Timeless secrets to gorgeous hair. Rediscovered.

Timeless secrets to gorgeous hair. Rediscovered.

Tress stress : Much Ado About Nothing?

Dr. Aparna Santhanam

0
shares

By the Hairsutras Team

I often wonder about the amount of stress our tresses bestow on us and ponder on the paradox of a completely non-functional organ and its ability to rob us of our sleep. Hair is probably the only one of two organs in the human body with no perceptible functional benefit. The other possibly is the appendix and I haven’t heard a single person I know lament the loss of her appendix!

The answer lies in the history of hair and the significance it has held to symbolise beauty. Starting from Rapunzel with her long flowing hair to Samson who lost his strength and closer home to Draupadi in the Mahabharata, folklore and fantasy are both filled with tales of hair and its visual importance in imparting beauty, strength and virility.

History too is not far behind! Hair has been a symbol of virility and strength in men and of beauty in women. Christian priests and monks once shaved the crowns of their head to symbolise a lack of vanity and their vow of chastity. In Ancient Egypt, the Pharaoh always wore a wig to denote his status, whilst his sons wore their hair in buns which were always on the right side of their heads.

In the past, women would wear their long hair tied up in elaborate styles – it was never loose. Hair would only be let down at night when alone or in the company of a woman’s husband, for intimate moments, and it’s said that the letting down of hair symbolised a woman’s will to submit to her spouse. Today, long hair is still seen as a symbol of youth and beauty; the fashion for hair extensions has taken the world by storm, with many celebrities sporting long hair extensions on a daily basis.

Feminism and other movements too have often used hair to signify liberation and protest. In the 1950s, female communists and soldiers in China favoured a short bob cut just below the ears. This simple hairstyle was named the "Liberation Hairdo" because it is a symbol of women taking control over their own lives. Even today, women continue to use their hairdos to express themselves. History is repeating itself as women are reclaiming short hair to not be just another “lesbian” stereotype. It represents an ode to their independent, free spirits that rebel against traditional notions of hair beauty.

Today, hair beauty is a multibillion-dollar industry, and the average woman spends a lot of money and almost two hours a week washing and styling her hair. This is not just because many of us believe that appearances are important and increasingly so in a social media dominated world, but also because our hair represents our personality, thoughts and beliefs. For centuries, women and men have been able to play different roles by changing different hairstyles, and from their stories, we can see that hair contributes greatly to our self-esteem, perceptions, actions and motives.

So, still wondering if it is much ado about nothing?

read more
0
shares

By the Hairsutras Team

370 370
0
shares

By the Hairsutras Team

BACK TO TOP

New to Hairsutra? Sign Up
Forgot your Username or Password?
Already part of our community? Log In