Hair is part of what makes us human.
An animal needs hair to be classified as a mammal. (The presence of hair is part of the reason why the platypus is considered a mammal rather than a reptile.)
- a warm-blooded vertebrate animal of a class that is distinguished by the possession of hair or fur, the secretion of milk by females for the nourishment of the young, and (typically) the birth of live young
If hair is so important to the scientific definition of ultimately being considered human, then what do we humans think about our hair?
Perhaps, by exploring the topic of hair, we can unravel our own sense of self and identity.
Human Nature Culture Gender Faith
In the context of this blog, think of hair like a pliable tool.
Hair is a reflection of what we value.
We can cut it. It grows back. We can shave it all off, say, “Heck with it!,” yet it still grows back no matter how often we shave it. We can dye every strand a different color of the rainbow or let it naturally change colors overtime.
Of course, hair ain’t only on your head. Think about the practice of shaving and the near norm of women choosing to shave their underarms and legs around the world. It wasn’t that common a practice a few decades ago. How did the practice change?
How about hair in history? Consider the importance of a baby’s first haircut in Medieval Europe, or why parents would have their children shave their heads in different patterns in Ancient Egypt, or the sculptures and pictures made of human hair by the Victorians in England. (Goodness, the Victorians had way too much time on their hands.)
Or literature? The Rape of the Lock. Rapunzel,
Or King Nisus in Greek Mythology,
Or Samson and Deliliah in the Bible.
I could talk about hair all day long, but I’d rather hear your thoughts. Leave a few comments below and let’s start a conversation about hair. Come back often to discover more hair facts and fiction and to explore the pulse of hair today as I get this blog up and running.