Why we should embrace our hair envy

When I was younger, I looked like one of those tiny tots you see in films with angelic curls and rosy cheeks. But as I got older, I found that I hit the hair wall that many people approach as appearances (and the opposite sex) became important – why can’t I have hair like them?

Hair envy is something we all are guilty of at one time or another. Wavy locks are straightened on ironing boards, jet black hair is chopped and bleached until it’s orange, and most of us have found ourselves sporting an undesirable Bonnie Tyler 80′s style perm at one time or another.

Hair horror stories can cost hundreds to fix, so why do we have the inane urge to defy our god given locks? Some would say it’s human nature to want what we cannot have. To stand out, a drastically different style can make a great impact, and a Harvard study released in 2003 showed that having the hair cut we desire can lower blood pressure and increase serotonin levels, making a simple haircut the remedy for stress and image issues, and increase confidence and positivity. Much like a new wardrobe, a new hairstyle can help us shape our identity – something no other physical feature can do so easily.

First impressions can be very important, so if the woman in front of you in the waiting room for that crucial interview has curls to put Julia Roberts’ Pretty Woman locks to shame, or could rival Jennifer Aniston’s straight, flicked tresses, then the mane conflict is sure to kick in.

As humans, we have been obsessed with our hairdos since we as a race began. In the early Middle Ages, Kings of Europe were allowed to wear their hair long, whereas the poor had their hair cut with knives to stop the spread of disease. In Ancient Egypt, noblemen clipped their hair close to the head to denote power.

The Greeks and Romans adorned their hair with powdered gold; the native peoples of North America wore headbands, coloured cloth and feathers in their hair and donned ornate headdresses.

It is true to say then that hair styles have been used to differentiate us from others, be it on a national or individual scale. It is a practice that for centuries has allowed us to be distinctive. So, in a time where it’s not compulsory to follow the tribe, get down to your local salon and embrace your individuality!

Written by Nia Jenkins

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