3/8/07

Lesbian Hair - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly



There is something to be said about the styles of a gay woman's hair that really sets them apart from the rest of the female population. Today we will explore the unique aspects of lesbian hairstyles and some of the great (and not so great) features of more common hairstyles. The hair of a woman can be the determining factor in targeting them as a member of the all-girls team. A woman might be walking down the street, and notice a seemingly gay hairstyle of a fellow passerby that will send a woman's gaydar into high alert. Let's take a second here to transport ourselves back to the days of Stonewall; the butch/femme dynamic was pretty much it, and it was these conspicuously "gay" hairstyles that helped the lesbians really seek out their own kind. These super short hair styles seen on stone butches was a surefire way to tell the other women she was gay; you could consider it to be a walking advertisement of homosexuality. Today, we have these daring women to thank for their bravery in taking those shears and chopping off their precious locks when society rejected the very idea of women in a masculine light. To the women of Stonewall; we applaud you!!

Now, to explore the different styles of a lesbian "do".

First we have the aforementioned supershort haircut. This could be described as a buzz cut, crew cut, or shag. Many women with this style haircut tend to be classified as butch, stonebutch, softbutch, genderqueer or transgendered. They may, at first glance, appear to be male, but alas! they are indeed women who have kind hearts behind that thick masculine layer. These women are great at fixing things like your car or your bathroom sink but leave something to be desired in the hair department.

Next, we have the more extreme version of a short hairstyle, the shaved head or superbuzz type cut. Many women with this style haircut tend to be angry man-hating lesbians, usually with piercings, tattoos and a mean look in their eye. They may be making a statement or rebelling against society. They may also try to get you to join their anarchist group, and this can put you in a sensative situation. I recommend politely declining, but taking a flyer so as to not offend the opposing party and flashing those big pearly whites while you're at it.


Next, we have the slightly-less-extreme-but-still-pretty-darn-extreme mowhawk (not to be confused with the fauxhawk which we will get to in a minute). The mohawk is also found on the same breed of women who might be seen sporting a shaved head. Usually the mohawk is a gateway cut to the shaved head. Mohawks can be colored, spiked, styled horizontally, vertically, or even twisted into spikes. With a mohawk, the sky's the limit. Mohawks are usually found at places like the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival, Cochella, Woodstock and other completely hardcore music festivals/rock concerts. The great thing about a mohawk is that when you're sick of it, just take your trusty little razor and shave that bugger off.

Next, we have the illustrious fauxhawk. This is like the lesbian housewife's version of a mohawk; edgy yet sophisticated, more hair and less scare. The fauxhawk has gained increasing popularity in the last few years. Alternative indie rock bands such has Tegan and Sarah, Death Cab for Cutie and Scissor Sisters has severely influenced the concert-going lesbian into fauxhawking their hair. If you are one of the many that have attempted this hairstyle, it can result in a fauxhawk disaster or a style of brillance. Make sure you fully trust you stylist before letting her go fauxhawk on your head.

Next, we have the "Shane" hairstyle. The "Shane" hairstyle has been made famous by the L Word character Shane McCutcheon. Shane's hair can be described as messy, yet awesome. She emobodies the meaning of "bedhead" and pulls it off with a sophisticated swagger. Many have attempted the Shane haircut; many have failed miserably. The Shane hairstyle should really just be left up to the devices of Shane, just hope that if you ever get the chance to meet Katherine Moennig in real life, she'll let you touch those luscious locks.  There is also the very similiar Justin Bieber hairstyle.

Next, we have the severely outdated she-mullet style. The mullet was intensely sported in the 70's and 80's and can presently be found in the deep woods of the south where some lesbians prefer to live in flannel, raise their own cattle and keep guns by their bedside. It is characterized by a very short, flobied look on the top of the head, and longish hair usually resting slightly above the shoulders. I would not recommend getting a mullet. Ever. Period. I am almost 99.99% positive that the mullet hairstyle will not be regaining popularity anytime in the near future. Despite it's hideousness, the She-mullet has provided many hours of ample entertainment; it is a societal rule that if a mullet is spotted in public, it is crucial to snap a photo of it immediately and document that moment in time. I promise it will tranport you back to an era of bad hair, cocaine and ridiculous clothing.

Finally, we have the variable and rather boring femme hairstyle. Femmes have a tendency to wear their hair long or longish which usually causes them to blend in with the heterosexual population. Femme hair can be straight, wavy or curly, usually colortreated and upkept with expensive products that are maintained frequently by spending long hours in front of a mirror. Femmes also utilize accessories in the maintenance of their hair; clips, bobbypins, hair straightners, curlers, curling irons, crimping irons, the list goes on. These accessories can usually be found weighing down their over-sized Coach bags and are brought out for touch-ups in restaurant and nightclub bathrooms in cases of severe hair emergency. Femmes are quite particular about their hair and try to avoid rain, fog, humidity and other adverse weather conditions that might ruin the integrity of their most current $200 hairstyle.

