Classes have begun again, and the streets are awash with young people bustling about. As everyone knows, this first month of school is crucial. No, not for learning to adjust, forming good work habits, and getting good grades! Those are for DORKS!! This is the month for showing everyone how amazingly cool you are! This is the blessed season of strut, when all the hip guys and gals will make any possible excuse to show off their buff bods, toasty tans, and oh-so-fresh duds. Reveling in the changing season which gives them the opportunity to go through first summer and then winter wardrobes in the space of a few weeks, and eliminating the need to (oh the horror) repeat an outfit at such an important time of year.
It takes all the right clothes, a toned physique, a "whatever/who cares" attitude, and other such essentials if you want to be somebody (namely, everyone else), but all these things will be for naught, if a certain feature isn't primped to perfection as well. It is the thing which can make or break the whole illusion. Hair. Rarely noticed alone, but integral in the success of any outfit. We've all seen it: someone coming so close, only to fail miserably due to hair neglect. They could have everything else down to a "t", but if she's stylistically stuck in the eighties or he's got the same bowl cut his mom gave him when he was three, they're just not happening.
The Academical Village is a kaleidoscope of carefully cropped coifs with one central idea behind each individual do. The hair must be relaxed. Whether you're a guy or girl, the days of spraying and teasing, slicking and spiking are out. At all costs the hair must be relaxed, easy and effortless. This is a look which may require hours of work and frequent visits to a stylist for trimming and consultation, but dammit that natural, easy look is worth it!! However, no one must ever know that such preparation is actually taking place, because to put such effort into anything just doesn't gel with that "whatever" attitude or that loose fit clothing.
For guys, the ideal is a couple of inches of ever so slightly unkempt looking hair in a style that allows for the occasional running of the hand through it in mock frustration or cool boredom. This maneuver is designed to show the high degree of relaxation achieved in a particular hair style. A style which allows frequent hand-runs without noticeable change to the hair is the ultimate. Although hats are popular for guys, and are a good cover up when proper degrees of relaxation cannot be met or showers are neglected, they must come off sometime.
Girls are allowed a neater appearance, but must avoid the phenomenon known as "big hair," which can be deadly in the social scene. Big hair is the obvious result of lots of teasing and spraying which indicates great effort expended, and in turn, someone who "tries too hard" and is therefore a loser. A girl's goal is to have an easy, tossable, manicured mane, hovering somewhere around the shoulders in length. Straight, wavy, or curly are all acceptable if individual strands of hair can move independently from one another. This is known as the wind test, cousin to the hand-run test. A light gust of wind must be able to momentarily blow the hair in different directions, and cause a general ruffling or disruption to the style. Post-gust, the hair must be able to return to a state similar to the original. Instead of hats on an off day, girls have the "ponytail option" (with scrunchy of course).
These are only a few hints at how to succeed up top. There are many more subtle nuances to the secret of lovely locks which each person must learn for themselves. But don't waste any time! As we said, that first month is a crucial time in which long lasting impressions are made. The student body of hair is out in force, and takes no prisoners.
ENLT 214M, OCTOBER 1997