KATHMANDU, Dec 6: Some call it weird, some call it avant-garde. Alternate hairstyles have slowly crept in Nepal. While long hair is still considered to be a girl’s jewel, there are many who are chopping it off and keeping it short.
Boys, on the other hand, are no less in adapting to this fad; remember when being clean cut was what made a gentleman back in the days? Tables have turned and roles have been reversed in terms of hairstyles.
Purna Tamang, 22, has long blond hair, cropped short on the sides and he braids the long strands at the back or ties a ponytail. This youngster, currently working at Ratna Park Pau Bhandar in New Road, outgrew his mohawk. “My hair was black on the sides and blond in the middle back when I had a mohawk,” informs Purna, cheerfully.
Apart from his attention seeking hairstyle, he also has a tattoo on each arm, one of Che Guevara and another one of his own name. When asked what aspect of these hairstyles he is fond of, Purna said, “This is what makes me happy. It’s just a matter of what constitutes one’s style quotient.” He is particularly enthusiastic about sporting hip-hop look along with this hairstyle of his.
Sampada Thapaliya, 29, recalls the time when she shaved her head almost 10 years ago. “I was studying Public Health at Cleveland State University and during the summer of my second year, I shaved my head. I remember having to explain to everyone in my class and at work that I wasn’t depressed or anything. Instead, it made me immensely happy.”
It would suffice to say that the reason these kinds of ‘informal’ hairstyles are glared at or detested by some could be because we have been fed by several music videos to believe that it is all about being a rebel and not giving into social protocol.
Think of videos in which a young girl cuts off her hair so she can get courage to overcome the bullying she has been a victim of, or a woman who crops off her hair after breaking up with her boyfriend. The rebel aspect is more or less exaggerated because having a hairstyle that doesn’t conform to traditional opinion isn’t often, if not always, an outcome of troubled times or trying to break through.
Dechen Sherpa, 19, who is studying at Truman State University, says, “I think people do it mainly to look different. But the other reason is that, I think girls usually play around with their hairstyles when they need some sort of change in their lives,” explaining the therapy that most girls can relate to.
Although Dechen has never had any alternate hairstyle, there are things she is planning to do whenever she can. “I have been thinking about coloring my hair burgundy but since I have never really colored my hair before it scares me. But maybe I’ll do it this winter,” Dechen further adds, “I was thinking of cutting it short but I know I won’t do it.”
Similarly, Renasha Ghimire, 20, recently got rid of her curls and shaved her head. Why did she do it? She remembers shaving her head often when she was a child. “My father, brother and I used to shave our heads during World Cup. I wanted to experience what having no hair on your head feels like. I have wanted to do this since ninth grade and this time I just did it,” she said.
When asked if she considers an approach like this as rebellious, Renasha shared, “I don’t know, maybe people take it as a resort to vent their anger but for me it was pure fun. It has been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember.”
With people coming up with new ways to deal with their hair, whatever length, color or texture it maybe, alternate hairstyles could very well be one of the major fads among this generation. It wouldn’t be incorrect to assume that youngsters have come out with yet another platform to show their creativity and bring their love for colors and vibrancy out.