What is it about celebrities' hair?

I love watching “What Not to Wear” on TLC – mostly for the drastic transformations at the end. In one episode, the hairstylist said this to a woman hesitant to change her look:

“I think there’s something about a woman’s hair that says how they feel about themselves.”

That really made me think – and I have to say that I agree with that statement.

I don’t know why our hair is somehow a window into our personal lives, but it can really say a lot about a person – for better or for worse.

This week, all the talk is about the Bieber babe chopping off his trademark “swoosh” mane for a slightly shorter, spikier ‘do.

“We’ve been talking about it over the last 6 months or so … it’s definitely been in the works for a while,” said Vanessa Price, Justin’s personal hairstylist.

Seriously?

Do people really plan out their hairstyles a half year in advance? It seems like I’m always frantically flipping through the latest gossip or hair magazines at my salon, trying to come up with something new just minutes before I get mine cut. And even if I did imagine what my hair should look like this coming August, it would almost certainly change by the time fall came around.

But in the world of celebrities, hair plays a huge role in character evolution. The best – and most noticeable – way for stars to change their looks is to change their locks. And for whatever reason, it almost always makes headline news. It’s like people are in disbelief that the star they’ve come to recognize a certain way would think to try something different. (“Look! It’s Emma Watson – but with short hair!”)

Think Britney Spears, 2007. Who can forget the infamous pictures of her shaving her own head, or grabbing an umbrella and trying to hit a paparazzi car with her newly bald noggin? Some psychologists believe it was her way of “getting rid of the superficial” – like a rebirth. Others saw it as a cry for help; still others just another way of getting attention.

Jennifer Aniston also recently debuted a shorter bob on the TV show “El Hormiguero” in Madrid. Her mane has always received mass media attention; but no more so than her blown-out style which created thousands of copycats all over America, forever dubbed “The Rachel.” On the subject of her hair hysteria during the interview, Aniston said this:

“In hindsight, when I’m like 100 years old, I’ll be able to look back and go, ‘Oh, they had a haircut named after a character I played.'”

Kate Gosselin is another celebrity who made headline news for changing her “reverse mullet” a few months back to longer, blonder extensions. She got quite the public lashing for doing so, too; it turns out people are pretty opinionated when it comes to hair. It’s like people are in disbelief that the star they’ve come to recognize a certain way would think to try something different. (“Look! It’s still Emma Watson – but with short hair!”)

What is it about hair that causes so much media buzz? Do you think we place too much emphasis on looking a certain way? If you were challenged to drastically change your hairstyle, would you be up for it?

Leave a comment

DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.

*