'Hairology'- An Introduction.

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Having one’s hair done is a scary business, especially when going for a drastic change. We trust hairdressers with our precious locks, for them to colour, cut and style as they see fit. It takes a lot of trust to allow them to have a go at changing our appearance so drastically, but we do it and we pay an arm and a leg for the privilege.

When I posed the question to several friends; ‘Why do we women change our hair so often?’, they came back with some interesting replies:

Because we can, its something in our lives that we can actually have control over and be creative with and feel like a new person each time we change it” – Megan McNeil

I usually do it because I need change in my life!” – Stephanie Rossiter.

I feel like having a complete change in cut and colour gives me a confidence boost. So I feel like I continue to tackle life head on and proud.” – Joanne Marshall

When I changed my hair colour from mousey brown to blonde, it was because I had just graduated and felt like it was a good time to start a new chapter in my life. (I can also tell you why I DON’T tend to change my hairstyle – My hair has always been long because it makes me feel more feminine, and I can style it in lots of different ways. I’d be too scared to cut it short!)” – Nicky Chatfield.

So obviously our hair is important to us, collectively as a society. One just needs to think back to the world-wide reaction to Britney Spears shaving her head. There was an outcry of people in disbelief! The fact was, that she had gone completely against what is expected as the social norm. A few years down the line, and sporting a brunette full head of hair, she is once again idolised by the masses. Jessie J, recently shaved her head for Comic Relief and everyone was so shocked that she was going to do it, Dermot O’Leary said , ‘Don’t do it!‘ before the big chop, such is our obsession with hair! Jessie J is a perfect example of someone who loves to have fun with her hair and experiments with different looks. So when she shaved it all off, it was a huge shock to her loyal fans.

When watching the videos of her at the Comic Relief funded projects, and seeing where the money she raised is going, it became evident just how inconsequential shaving one’s head is, in the grand scheme of things. Jessie is just experimenting with a new look and the ironic fact is, she looks just as stunning and just as feminine, without hair as with! But most importantly, her actions gave younger viewers a positive message about image and self worth, they are not mutually dependent.

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Photo Credit: Jessie J – Twitter

Dramatic hair change can be synonymous with one’s emotional well being. Especially at times such as after a ‘break-up,’ or similar event. One of the replies to the question I posed to my friends was simply, ‘After a break-up’. A distinct change of hair style at such times, usually gives comfort to the person, and a feeling of adopting a completely different persona, along with the completely different hair-do. A colourful revival of ones hair can be just the ‘pick me up’ one needs! The old saying ‘You gotta wash that man right out of your hair‘, is very good advice. Even if it did come from the old musical South Pacific, it obviously still rings true in today’s society. Let’s have a look at some celebrity examples.

Rihanna and her 2009 post-breakup hair change.

She went from her long black hair to a blonde mohawk following the rather public end of her relationship with Chris Brown.

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Photo Credit: GreggDe Guire & Troy Rizzo both Getty Contibutors.

Anne Hathaway changed her hair after her break up, opting for a sleek bob, and looking awesome!.

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Photo Credit: Shawn Ehlers & Victor Chavez

After her break up with Luke Worrall, Kelly Osbourne went from her blonde locks to purple. It sounds odd, but looks amazing! Interestingly, she recently told E! News: ”I’m contracted to this hair colour. I can’t change it for two years. My hair is a mix of gray, blue [and] lavender.”

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Photo credit: WENN.com 

It’s so great to see people experimenting with colour on their hair. It is almost like one’s hair is a canvas to colour at will. For a long time just the ‘safe’ shades of brown, blonde, red and black were socially accepted. But in today’s society anything and everything is accepted by the masses.

Hilary Clinton stated, ” I am undaunted in my quest to amuse myself by constantly changing my hair!”

Unfortunately, when meeting someone new, assumptions can be made on the basis of hair colour. It seems so ridiculous that the colour of hair can determine a person’s perception of another , but sadly that can be the case. Kate Bosworth said,

It’s so different when you change your hair color, you’re treated so differently. It’s a very funny experience. It’s fun- I love changing my hair.

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Unfortunately, not all of us are like Bosworth, many people are put off from expressing themselves, by colouring their hair, simply because of what others could possibly think of them. Vicki Shaw, a young mother whom I interviewed said:

“My hair is an expression of who I am and like my tattoos I feel its a form of art. It’s my identity, it makes me feel individual. As a woman, changing my hair; changes my mood. When I dyed it black it was because I was a new mum and thought I should be sensible. It was boring and I didn’t feel like me anymore! Now its coloured again and people have commented that I look much happier, brighter and healthy. I’m not me without the hair – and this time its staying!”

