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Bobs, beards, blondes and beyond, Hair takes us on a lavishly illustrated journey into the world of this remarkable substance and our complicated and fascinating relationship with it.
Taking the key things we do to it in turn, this book captures its importance in the past and into the present: to individuals and society, for health and hygiene, in social and political challenge, in creating ideals of masculinity and womanliness, in being a vehicle for gossip, secrets and sex.
Using art, film, personal diaries, newspapers, texts and images, Susan J. Vincent unearths the stories we have told about hair and why they are important. From ginger jibes in the seventeenth century to bobbed-hair suicides in the 1920s, from hippies to Roundheads, from bearded women to smooth metrosexuals, Hair shows the significance of the stuff we nurture, remove, style and tend. You will never take it for granted again.
Acknowledgements • Introduction: Hair matters • 1. Care for your hair • 2. From servant to stylist • 3. The art of being hairless • 4. The practice of being hairy • 5. The politics of appearance • 5. Social challenge: the long and the short of it • Conclusion: Histories and hair stories • Endnotes • List of Illustrations • Abbreviations • Bibliography • Index