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Hair today,Gone tomorrow.

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The global haircare market generated total revenues of $30.5 billion in 2005, this representing a compound annual growth rate of 3.3% for the five-year period spanning 2001-2005.
In the US alone, about 80,000 hair care salons (75,000 beauty salons; 5,000 barber shops) generate combined annual sales of $16 billion.

History has been witness to the changing hairstyles, through different ages. It is interesting that men did not always have short hair. I remember reading somewhere that around 1698, tax was imposed on long hair, by a ruler (I forget the name) and it led to short hairstyles for men.

Why does the way our hair feel or look, affect our attitude to ourselves and others attitude to us, so powerfully?

Hair has come to play such an important part of our anatomy, affecting our psyche.
How our hair is cut, colored or styled, telegraphs to the world our personality, attitude and style. Your hairstyle (or lack of it!) speaks volumes about you.

A friend of mine, who is also a mother of two began losing hair, about two years back. She was perfectly healthy, leading a busy life, running a home, managing her two children (and her husband!) and completely involved in an active life. Suddenly, she started losing a lot of hair—so much that the scalp began showing. A visit to the doctor told her that she had androgenic alopecia –a term which I had not even heard until then.

She felt terrible about it. And there was nothing she could do. She was told that her condition was reversible and she would probably get back her hair. She was also treated for hormone imbalance.

My friend felt so upset about it that she went along with her husband and bought a wig. The wig maker intially thought that the wig was for her husband as he was bald!

Why is it that hair loss bothers women so much more than it bothers men? (or so it seems)

Maybe it is because long hair in women, has always been associated with ‘beauty’. And many men cite long hair in a woman as a major ‘turn on’. Some societies recognize the sexual allure of hair and for this reason have laws or customs requiring the covering or removal of hair. Often, the shaving of the head is used as a form of punishment, or as in the case of the military, to destroy the psyche of self so that the soldier can be re-programmed as one of a team where all are alike, if not exactly equal.

Many women worry that short hair or being completely bald looks boyish and lacks feminity. I think it just depends on the person who is looking!

I, for one, think that it completely depends on how the woman feels about herself. I used to have waist length long, thick, hair until I got married. I was so fed up of people telling me that I had such lovely hair.(I must have heard it a thousand million times since childhood) and I used to hate people commenting about my hair .Invariably, that was the first thing they said.

After I got married, I asked my husband if he was one of those men who hated short hair in women. When he said no, without a moment's hesitation I chopped it all off!

I think bald looks beautiful too. Recently I watched Natalie Portman in 'V for vendetta'. She was so pretty with her head shaved off. And Sinead O Connor too. And who can forget ‘Right said Fred’ ? (I don’t want to mention Britney Spears!)

I would have liked to try shaving my head. But I felt a tad sorry for my children (imagine attending PTAs with a shaved head) and so refrained!

And in the end, all that matters is a smiling face, a kind heart and being sensitive to others—not a head full of hair.

Comments

  1. Hair is certainly a large part of how one looks, and therefore, just another think we're judged on. I wish it wasn't that way, too.

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  2. You 'stuck your neck out' and made a 'bold(bald) move!..I too nowadays have a shaved head..a few years back I had shoulder length hair..it was naturally curly and I was often accused of 'Perming ' it..thus shaving it all off was liberating..(plus the fact it started falling out and going grey!!That's fatherhood for you!)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Katherine: True.We are judged so much on the basis of hair.

    Niall: Yep--its very very liberating.I know!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes, even at Tirupati which is the richest temple in the world and the second richest place of worship after the vatican, there are huge number of people who cut their hair off and donate this to as a token of obeissance to God. It is supposed to be shedding your vanity. But as individuals if you lose a little bit of hair too you feel miserable. However like change itself is constant, hair too will go one day whether we like it or not. The only solution I guess is wigs beyond a certain point or just shave it off. Rightfully though Hair today gone tommorow.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Fair enough and compelling too. I think it has to do more with the conservative society. Try to sell your point in Madras.I guess you would be surprised by the amount of stories that would come by for women with hair and women without hair blah blah.

    I think at the end of it, you decide how you want to live. Just to sum it up, a decade ago in Madras, tales about women wearing Jeans and Trousers were unheard of and a taboo. Now things are different. I think with time things would change.

