Hairstyles to Express Identities
By Matt Frey
Whether it be waves, a slick back, a temple fade, braids, twisted curls, or a mohawk, hair can define who you are. Hair sometimes influences other people’s perception of who you are just by your visible style.
Celebrities play a huge role in setting hair trends. For instance, at The Oscars, actors and actresses are dripped out in the newest designer fashions and top it off with a modern or vintage haircut that often shock viewers across the nation. The other exotic cuts that inspire the culture are seen on the heads of soccer players, such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Stephan El Shaarawy, Mario Balotelli and most importantly David Beckham. Experimenting with hair is a huge contribution to evolving the culture of modern fashion. Urban Dictionary states that Culture is a term “invoked by people who feel pride in accomplishments of others.” This 21st century culture really has spoken, transitioning art onto one's head. Modern hair styles don't just happen for any reason. Designers, performers, stars, dealers, innovators, collaborators and you can expand the conversation of hair by simply sporting unique styles.
The process of styling hair takes time. With a durag, to get the most oceanic waves, tying a tight wrap is the key to perfecting the wave. To have successfully-roped braids, one's hair has to grow very long. Even with a mohawk, training it to mold high ensuring that every string of hair is held in place takes time. Hustle and nerve is shown throughout the various styles. It’s how long of hair and how long of a process one will endure in order to have flawless swag. Occasionally, wearing a risky cut can form a new sense of reality for a person. Novato High wave god and culture enthusiast Josh Turner elaborated on this concept.
“My hairstyle contributes to evolving the culture because it is an expression of my style versatility, self care, and pride of my heritage,” said Turner. “The process to get waves takes months of brushing and certain hair products to make my natural waves form. Usually people with a tight curl pattern can easily achieve this style. If you want waves, it takes hard work, consistency, and dedication. You have to brush your hair a lot. There is nothing else to it, my hair speaks for itself.”
Just by looking at Turner’s waves, one may get sea sick. Sometimes “rubbing off the paint” is not always good. The paint in this reference is the hair and if taking risks doesn't come to mind, one may never live past their comfort zone.
One of the most classic haircuts of all time, originally crafted in the 1990’s is the flattop. Figures such as Christopher Reid, Will Smith, and former Chicago Bull Scottie Pippen helped to spring this movement. Another figure who recently brought the flattop back to light was actor Shameik Moore, who played a young 1990’s Hip-Hop geek in the movie DOPE. Fully retrofitted, Moore finished off the vintage style rocking a 90’s flattop. Because of Moore's flattop, the cut made the movie have a 90’s feel to it. Inspired by the Egyptian Nefertiti crown, the rectangle-top revives the culture, generating a major throwback tribute. But why is this cut so popular in today's generation? Josh Turner's twin brother and flattopper, Joseph Turner, shared his thoughts,
“Well it has a lot of perks, I get more girls than I usually do,” Turner exclaimed. “If I got paid a lot of money then that will be my motivation to cut this off my head. Honestly, I don't know why it is so popular, people just like to follow and copy other people's style, but not me. I'm a unique person, bold mind.”
Like Waves and a flattops, barbers often receive requests to go off the usual design and switch it up. For instance, one inspired haircut that has evolved over the 2000’s is the curly-top fade. Because the taper-fade cut is short and simple, guys with curls benefit by not having to style their hair on the sides. Angular fringe is a variation that can be maneuvered into the cut.
Novato High sophomore Emanuel Mazariegos described his experience with the curly top.
“I be posted up on the block in the Canal District feeling my damn self, never doubting my barber, always coming through. Therefore, seen as Melanie's real lover, the curly top always gotta be clean. There was no inspiration or anything particular, I got it off Pinterest, but I also think I'm the poster child of the cut,” Mazariegos claims. “My curls are like a corn maze; you can get lost.”
Mazariegos humorously continued describing his cut.
“The story behind this cut was I got my head stuck in a vacuum and when I pulled my head out, my hair was looking like the one and only, Waka the Flocka,” said Mazariegos. “That's when I knew I had to do something about this, which later on, led me to this sexy fade. This story is a representation of evolving the culture, getting my head stuck in the sucker, something as ghetto as that bloomed into something revolutionary, the curly top.”
Another huge trend in 2017 is the braid. Therefore, one pursuing braids should know the history. Braids have been downfalled and brought back to life multiple times. The original idea of braids was compared to the process of weaving. Like weaving a basket this roping technique aims to impress. Not only does the hair make you drop-dead dope, but it is embracing culture with a broader perspective.
Gone are the days when men were okay with cheap haircuts or simple buzz cuts. Think boldly, whether you are accustomed to it or not.