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Threads of affection; evolving relationship with hair

( Culture – Fashion )
Juho Huttunen / Antti Nguyen

Hair can be seen through historical, cultural, or social connections to ourselves, blending the personal to the masses. Through interviewing people with different hairstyles, we aim to shed light on the significance of hair beyond its aesthetic appeal. From childhood memories to cultural influences, each interview uncovers the layers of meaning and emotion embedded in our relationship with hair. 


( he/him ) 25

IG @jaktwens

Ⓠ What’s the relationship you have with your hair? 

Ⓐ The relationship that I and my hair have is pretty stable and respectful. They are pretty independent beings and most of the time they decide how to be and what to do. Before I always tried to restrain them and form the way I wanted, but then I realized to let them be. We don’t own each other.

Ⓠ How did you end up with the style you have now?

Ⓐ  I always loved the 70’s porn-style aesthetics. One day I just decided to start growing my hair out. So now over 4 years, I have not cut my hair. The style that we are going for is natural curls with a touch of messiness. 


(he / him) 31 

IG @ mirolsoni

Ⓠ What’s the relationship you have with your hair? How did you end up with the style you have now?

Ⓐ I love my current hairstyle; it has become a significant part of my overall style, and I’ve learned to appreciate it. The journey to this point has been a process. Initially, I opted for a buzzcut/bald look out of necessity. I was experiencing receding hairlines, which had a considerable impact on my self-esteem. It was a challenging period in my life, especially with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, forcing me to confront myself fully for the first time. In that transformative process, I impulsively decided to shave it all off, marking a symbolic rebirth for me.

Ⓠ What is the history of your relationship with your hair?

Ⓐ Hair has always played a significant role in shaping my identity. During my younger years, I was meticulous about my hair, often adjusting it based on various influences, like attractive characters or when I wanted to make a good impression under infatuation. Looking back, it seems odd why I couldn’t just be comfortable being myself. Perhaps nowadays, I’ve found that ease with myself. I had a distinctive mullet during the 2000s, inspired by the Swedish footballer Christian Wilhelmsson. I remember printing a photo of him and taking it to the barber, resulting in a long mullet that reached my mid-back. Some might find it disgusting, but at that time, it was the trend. Interestingly, it seems to be in style again. Over the years, I’ve experimented with various styles, from a “Potty look” to spikes and a surfer-beatles style.

“Losing” my hair was a dramatic experience as it was such a significant part of my identity. However, it became a transformative journey where I learned to let go and love myself beyond my hair. At one point, I struggled with the idea and even considered getting hair from Turkey or elsewhere. I faced mockery and criticism due to my receding hairline, which became a sensitive spot affecting my self-esteem, dating life, and more. I’m grateful to have overcome that phase, and now I openly talk about it, recognizing that for many guys, and perhaps anyone, hair and hairline especially can be a sensitive spot. 

Ⓠ How do you maintain your hair/style, and what’s your routine?

Ⓐ My routine includes the fact that when I shave my head I am in some ways getting ready and pure for the endeavors that will follow. It is many times a very spiritual process of facing things and getting in tune with myself. 

Ⓠ What does hair mean to you personally?

Ⓐ  Hair is a form of expression and an opportunity to start again.


( she/her ) 25 

IG @ yrstrlyae

Ⓠ What’s the relationship you have with your hairstyle? How did you end up with the style you have now?

Ⓐ I currently wear dreadlocks as my hairstyle. I ended up with them because they have a beautiful protective style. They cut down on maintenance and styling time, they are versatile and unisex. They are something that will teach me patience because I plan on having them for a long while.

Ⓠ What kind of history do you have with your hair?

Ⓐ My hair history is one of shame. I’d never been taught to care for my hair in my childhood because ‘boys’ were to always have short, neat, clean hair. When I moved to Finland, I started experimenting with dyes and letting it grow. Until I started braids which were a form of rebellion and freedom to the side of the family that is stuck in the past. Between the braids, I learned how to care for my type of hair, wore wigs, and grew to appreciate it more.

Ⓠ What’s the meaning of hair for you?

Ⓐ Hair to me comes and goes but also has the power to convey a lot. Hair has helped me with my expression and bond with the people around me. 


( he/him ) 25

IG @jaktwens

Ⓠ  How do you take care of your hair/style? What’s your routine?

Ⓐ When I was a teenager I had a friend who was experimenting with her hair by just washing it with water. I got intrigued and it got stuck with me for a long time. Approximately 6 years ago I decided to cut down on the products that I was using on my hair, so I just used shampoo and some oils here and there. Then I was so broke that I decided to cut down on spending money on shampoo. I was just washing my hair with hot water. Around that time I stopped brushing my hair. I have some free-formed dreadlocks. Now I just massage my scalp and wash it with warm water. 

Ⓠ What does hair mean to you?

Ⓐ Spiritually talking hair is a memory bank. They hold feelings, thoughts, emotions, and experiences. This hair has been with me for a long time. They have gone through a lot with me. They know stuff that I don’t even know. They are a comforting blanket for me. Their smell, feel and touch are very suitable, it’s like having a friend who is always there when you need them. Family kind of.


( she/her ) 21 

IG @ melaniemilaya

Ⓠ What kind of history do you have with your hair?

Ⓐ I used to relax my hair for the longest time. I’m sure this is not an uncommon mixed-kid-in-Finland experience. I stopped at around 15 years old when I decided to shave my head for modeling. Now I’ve been growing it out for about a year.

Ⓠ What’s the meaning of hair for you?

Ⓐ My hair is a big part of my self-expression. Coming from a model background where your looks are constantly commented on, I find it a privilege to now have control over it.