Show Us Your Undone Hair!

What will happen if you don't "do" your hair? We'll go first!
Publish date:
May 16, 2013
hair, show us your, gallery

You know us. We love to do these little experiments with our appearances and then, us having done them first, ask you to bravely throw inhibitions/decorum/judgment aside and join us. Like when we showed you our bellies and our morning faces.

This time went a little bit differently.

We decided we would not do anything with our hair, not mold or brush or blow or straighten it into how we think it should look but just leave it as it wants to be all on its own for a day, and see how that changed things (or didn't).

Now, of course hair is huge. The word "hair" is right up there with "sex" in its ability to make the average person buy a magazine from a grocery-store checkout aisle. Most of us spend a lot of time and money getting our hair to look "professional" enough to go to work. I put a section in the xoJane Style Guide before we launched with all of the other words for hair that I don't want used here (mane, tresses, locks); they are used a lot by women's publications that are covering hair so much for the reason above but don't want all the word reps (though I think Olivia uses one of these here and I will let her off the hook THIS TIME).

So in my bossy way, I asked all xoJaners if they would be willing to not do anything to their hair in the morning and go out and live their lives anyway. To explore what happens when we share what our hair looks like in its undoctored, un-messed-with state, not something women are very often socially encouraged to show publicly. And to tell you how we felt about it. And to get good goofy pictures to share with you, so that you too will take the challenge and send us a photo of yourself and your un-done hair.

Why this experiment is a little different from our past ones: While the state of our hair is generally something that affects all women -- like not showing up to a job interview with an unbrushed rat's nest because you know you probably wouldn't get the job -- there are even more complicating factors when we take race and ethnicity into account.

For many women of color, fully natural hair would automatically be perceived as "unprofessional" or a source of unwelcome questions. While undone hair may be socially unacceptable for women in general, it's especially so for women whose hair textures are not of the culturally preferred Caucasian variety. This, of course, complicates things, as you will see.P.S. Some insights after a day of not "doing" our hair:Julieanne's is curly! I screamed and pointed at Corynne as she and Emily walked into the office in the morning.My publisher laughed loudly at me when he came into my office for a meeting. And do you think this cab driver is complimenting me here or what?

Now, your turn! Here's what to do:

  1. Do Nothing (to your hair after you wake up in the morning).
  2. Send one before picture of your choosing and one after/during picture from your day-without-hair-care to with the subject line "Undone Hair." We will run a gallery of you in all of your hairy or hairless glory and you will win: all of that extra time to spend reading or sleeping or meditating or however you want to use those precious minutes.
  3. Love each other.