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Photo Credit: Vicki Shaw

The film Legally Blonde is based upon these stereotypes based upon hair colour, specifically the ‘blonde’ stereotype. Thank goodness for director Robert Luketic, who did such a successful job with the film.

Sometimes, when a person dyes their hair to a specific colour that they really like, their new shade becomes intrinsic to who they are. Mariyln Monroe was famous for her blonde beautiful hair, which many may be surprised to know wasn’t natural.

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Similarly, Dolly Parton isn’t a natural blonde either, she once said;

I’m not offended by all the dumb blonde jokes, because I know I’m not dumb… and I also know that I’m not blonde.”

People may be surprised to learn that Nicole Kidman is naturally blonde, despite the fact being synonymous with having beautiful red hair.

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Photo Credit: Allure Magazine

Red hair seems to be very popular at the moment and is certainly adding some vibrancy to the average high street. Personally, I find this vivid shade of red reminiscent of  Jessica Rabbit’s hair. Rihanna sported this shade for months and months, in 2011, and unsurprisingly the masses followed in the gorgeous super-star’s footsteps. There is something striking about vivid red hair, it takes some serious guts to go for the colour, and a lot of maintenance to keep the vibrancy, but it looks fabulous, it has to be said.

I spoke to a fellow blogger, Harriet Stevens, who is currently rocking the red hair look. She looks amazing!  Stevens has a love of trying new hairstyles and colours. She explains why she enjoys experimenting with her hair,

Because it picks me up when I’m feeling down… And because it’s nice to look completely different each time.”

Here are a few of Steven’s amazing looks, she’s a hair colour chameleon! Follow Harriet’s blog about her life working for Pure Magazine,whilst also living with crohns disease. It’s a very interesting read.

Click on the picture below to go to her blog.

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Photo Credit: Harriet Stevens

Unusual colours such as blue or pink are becoming increasingly more commonplace it seems. A massive array of hues are available on a permanent or semi-permanent basis, and have even become available in high street shops. Urban Outfitters sells all different shades of unusual hair colours and Boots (and similar shops) have introduced colour toners by L’ Oreal Feria  which include Pink Panther, Pastel Peach Punch and Lilac Lavender shade.

One could argue that the most famous person for drastic hair changes is singer, Katy Perry. One never knows what colour her hair will be, as it often changes on a day-to-day basis. My favourite shade of hers being the bright turquoise that she had for her ‘California girls’ video. Perry has been seen with a whole host of hair shades, and occasionally several different ones on one night (obviously with the aid of wigs of course).

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 Photo Credit: Kate-book.com

Wigs, and other artificial products, such as extensions and hair streaks, can provide a quick and easy way to play with alternative colours and styles, without making any permanent changes. Similarly, wash-out sprays dyes can be used for quick changes of colour. However, in many cases these sprays do not give an even coverage and are generally just used for fancy dress purposes.

The method of which one uses to dye their hair is largely influenced by the trend of the time. Different ways of colouring the hair have come in, and out of  fashion. In the ’90s, slices of colour were all the rage! Everyone wanted the, ‘Rachel-off-friends-look’.  That method developed into highlights, which gave a more natural, multi-tonal look.

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Photo Credit: Instyle Magazine

Another popular trend, was to have the underside of the hair dyed a dark shade, and then the top of the hair a lighter shade. Here’s Kaley Cuoco, who plays Penny in The Big Bang Theory, sporting the trend.

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Photo Credit: Glenn Harris

Streaks of colour then came into fashion, just having one or two streaks of vivid colour. Here’s Selena Gomez trying out the trend.

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Photo Credit: Teen Vogue

Recently, the trend has been to dip-dye hair with a darker colour on top of the hair strand, and a lighter colour on the bottom length.  Caroline Flack is currently sporting this look.

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Photo Credit: Reveal Magazine

Nikki Minaj, and similar figures in the public eye, take hairdressing to a completely new level. They include hair tattoos, hair gems, extensions, hair dies, wigs and varying hair accessories to create elaborate designs which are like fleeting works of art, until the next ‘do’ is created.

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Photo Credit: Just Jared

We are living in exciting times, as regards the many possibilities of  artistic hairstyles. We have an abundance of photographs of celebrities experimenting with different styles, from which we can gain a lot of inspiration.  Luckily, we are not like Sampson in the Bible, who was said to have all of his power in his hair, and lost it all when it was cut! So, snip, colour, brush, don’t brush, wash, don’t wash – whatever its up to you! Be who you are, look how you want to look , and be fabulous!

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