Hair... Covering the bodies of every species of mammal, it seems to connect us to the natural world, a reminder of our primate past. But as human beings, with a capacity for abstract thought, we have taken a simple evolutionary adaptation and endowed it with great meaning and complexity. As one of the most important aspects of how others see us, how has our hair become interwoven with issues of race, religion, beauty, and identity?
Sikhism mandates that the hair is never cut. We explore the rationale behind this and the discrimination that Sikhs face today in a post 9-11 world.
Many women of African descent grow up to think negatively about their natural hair. So begins the burdensome, expensive, and often painful process of weaves and chemical straightening, as a however subconscious attempt to achieve a homogenized concept of beauty. We speak to a woman who takes pride in her natural hair and is committed to show others how truly beautiful "nappy" hair can be.
Sometimes what we do with our hair is not a choice. Trichotillomania is a disorder that causes the sufferer to compulsively pull out hair. We will meet a long-term lash/brow puller who describes how people have reacted to her disorder and how these experiences have shaped her.