31 . May . 2019 BY Dr. Sharmishtha Deshpande

So every Monday and Friday, how do you think do we pick and choose our blog topics? Our readers get priority over everyone. So if there is some subject in the hair and scalp spectrum that they ping us for, and inform us of their wish to know and read more on the same, what do we say then? ‘Their wish is our command!’

And on a parallel note, we, as subject experts in Trichology, consciously choose certain topics that are perhaps very ‘medical’/‘clinical’ or ‘technical,’ and then break it down to simple elements and present it here. We always want our readers to upgrade their hair knowledge and take informed decisions thereafter.

Be it hair care in summer, winter or monsoon, quick tips to tackle dandruff or split ends, simple techniques to help you comb or shampoo your hair – We collate our topics from our readers, doctors and even lunch-time brainstorming sessions with our colleagues! And that is how our blog addresses all the things that your Hair wants you to know!

Do you think we are beating around the bush talking about the evolution of this blog handle? Why are we speaking about the many years of study, how this page is being perceived today, how the community is getting benefitted blah blah blah? We will cut it short here and now. The point we are driving here is – ‘Evolution.’

Evolution of mankind, evolution of the ecosystem, evolution of an industry, evolution of a business, evolution of our civilization, etc. are subjects which are spoken of every now and then. However, have you ever paused for a second and thought of ‘Evolution of Hair through the ages!?’ And that’s where we bumped into an amazing book.

The book by name ‘Have A Great Hair Day’, also fondly referred to as the ‘Encyclopedia of hair and scalp’, coming all the way from the man himself, Pioneer of the Trichology movement in India, the name that’s synonymous with hair and scalp care in India, our dear founder, celebrity hair doctor Apoorva Shah. Dr. Shah & RichFeel too have had a remarkable journey and evolved through the past three decades.

By the end of this blog, you will click your way to the book. In the meantime, we will get you a glimpse into the comprehensive and exhaustive table of contents of this book here.

Our founder starts his book narration with this topic, and that triggered us to share some excerpts, some insights, some thoughts on the hair’s journey along these centuries and millennia with all of you.

Hair is ………… [Fill in the blanks]

Beauty, confidence, youthfulness, health, happiness, charm, outfit….. You can place any of these words, and the list goes on. Hair is such a vast topic that it envisages A-Z of your personality – external and from within. From a time when hair – especially a woman’s luscious locks – just meant an element of beauty, today, it is way beyond just external beauty. That’s how the perception has changed, and we all have traveled from point A to B in terms of gauging our hair’s value from the eyes of this society. Hair has a pivotal role in the way you view yourself and in the way others view you. And as our founder reminds us, it is the barometer of our body.

Social status of hair since time immemorial

Hair is your crowning glory, a measure of your gender and sexuality, your body’s barometer, your health indicator, a mirror of your wellness, a yardstick for your happiness and other feelings/moods, etc. Hair has, in the past and till date, enjoyed a decent share of social significance. Tales of women not being allowed to comb in public or widows not allowed to sport long hair aren’t new in Indian folklore. We need not tell you, that we have laws, customs, traditions, and beliefs requiring covering of the head, restrictions on removal of hair, cutting hair and shaving of the head used as a form of punishment by some & as a symbol of surrender/gratefulness to God by some others.

Hair in professions and employment

Every profession sets some styling parameters that you are expected to follow and carry yourself – your outfit and your hair too in a certain fashion. Say, for instance, the locks of those serving in the military and related streams are cut short to ensure their focus is on tasks, to gel with their minimalist lifestyle,, to gel with their minimalist lifestyle, and not on self-styling or looks. The short haircut thus becomes easy to manage and handle while being at the borders on duty. Whereas models are expected to keep their tresses ever-ready for all sorts of styling, colouring, and chemical treatments, to look picture-perfect in the shoots and exhibit great hair always.

