Hair, it's a beautiful thing. It can make us attracted to one another, it can be the difference of getting that job or not, or in my case, keeping the job, it can help us identify with certain groups, partake in certain rituals, and in some cases even save your life.
Hair is a uniquely human thing, sort of an evolutionary anomaly, and with no real purpose anymore, given the fact that we have clothing to cover ourselves. What it acts now as, is a natural ritual, a way to signify coming of age. It also has a very mystical quality because of this ritual; it gives us individuality or joins us in a group, and it gives divine inspiration.
A Hasidic Jew, notice the long uncut sideburns know as "Payots."
Religions know the power of the hair. You don't have to look very deep into any of the major religion to see followers following sacred rites with regard to their hair-dos. Perhaps hair helps us get into a higher plane of thinking, it might help us get in touch with the "creator," or the muse. As Joseph Campbell states (I know, I am bringing him up a lot lately), elites, shamans, artists, are among the people said to have heard the scriptures. That the artists function in society is to mythologize the environment and the world. That they come from an "elite experience" because they are "particularly gifted," and "whose ears are open to the song of the universe." Or as Anthony Braxton says about music and improvisation, it puts us in direct contact with the creator.
Perhaps hair, helps us "hear" the song of the universe.
A few years ago I had long hair, it was a large commitment upon myself. You go through many bad stages or trials of faith, days where you hair looks horrible and miss-shaped, foolish dye-jobs, girls thinking you're weird, and unemployment. But through it all you're left with an amazing mop and when you're in the business of rock music, like I am, nothing feels better than to be rocking out with head full of long hair!
But in moment of weakness, I cut my hair, and I no longer wore the mark of a rocker, my clothes got more boring, my music got more boring and I had lower self confidence. I found when I was playing guitar on stage and had no idea what to do with myself, I felt naked and awkward; I was giving a bad performance. Thus I didn't perform. The ritual of performing rock music had changed for me, it was no longer as sacred.
About two years ago I vowed to grow my hair long again. I missed it, the feeling of it. I know it can be bothersome, getting hair stuck under the straps of your book-bag, it blowing in your face, its slimy feeling in the shower, taking forever to dry, knots! But I just didn't feel myself without it. When I vowed to grow my hair things turned up, I founded my band Omon Ra and I began writing music that I actually liked and people seemed interested. Was it the hair? Maybe, it's influence can't be denied.
Now thinking of all the famous musicians of the last 50 years, what would they have been if they didn't hair their hair? Elvis without his greaser haircut, how would you have approached him? Would his hips have had the same magical allure? The Beatles without their revolutionary mop? My parents said their hair styles were as revolutionary as the music. Hendrix without his beautiful fro? If he just had a crew cut his mystique would surely not be as magical, maybe you would have never even heard of him.
So the next time you get a hair cut (or tell me or someone to get a hair cut) think of this, it is not merely a $10, a little of the top, boring old nuisance, you are playing with a powerful metaphysical tool! Why do you get the haircut you do and what's it doing for you?
Hair it is a very important to me, it does a lot. I hope it becomes important to you!
Here is a collection of some awesome doos....
Kawabata Makoto of Acid Mothers Temple looks very cool rocking out with long hair.
King Buzzo's famous Side-Show Bob-esq haircut. How does this hairstyle define his music?
Slash with signature hair and top hat - extension of the metaphysical tool.
As important as having a head full of lush hair is the absence of hair. What does this symbolically represent?
My friend Chris D'eon pictured with his beautiful long locks, he hasn't cut his hair in years. Ask him what hair does for him?
Phil Spector loves hair so much that he bought this amazing frizz-wig! Yes it's a wig, check out his mugshots!