The Value of Hair
What is the value of hair?
Samson lost his power when Delilah had his hair cut off and where would the prince have gone without Rapunzel's great lengths of hair? In „The Gift of the Magi“ O. Henry writes a touching short story in which hair plays a major role. The beauty and power of Hair is often mentioned in literature, featured in fine art and also found in many passages of sacred scriptures of all religions.
Can we put a value on hair? And if so, what would it be? The answer to these questions will surely depend on who you ask.
Psychological Value of Hair
When Robert's hair began to fall out it seemed like the end of the world for him. An early midlife crisis set in and not even the new motorcycle could get him out of it. He did not want to listen to his wife about „bald being the new sexy“ and instead spent thousands of dollars on hair transplants. For a while he looked like a walking and talking toothbrush, but it all grew out well and his ego was saved. Providing men with solutions for their thinning hairlines has become a billion dollar industry providing anything from potions to vitamins and hairpieces.
Hair loss can affect women just as much and perhaps for women the challenge is even higher than for men since bald is not considered sexy in the female world. Good hair makes women confident, feel good about themselves and it's real value goes far deeper than reasons of fashion.
Have you ever felt the desparation after a hair treatment gone wrong? A messed up hair coloring or a perm with catastrophic result, that will make you want to hide in the house for a while and send your hairdresser to a place where the sun never shines can put things in perspective. That is the time when you really feel how important your hair is for you and that no money in the world could replace this object of your pride and joy.
It is undocumented how many relationships shatter when a partner, usually the woman, does a dramatic change to her hair. Men can react very sensitively and can even be emotionally traumatized by a sudden and extreme change in the looks of her locks.
Often the change of hairstyle, like a major change of color or cutting more than the regular trim is an outward sign of changes in a person and that can be scary for a partner. Men can also consider this a break of trust and take it very personally: “How can you do this to me? I fell in love with you this way and now you want to cut your hair? That is not fair!“ is a typical reaction and unfortunaly happens more often than we know. Perhaps this issue requires a deeper analysis that would fill an entire book.
Hair causes emotions in the wearer and in the beholder. It is not a neutral part of us and the emotional value cannot be fathomed.