TEXT AND IMAGES BY LILY LANDAU '18
What is the norm for male hair length? Some would say it is short, cropped, ear-length hair. At Wesleyan, there are many people who identify as male who adhere to this standard hair length. However, there are also quite a few who do not. I sought out these individuals to learn more about them and their lovely locks.
Class of 2017
Lily: Do you see yourself cutting your hair soon?
Isaac: Not till I go bald, probably.
Lily: Do you have a reason for growing your hair out so long?
Isaac: Well, it looks better, on my face. But I dunno, I also just like to shake it sometimes and it’s good to have a little weight to throw around. Also, people just fuck with my hair. People like it. If you’ve got it, flaunt it, I guess.
Lily: What is your favorite hairstyle?
Isaac: On me? Well, I like to rock it down, especially when I’m moving around, because it’s just bouncin’ everywhere. But sometimes, I’ve got to hit it with the up-do, like a pony-tail on top of my head. Not squarely on top, but not so far back that it’s falling.
Lily: Have you ever gotten any weird reactions to your hair?
Isaac: Well, when I was in high school, you know how all the desks are crammed together? Sometimes I’d be stretching over the back of my chair, and whoever was behind me would be like, “yo, your hair is all on my paper right now” It’s been compared to ramen, a lot of times. People always ask me if I want to get dreads.
Lily: Is there anything you think people should know about you/your hair?
Isaac: Come play with it, yo!
Class of 2016
Lily: What made you decide to grow out your hair/no longer cut it short?
Ben: I was mostly brought up by my mother and grandmother, both of whom had extremely long, blonde hair. So, I guess that was just sort of a norm for me.
Lily: Was your family shocked that you grew your hair out?
Ben: Not at all. Actually, they weren’t surprised at all.
Lily: Do you see yourself cutting it in the foreseeable future? Or growing it out longer?
Ben: The only reason I cut it at all is that I occasionally chop off 12 inches and donate it. Other than that, I don’t ever cut it, I don’t even trim it. Actually, I don’t even brush it everyday. I just wash it everyday with whatever shampoo is on sale, and it just kind of does its own thing.
Lily: Have you ever had any weird reactions to your hair, besides me coming up to you?
Ben: I’ve had little old ladies become very upset with me in the supermarket, and claim that I didn’t properly represent manliness, or something
Generally it’s really positive, like, “hey! Nice hair!” but once or twice I’ve had people who were really disturbed, and I wonder if it’s because they saw me from the back and presumed I was female first and that just kind of startled them. I just kind of laughed about it, it never upset me. I actually felt bad for the little old lady because, you know, she’s a little old lady
Class of 2015
Lily: When was the last time that you cut your hair short?
Eriq: I think it’s been 8 years now? As in, 3 years ago I had an inch taken off, but at that point, it was still long hair.
Lily: Did you consciously decide “I want long hair”? Or did you just let it grow?
Eriq: Well, I guess, even before that (3 years ago), I had long hair. I started growing dreads freshman year of high school and before that, I had just cut off 12 inches of hair and gave it to locks of love. I guess I’ve had long hair, period, since 5th, 6th grade. So it’s been a while.
Lily: What is your motivation behind having long hair?
Eriq: Long hair just feels more me than short hair. I used to have short hair because my grandfather was a very big person in my life, and he was balding, so I actually asked if I could have, you know, the out-cropping, old-guy thing, because I was like, “this is my grandpa, he’s awesome, I wanna look like him,” and that was when I was 10. But instead, they just had me buzz my hair, and I was like, “that’s good enough.”
Lily: What are some reactions that you have gotten to your hair?
Eriq: I get a lot of positive reactions. There aren’t a lot of dudes with dreads here. I feel like anywhere in America, most places in America, people are like, “wow! It’s exotic! Can I see it/touch it/smell it?” you’d be surprised.
There’s some negative, but that’s not really a thing I listen to. Obvious job-market things, but I’m a music major and an artist, foremost.
And it keeps me memorable. A lot of people remember who I am because of my hair, so I’m okay with that.
Lily: Is there anything you’d like to add about you/ your hair?
Eriq: Sure! Less about me, more about the hair, I guess. I remember, when I was making the decision to get dreads, that a lot of people were telling me that the hairstyle represents a lifestyle. A lot of people who also had dreads who were usually older, at least in their 50s, were always telling me that to have dreads meant that you were representing a possibly more peaceful, more conscious life-style. And so, I try to follow through with that as well as I can.
Isaak Andrew McCune
Class of 2018
Lily: What were your motives behind growing your hair out?
Isaak: Originally it was more of an aesthetic thing, but then, over the course of my life, I’ve discovered that I have a number of feminine mannerisms, for instance, I cross my legs and have expressive hand motions, and I think that the hair thing sort of helps manifest that more.
Lily: Do you identify as male?
Isaak: I identify solely as male. I’m 90/10 heterosexual, too. It’s more about how not everybody has to be society’s ideal of male. Not everybody has to fit into this stupid construct of, you know, men need to be these emotionless stones that can’t cry, they can’t talk.
Lily: What has been your favorite hairstyle so far? What do you love doing with your hair?
Isaak: I don’t ever put anything in my hair, I have it grow naturally. I like having my bangs as long as the back of my hair. I recently got the back of my hair trimmed by someone in my dorm. I really like having my bangs in my face- I think it’s symbolic of a disconnect from everyone else, like I can be insular and I can put my hair in my face and I’m gone.
Class of 2017
Lily: When did you decide to grow out your hair/stop cutting it?
Sam: I’ve had it long since 8th grade, but just recently I’ve decided I’d like to grow it out a lot longer so I can donate it.
Lily: Is that the primary motivation behind your having long hair?
Sam: It is at the moment. But, before that, there was really no motivation. It just kinda happened.
Lily: Have you ever gotten comments on your hair?
Sam: A lot of people like it, but then a lot of people don’t. The people that don’t like it think it looks weird, and the people who do like it think it looks nice. It’s just a difference of opinion, really.
Lily: What is your favorite way to wear your hair?
Sam: I usually just wear it down, unless I haven’t showered in a couple of days, or if it’s really hot, I’ll put it up in a bun, or something
Lily: Is there anything you think people should know about you, your hair?
Sam: I don’t think people should let hair define who they are. It’s just another accessory people can grow from their heads: it doesn’t really define your character or your personality.