This concludes the segment on Lesbian Hair; I think we've covered all the topics from good, bad and ugly hairstyles that characterize all walks of lesbian life. The next time you're in front of the mirror, ask yourself, what kind of lesbian hairstyle do I want to sport today?



26 comments:

Chelle said...

I'm glad someone addressed the "lesbian hair" issue! it's such a big part of our sexual and gender identity! good job ladies!

Anonymous said...

whaa kate's got her own hairstyle.. too bad it's such a hard one.. I like it, but it wouldn't do me any goor I think :-D

Anonymous said...

Along a similiar vein, check out this article:

http://www.lesbilicious.co.uk/community/lesbian-hair-the-secrets-untangled/#more-706

shakeyermoneymaka said...

I agree with Faith with regards to the Lesbiatopia article. Although obviously attempting humour the article plays on dangerous stereotypes, not even ridiculing them but seemingly reinforcing them. Not only is the buzz cut= man haters problematic (and not in the least bit funny) as the women you joke about have often formed the vanguard within a number of movements not least the feminist and LGBTi. You would do well to show them respect rather than outright mockery. What I found most ridiculous was your opening paragraph. “They may, at first glance, appear to be male, but alas! they are indeed women.” Alas? Why alas? I’m personally quite pleased they are women. Secondly you come across as having one or two man hating issues yourself. Your suggestion that they are women because they have a kind heart behind their masculine exterior suggests that this is what separates them from men who in converse must not have kind hearts, what do their hearts have to do with anything really? Let me not even get into they are good at ‘fixing things like your car’. Come off it just because they portray some sort of masculinity which you think can be watered down to some sort of ridiculous essentialism whereby masculinity = able to fix things. Frankly I find your article closed minded and in bad taste

Paula the Surf Mom said...

What faith said was "In the mood to change your style? Check out Lesbiatopia’s amusing although rather offensive breakdown of the lesbian looks"...

You notice she said amusing first so I think she got the joke.

Sheeshhh some people have no sense of humor...

Lighten up a bit, haven't you ever heard of Self Deprecation before?

Renee "Lesberita" Gannon said...

In my defense, this was written with overwhelming amount of sarcasm. I am, in fact, very much a feminist and was playing around with the over generalization of stereotypes in this article. Obviously I don't think that just because you are a masculine woman you can fix a car, and vice versa. The article was written with the idea that the readers would pick up on my overly sarcastic sense of humor and desire to play a bit of the devil's advocate on my own sexual orientation.

Anonymous said...

Totally agree with shakeyermoneymaka. It doesn't read humourously.

Paula Brooks said...

anon here is what shakeyermoneymaksa said....

# shakeyermoneymaka ∼ August 15th, 2008 8:28 pm

Thanks for clearing that up Renee. My issue is that your article pokes fun in some places and not in others, I am willing to say “hey perhaps that’s just my reading”. I get that you were being humorous I just don’t think there was any humour in some of your suggestions. My bad. You know as well as I that internalised homophobia is not something foreign to our community and so it wouldn’t be farfetched to think that perhaps your article portrayed a little of your own. Apologies. Oh I don’t take all articles that seriously just ones that catch my fancy from day to day.

Anonymous said...

Hello, I am a straight female who visits this website sometimes, and I was disappointed that your article did not discuss African-American hair. Most African American women still straighten their hair (75%, by some estimates). I try not judge others, butI stopped doing this years ago -- not really as a political statement, but because I was tired of the time, expense, and pain (yes pain) involved. Most black women have hair horror stories -- of beauticians that leave caustic straightening solutions on their heads so long that they result in chemical burns, of being told their hair is "bad," etc. I also enjoy swimming and I was tired of avoiding any kind of moisture in fear of my hair "going back." Now I'm "nappy and happy!"

Anyway, I notice that many African American lesbians have shaved heads or very short natural hair. I have been approached by gay women on more than one occasion, some quite younger than me. I politely decline, but why do so many people think that natural hair=gay? Just wondering . . .

Sinnerviewer said...

Anon, we have a staff of volunteer writers. We try to write what we know and our writer may not have known enough about AA hair to give any thoughts on the subject. BUT - it excites me to have you here and if you would care to join us, we would love to have your perspectives. Please let us know if you'd be interested in doing some features. We are all kinds of women!

Anonymous said...

No mention of the flowbee?

Anonymous said...

I'm so terribly sorry you find long hair boring. I'll go get my dad's beard trimmer and lop all of mine off, so people will like me, heehee. :)

-rural flannel wearing gun-totin' queer in a mullet- said...

Pssst: Your classism is showing!

Anonymous said...

