The way we wear our hair says so much about us. It’s as if the strands on our heads whisper secret messages into our ears as we go about our day, telling us how “pretty” we should feel. If we styled it that morning, our hair feels bouncy, lustrous and ready to take on the world‒and consequently, so do we. If there just wasn’t time for a shower that morning, we feel limp and lifeless, too. No matter how the day is going, strangers walking beside have conversations with our hair without us knowing. Whether we like it or not, the appearance of our ‘do affects how passersby think of us every day of our lives.
Here at Emerson, we like to use our hair to make statements. Many students choose bright, outrageous colors and edgy cuts. Strands in every color of the rainbow can be seen traipsing up and down Boylston, shouting out ideas like “punk,” “trendy,” “proud” and, perhaps the most often, “just rolled out of bed.” Whether or not we identify with these labels is irrelevant because others form opinions about us as soon as we are seen.
Of course, we don’t have to let those snap judgments get the best of us. Who really cares what some dude on the street thinks about your purple hair anyway? If it makes you feel good and proud to be who you are, then wear it fiercely with a smile to match. The haters will still give you the up-and-down in line at Starbucks, but who’s keeping track? They’re probably just jealous that they don’t have the confidence to rock a wild cut like that, too.
Like many others, my hair is not exactly where I want it to be. I’m currently in the middle stages of growing out a pixie‒anyone who has ever attempted this will understand my pain. Most days I just let it air-dry and hope no one notices that the back is much longer than my poorly grown out side bangs. When I made the decision to abandon the pixie cut I had for six years, I threw my comfort zone out the window. I finally accepted that people’s opinions of me were subject to change with the length of my hair.
At the end of the day, our hair is a work in progress just like us. Whatever messages it sends is just another facet of the grand portrait of ourselves we present to the world. It is ever changing, evolving, and growing along with our bodies and minds. If you’re not in love with your natural color, but you are really in love with vampires? Dye it jet black! Your confidence will skyrocket when you love what your hair says about you. If you’re feeling in need of a fresh cut? Shave one side and flip your hair back and forth to your heart’s desire.
Our hair exists solely for our own pleasure and, at times, it can feel like it defines us. While our self worth should be independent from our physical appearance, there is no denying that it affects the way we feel. The language of our hair follows us every day. Whatever it says, let it be something that makes you proud.
Text by Margeaux Sippell
Photography by Allison Nguyen