You can tell a lot about a person by their hair, or so tradition has led us to believe over the centuries. Just look at the lengths we’ve gone to to reframe what is, in the most basic sense, a mass of dead protein that grows lifeless from our scalps, into an emblem of the most vital and intimate parts of our identities.
The enduring social significance of hair has served as a cross-cultural marker of everything from affluence and power to spirituality, sexuality and fertility across a number of civilisations.
From ancient Greece’s reverence for hyacinthine and golden hair, to the lengthy, shiny, ornamental tresses of traditional, 15th century Wolof women in Senegal, right down to the observance of kesh in Sikhism – for centuries, hair is, and has been, everything. But what of those among us who no longer have it?
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