Stand naked – no clothing, no shoes, no jewelry, no makeup, no tattoos even - naked as the day you were born. With none of these tools, these media of self-expression, you’re still wearing something. You still have one way to be your creative, expressive self – your hair. It is part of our bodies yet we manipulate it, change it, cut it off, twist, plait and weave it in all sorts of ways. Hair is our truest most basic form of self-expression and body-art. Without adding external adornment we have our built in play dough right atop our heads. It is probably for this reason throughout history hair and how it is worn has been given social, spiritual and psychological significance.
From the thin red locks of the Massai warrior to the shaved heads of Buddhist monks to the long flowing tresses of Hollywood starlets hair tells people who you are and is part of your image. And just like one’s image, it can change. It is said when a woman cuts her hair off it is a sign she’s making some major changes in her life, and to nosy inquirers she answers “it will grow back.” Sometimes we do need to cut off the baggage of our old image and start anew. Our lives, our image of ourselves, may become but a stub of what it used to be – but it will grow back. The style may not be the same but it will still be your crowning glory, your sacred, locks, and the new you will be just fine.
Picture: Portrait of Massai (1979) by Paul Collins, courtesy the James E. Lewis Museum of Art, Morgan State University.
(Photo by Kelene Blake)