By David T. Valentin
You’ve probably seen a few of these videos while scrolling aimlessly on social media. The videos start off with the client explaining their old approach to how they cut their hair, how they might be looking for something different, and then they compare their vision of what they want and with what they actually get.
The client then discusses what they might like out of their haircut, what’s important to them. Then it’s the hair stylist turn to take over. They take what the client says and details what might work best for their client. Whether it be switching up from a side part to a midpart or simply texturing their hair for a better blend, the hair stylist takes the time to understand not only what the client wants on the outside, but also how it might make them feel on the inside; how the hair tells a story, in a sense.
I’ve noticed a lot of these newer videos are more so geared toward men, with men as the stylist and men as the clients. In the past, I’ve seen hair stylist take this kind of route with women, but never often with men, and in my opinion it’s a long overdue for the direction men take when it comes to getting a haircut.
Now, with a longer hairstyle, the proper products and recently dyed blue hair, you might never believe I was once those people who thought simply a haircut is a haircut. Sure, I wanted to look good, but I never considered how it might have told the story of me. I wanted something with minimal effort to look good and I didn’t want to think about it.
But as I slowly got to know myself more, buying clothes that were not just pieces of cloth to keep me clothed but as an extension of myself, my simple hairstyle just never seemed to fit into the picture. Even when I had found the best way to style my hair in a way that I liked, it never seemed to fit me.
My hair always felt out of place, and because of that my face sort of felt out of place. I was insecure about my facial features in part because my hair made me feel insecure, dysphoric even.
Fast forward months later to a much more gender fluid David with colorful outfits, painted nails, longer hair now dyed blue and a much more confident swagger in my walk and personality. And why? Simply because I’m telling people who I am, in a sense, before they even speak to me. Because who I am on the inside, and who I see myself as, is now represented accordingly on the outside.
In a hyper-capitalistic society, even the way our clothes are worn are affected, reduced to convenience for the sake of work and the little hours some of us may have to ourselves. That’s not to say convenience can’t represent ourselves. Perhaps settle is the more appropriate word.
We settle for convenience because, in a way, it’s easier not to think about these things because we don’t see it as a form of self-care. We don’t see things like clothes and hair as extensions of ourselves.
As men (hopefully) move toward a more forgiving and diverse representation of masculinity, why shouldn’t they feel good about themselves in what they wear and the styles they choose, so long as that’s represented and chosen in a healthy way?
Men deserve to be pampered too, and fuck any crusty, swamp-ass toxically masculine dude who says otherwise.