Distraught women are finding creative ways to deal with the idea of a “President Donald Trump.” (You know. Besides running around like nuts getting IUDs because Trump is going to “take away” birth control.) They’re chopping their hair off!
Yep. Women in Washington D.C. are dealing with Trump’s victory by coloring or cutting their hair. That’ll show ’em!
“When you see that much blonde hair on the floor, you know something is going on,” says Nicole Butler, creative director and master colorist at Daniel’s Salon in Dupont Circle. During the notoriously slow month of November, her salon received a startling number of bookings, with at least three women a day sitting in her chair and asking for a drastic change, like cutting off six inches, going black, or going platinum.
Butler said women typically plan for that kind of change weeks in advance, but that’s not happening anymore. There’s so much spontaneity.
“Usually stuff like this is planned for weeks and put on the books after several consultations, but this was very spontaneous,” Butler said. “It was like a mass declaration of independence.”
Yeah. Because nothing says, “I’M A WOMAN! HEAR ME ROAR!” like chopping off your split ends or going platinum.
Clients, especially those over 40, expressed a feeling of loss and uncertainty, says Butler. “Maybe this is some kind of compensation for not getting what we wanted in the election. By changing our hair, we can control the outcome.”
Marion Jacobs, a former professor of psychology at UCLA, said this movement is a way for women to feel empowered and in control.
“When people experience a change that is so opposite from their value system, that’s very unnerving,” Jacobs said. “People will use all kinds of coping mechanisms, and cutting their hair and changing their look is one way to show or feel that they are doing something over which they have control.”
If that’s how these women actually think and operate, I feel bad for them. It’s kind of pathetic.
Daniel’s Salon in Dupont Circle isn’t the only D.C. salon witnessing this movement. It’s happening at Georgetown Salon & Spa too.
“One of my clients said, ‘Think of Melania Trump and go in the opposite direction,’” colorist and stylist Mariangela Moore said. “She said, ‘I don’t want to be that person people see as sexual, I want to be seen as strong.’”
Another professional woman cut her hair into a flattop. One client got rid of the blonde highlights she maintained forever, “because she said she never wants to be seen as cheap. I don’t know where that idea came from, but maybe that’s what she’s hearing.” A move away from the look of political parrot Kellyanne Conway, perhaps. In the comfort of Moore’s salon chair, D.C. women are expressing their anger and frustration, and taking a stand with their hair: Many have gone dark and lopped off length. “I don’t know if it’s that their right to choose could be in jeopardy, or that the glass ceiling is still there, but [since the election], I’m seeing more professional women, from all walks of life, changing the way they look.”
George Washington University teaching instructor Dr. Kristian Henderson participated in this movement too. After the election, she got rid of her weave and chopped the rest off.
“The election results felt like an attack on minorities, women, and marginalized people in general. Having long hair was my attempt to fit into society, so after the election, I felt a need to exert my ‘uniqueness’ and not tie my femininity to the length of my hair,” Henderson explained.
That’ll show ’em!
Another participant, vegan chef Mya Zeronis, who’s “a minority in almost every way possible: immigrant woman of color and LGBQT person,” cut her hair on Nov. 18th “to send a message to the Trump presidency.”
Um. Message received?
Julianna Evans likes the narrative she’s commanding, and says she’s keeping her goth look, though her stylist has added some more natural lowlights. “You have to live here to understand that we are immersed in politics every day,” the mother of two explains. “For many of us, with this election, it’s like your boyfriend dumped you in a really shocking way with no explanation and then moved in next door.” She is resigned to fighting against what she sees as a mandate for sexism through her own style choices. “Now, I feel like my hair says you can’t bring me down. This misogyny will not persevere. The bumper sticker for me is, ‘I am woman, hear me roar.’”
I never realized hair could send so many different messages to the patriarchy. What an amazing tool for women! (I hope you know that statement was dripping with sarcasm.)
So, women are getting new ‘dos to protest Trump’s presidency and our sexist society. The good thing is, this should make it much easier to identify feminists. In most cases, we’ll be able to point them out before they even say a word.
What are you waiting for? You heard the ladies! Fight the patriarchy! Get a haircut!