    ReplyDelete
  6. When I would go for my treatments, some of the women that were there with me were losing their hair from their treatments. It was interesting to me how they all seemed to go through the same stages. Sadness at losing their hair and then after a week or two, their was almost a joy to it. They would talk about the freedom of having no hair, wonder what it would look like when it grew back, etc. It was as if losing their hair took away some of their fears of their cancers and other illnesses. Like a marker of their progress, making what was going on inside them more tangible and better able to deal with because of this significant outside sign.

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  7. It must be so liberating to shave your head :) I think you'd look beautiful!
    Hair is the first thing you notice about someone, especially in women, and when it's soft and seems to have a life of its own it looks very attractive.
    I'm having a bad hair-day today, hence I'm not feeling that pretty. But I'm glad about that tax, because I generally prefer men with short hair. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  8. ps,
    i wanted to make exactly the point that satish has told here.. hair seems to be a symbol of ego. so m y mom says..hope its not directly propotional considering the length of my hair lol!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Satish: So true.Its shedding off the ultimate vanity.Not easy at all.(does that mean I have shed off 75% of my vanity?):-)

    Vik: Oh yes--I know what the mamis will say! ;-)

    Rayne:That was moving and inspiring at the same time.

    ReplyDelete
  10. women can be bald???
    GREAT! JUST GREAT!!!....the one thing...The ONE THING that was reserved for men...you just HAD to do it too...
    how would you all feel if we began to get pregnant? don't answer that.

    anyway, I have heard of this before... it is truly sad.
    But somehow..it would definitely freak me out.

    I love my hair, and my hair loves me...we are never going to part.. I know that much. So its cool.

    I love women's hair also, short or long doesn't matter...depends on their facial structure really...but in general I go for ones with hair reaching just below their shoulderblades...though the more important criteria is not the size...its the fact that they HAVE hair...

    i wonder if your husband felt some shock when you did that...I bet for one second he wished he kept his mouth shut.
    Full bald...no way...thankfully you thought of the children.
    besides...this looks good on you.
    don't go bald...that will..just be weird.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Hair is a huge part of one's image and mentality. I guess we somehow define ourselves with our outer appearnce as well. It's a 2 way thing...inside shows out...and outside reaches in :)


    **And in the end, all that matters is a smiling face, a kind heart and being sensitive to others—not a head full of hair.

    totally agreed!

    Keshi.

    ReplyDelete
  12. You are so right. 'Bad hair' days can certainly affect my confidence at times!

    You see references to hair all through history as you say. Just think of Samson and Delilah in the Christian Bible where hair is asscociated with strength which is in turn associated with attraction and esteem.

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  13. I really feel sad when few of my hairs part while oiling. :(:(:(

    ReplyDelete
  14. Hershey, Nah I dint feel any regret or shock when PS cut her hair. In fact I think personally she looks much better with shorted hair. Not that I dont like longer hair - yes but definitely not long hair on guys. I think that is yucky. The rest I am tolerent to by nature.....

    ReplyDelete
  15. Candace2:58 AM

    Your post is incredibly insightful. I've devoted a book to talking openly about women's hair loss. It's called Breaking the Silence on Women's Hair Loss.

    I'd be flattered if you check it out.

    http://www.amazon.com/Breaking-Silence-Womens-Hair-Loss/dp/158054469X

    --Candace

    ReplyDelete
  16. Hershay: Your comments were so cute!! Satish likes short hair--so do I :-)Scroll up.The man himself has spoken :-)

    Keshi:If one is beautiful on the inside, outside doesnt really matter.

    Deepak: I guess after a while it will cease to matter.

    Candace: Will do.Thank u.

    Satish:I know.I know!! :-)

    ReplyDelete
  17. Suzette11:30 AM

    This is great! My hair was so long and I cut it like Halle Berry a year and a half ago. It was liberating. At first I was hesitant to embrace it, and then I loved it and felt beautiful and playful and free :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. i had very long hair too until engg. but after 21 yrs i couldn't take it nymore n suddenly one day went to my friend and asked her to cut it off...ever since then i've been styling it hwever i like...

    ReplyDelete

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