Whoa! What do you have against femmes? First of all we don't all own Coach bags, spend $200 on styles or copious amounts of time in front of the mirror. Furthermore, I have had short hairstyles even though I am femme, and from my experience I prefer long styles as I can wake up, throw it in a ponytail or bun rather than spend 10 minutes positioning it with wax just right. Not to mention time spent washing it when it gets nasty from all that product or money wasted on trims at the salon for it's upkeep. Don't say I'm wrong all you short haired lesbians out there!

Abbey said...

haha - good one!!

Im a lesbian..with (shock horror) dreadlocks.. noticed none of that in your post tho, haha - AND im femme, good lord!! haha

- next topic: - why lesbians take themselves so fuckin' serious... - its ok to laugh at yourself, i do it often, and i love it!!

anna said...

I have no idea why any lesbian would find this at all funny. Maybe it was intended to be sarcastic, but that wasn't obvious until I read through the comments. It's just a list of the stereotypes associated with certain hairstyles. Total waste of time.

Anonymous said...

I can't think of any womyn that would find this funny.
I love my long hair, my partner has a buzz cut but we don't look anything like stereotypes of a butch-femme relationship. Yes, she does happen to like flannel shirts & I love my floaty dresses, but we aren't anything approaching a cliché. After all her truck has pink furry dice, for that touch of femininity & miata has a "back off, I'm armed" bumper sticker.

Anonymous said...

Women with short hair are mostly ugly....I paid hooker that had long hair rather than the one with short
This with long recieved money the one with short did not,but she can say stupid spiritual contentment that she is beautifull for herself
Fuck off short hair!!!

Anonymous said...

how can you leave out the asymmetrical haircut!? almost half of the lesbians i know rock em, myself included.

dianyzzia said...

Hi, i'm a lesbian and i like bald women.

Anonymous said...

It's cute that people got so angry, haha. Oooh someone tried to be funny on the big bad Internet! Where is the salt and pepper hair for the old lezzy's to get ruffled about?? I can't wait until I turn 40 get a lumber jacket a case of bud light and some hair clippers. Yeee ha! Just kidding! I am going to grow up to be like Ellen, healthy, wealthy and happy! Peace and Love ladies :)

Anonymous said...

I love reading all the comments on here... I am a lesbian as well. I wonder how people see me... I'm 5ft 9pm, black long straight hair, blue eyes, carry a wallet, played Roller derby for 3 years, I lay tile, work on cars, love to wear 1940 pinup styles, laid back, cut hair for a living, and have a half sleeve tattoo....

Anonymous said...

i like my hair long and super crimpy. kinda femme kinda not

Anonymous said...

Wait, so femmes get a bad review just because we don't fall into the peer pressure of having short hair just to show we're gay?

Anonymous said...

Hahahahaha, thanks for making my day (night). I was looking for mohawk hairdo cos now I have something similar to the first one you classified...but assimetrical. True that when a woman is involved in an existencial/emotional/whatever crisis first thing to do is going to the hairdresser. That's my case I guess. And although I have had almost always a boring long hair, lately I am addicted to shocking, rebel hairdoes and colors. I'm bisexual by the way...or sort of cos never been able to just choose men and forget women or viceversa. C'mon girls...it's so healthy to laugh on ourselves and this is just an oversarcastic and funny post. That's all...sorry for my extrange English, it's not my mother tonge ;)

cheers

Naks

Mags said...

Good day,
I'm a femme lesbian, I've turned 26 this year. I'm white and live in South Africa. English isn't my mother tongue but Afrikaans is. Just like Charlize Theron.
I'm a farm girl, and can pretty much do anything, as I'm the oldest of 4 children and the only daughter.

I usually have long golden blonde lockey hair that falls down my mid-back. With my sparkley denim-blue eyes and natural make-up you wouldn't say I'm gay. Long story short, I cut 35 cm plus of my hair off, and donated it to a cancer org. That makes wigs for people who suffer of cancer. I sport a short hairstyle that's half pixie half mowhawk. It's funny how stereotypes rule the world. When I have long hair no one notices I'm gay, but I guess that's what makes a bit of mystery so much fun. When my hair is short, everyone assumes I'm gay, and butch too. They don't notice I'm actually still wearing the same womens clothes and shoes, with the make-up. They only notice the hair. So automatically you "appear" butch in every way. I love my long hair and when my year of wearing short hair for cancer is over, it's back to growing my sexy locks. Lots of work but still love it.
I enjoyed your sarcasm because I saw what you meant by it. Well written. Ultimately a lesbian woman comes in any shape,form or appearance. It's how you see yourself that matters. Beauty comes from the heart. You can be a model and I won't notice you, but be beautiful inside and I will notice you. Beauty is truely in the eye of the beholder. I firmly believe in that. We are all women, and every woman is beautiful. Love yourself before you can love someone else. Because no one else can make you happy but you yourself. If you are happy with yourself, you will attracct the right type of person into your life, not to heal, fix or make happy, but to share in your happiness with her happiness. Always remember that.

Kind Regards
Mags.

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