Hair in forensic medicine

Hair is one of the prima-facie diagnostic tools in the murder mysteries or for that matter, even when the possible cause of death is to be ascertained, in unusual or unforeseen circumstances, hair comes to your rescue. It helps in identifying the victim, finding out the sex of the person, his or her age, race, and genetic traits, also in the identification of the suspected assailant, especially in cases of rape.

Not just that, but hair comes into the picture when the weapon used in crime is to be identified. The forensic experts come to a conclusion as regards the instruments used in the crime by assessing the way the hair is cut/crushed, so on and so forth. From such hair samples, the experts can also make their observations minutely and precisely to determine the poison and chemicals, gauge the time of exposure by doing chemical analysis, type of poison in the hair, the time of the crime, whether hair is pulled out by force or it has fallen by itself. CID is one of the most relatable Indian television series with many instances of cases being scrutinized and solved by forensic study of hair samples from the crime scenes!!

From hairy to hairless

Thankfully, times have changed for good. We have evolved and now refrain from penalizing widows or stopping women from wearing their hair in a way that they wish and want it to be, whether in public or otherwise.

Let’s shift the focus from the tresses to the manes. From the women to the men, to be precise. From a time when body hair was a sign of masculinity, we have come the ‘Chocolate boy’ way, the ‘Clean look’ way today. From the time of diktats to become the macho men, this society has changed to accept hair-free look for the boys and the gentlemen. Likewise, from societies which looked at hair styling and grooming as only for the ladies, these days, be it salons or hair technicians, grooming the manes is a separate subject for specialization, be it beard styling, beard sculpting, beard sculpting, hairdo or body hair.

Hair in global societies

How hair is perceived globally in different socio-economic and cultural backgrounds is what we are looking at, in this segment. From royal families investing time, money, and ornaments in styling their locks, to commoners with unkempt covered heads, hair diktats have differed based on status.

Ancient Egyptians have had a flair for hair. Wealthy Egyptians had gone a step further by investing in personal barbers who visited their homes. Greece seemed to have a different taste in hairdos. Indians have had and still have a floral connect with their hair. African women and non-warriors used to shave their heads. Israel and other parts of the Middle East had their women’s heads covered by fabric in the form of hoods. China had its unmarried women don long hair in braids while married women in China wore their hair back from the face into a knot at the nape.

There are also evident differences in the way hair was tied back then during the Classical or Medieval period, the Renaissance Era, Elizabethan or Victorian Era. There’s also a striking relationship spotted between power and hair, between class/status and hair, between gender and hair. Slowly and steadily, as the centuries unfolded to the present, hair care, hair styling, hair grooming industry is a very dynamic industry with loads of ideas, creativity, and solutions.

History has enough and more evidence in the form of paintings, sculptures, artifacts, photographs, portraits and of course, films, to prove that hair has always enjoyed great social status. It has grown today to newer heights. The horizons of hair aesthetics and hair appearances have widened, considering the impact of media, celebrities, and civilization in today’s times. We have created brands and labels for others to emulate from the celebrity town. Can we ever forget the Sadhna cut or Malinga’s hairstyle? These hairdos have become eternal brands and immortal fashion diktats.

On that note, it is a wrap on this article. And as promised, click to get your copy of the most insightful book on Hair – Have A Great Hair Day.

And anytime you need that bit of professional help with your hair & scalp, you know you can reach out to our Trichologists. Your Hair deserves a detailed consultation and diagnosis to help you treat it right.

You know our sign off, right? So your links are right here. For anything on hair care, hair trivia, hair loss, hair problems, hair care tips, our hair doctors are just a ping away. Our clinics are absolutely near you – we are 87 now, and adding more branches just for your convenience and accessibility.

So, you like reading about hair? Then you are a blog person. Keep checking for new blog posts from us every Monday and Friday.

Or do you prefer news shorts on hair? Then you are a social media person. Here is our Instagram and Facebook account for your daily dose of hair fun and hair facts.

Meet you on Monday!

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