Women's Hairstyles: Two Canadian Women's Hairstories

Rhonda Sheen

Abstract


The physical appearance of women matters in contemporary North American societies. One important element of appearance is hairstyle. Most sociological studies examine the influence hairstyle has on others or the problems that ethnic women encounter when faced with North American and European standards of beauty. This study takes a different approach by examining how peers, fashion, and trends have a subconscious influence on the hairstyle choices of two Canadian women. Unlike the existing body of scholarship, this research illuminates the role of structure and habitus in order to illustrate the illusion of agency these women have about their choices in hairstyles. Although the participants feel that they do not follow fashion trends, this study argues that the words they use to describe their hairstyles reveals that fashion does dictate their hair-style choices.


Keywords


identity; self-image; fashion; hairstyle; archetypes of beauty

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EISSN 1923-1334

University of Victoria