If there is one thing that differentiates men and women, it is their hair. Although this is definitely a stereotype, there is also some truth to it; men do not really discuss hair secrets on any level that women do. Women also change their styles just for fun, whereas when a man changes his hairstyle it is usually matched by a philosophical change. Haircuts for women thus tend to be more fun and representative of how the woman is feeling at the moment, whereas men tend to look for something more long-lasting.
The Hairstyle Change
Probably one of the biggest differences is the reason for a hairstyle change. Although women in movies and comics make a point by changing their hair, such as Demi Moore in GI Jane shaving her hair to show her sincerity or Storm of the X-Men’s famous Mohawk when she shed her earth-mother persona, most haircuts for women express a subtle change, such as Felicity’s famous haircut, or a little fun. They get tired of their hair quickly and ask for changes, however slight, as a way to try something new. It is one of the ways in which they can express their individuality, and they take full advantage of it.
Although some women express major changes through hair, most notably widows who shave their head, it is really noticeable in men. If you are looking through a man’s pictures you can tell how old he was just by his haircut. For each different style it was a different era in the man’s life; some men’s hair is distinctive enough, such as Superman’s curl or The Beatles’ moptops, that you can tell who it is just by the hair. Even when Superman had his mullet, it was for a good reason: He had just returned from the dead, after all. You want to know a man? Look at his hair; it can tell you a lot.
Confidence and the Follicle
Although Samson may be the poster child for losing power through hair loss, it is interesting to note that the first step to demoralize a woman is shaving her hair. This is not so much vanity, as it is that her hair is one of the few ways she can express herself given the limits of dress in professions, such as the military and business. By taking her hair away you also take away her individuality. You can shave a man’s hair, but he adapts to it; sometimes he finds a way to use it as a symbol counter to what his oppressors wanted.
Admittedly men have had a very strange history with the hair, as even the Spartans had a deep relationship with their hairdressers and people are still trying to figure out powdered wigs. However, haircuts for women give women a chance to express themselves and subvert the need to conform to society’s standards. Haircuts are one of the ways that people can express themselves within society’s norms; this makes them a great way to show off how you are really feeling at the time, both emotionally and philosophically.