawk, or a hippie’s long center-parted greasy strands are characteristics of their chosen clique. Hair is a symbol for these groups, detectable whatever they are wearing and wherever they are in their day to day lives.
Shaving of heads in women has especially negative connotations, linked with shaming or punishment, for example French women who fraternised with German soldiers during WW2 were punished by having their heads shaved.
As a woman, to shave your own head is to cut away your socially accepted sign of femininity and put yourself outside of the norm.
Western society falls back onto well formed stereotypes in order to interpret a shaven head in women -neo-nazi, lesbian, woman mid-breakdown, GI Jane, cancer patient- never reading a close cropped hair style as just something that a woman would do  because, say... it’s loads easier to look after than having hair down to your bum?

My hair is really thick, there’s a lot of it, it is very shiny and soft, on an evolutionary level I’m probably worth a punt.... but on a day to day washing and styling level, it’s a complete nightmare when it gets long. As such, I have never had very Long hair, it’s only ever gotten to shoulder length and that was when I was in secondary school, where I couldn’t be bothered styling it so it would be worn in bunches.
I started shaving parts of my hair off during college, initially to piss off The Man, but then I realised that it was actually loads easier to look after when there was less of it. It began with the back of my head, then the back and one side and finally I went to a cockney skin head, with just a tufty fringe at the front.

I’ve worn a skinhead cut for long enough to be mistaken for a boy, accepted as a neo-nazi, people have assumed I’m a lesbian or a thug.
As a bouncer, having a skinhead gives people a first impression of me that suggests maybe it wouldn’t be a good idea to mess with me, without me even having to say anything at all.
Over the years my hair has certainly been used as a way for me to communicate a character to the world, be that a genuine one or not.

In the time between having a skinhead I had a bit of a breakdown (like, a two year one), interestingly, during this time, I stopped shaving my head. When I had long hair in secondary school I was in a very dark ‘don’t give a fuck’ place too, so to me having long hair is something synonymous with me losing the will to look after myself. I see it as having given up on my usually carefully crafted external representation of self. This is the complete opposite to what society expects, but highlights my relationship with my hair.

Last year, 2012, I decided to grow out my skinhead, just to see what would happen.

I will be documenting its growth until I feel it is long enough and commenting on the way in which it affects my life.

It may be some time. 

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