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Evolution of the aesthetics and hair industry

Hair and make-up have been monumental features within the setting of the beauty industry. In the present day, cosmetics and other forms of hair enhancements can be found in each and every societal setting.  Hair has for ages been viewed as a fashion statement as well as an exemplification of how someone sees himself or herself both externally and internally. Hair styles have been perfected to suit both genders – function hair styles for men and appealing styles that enhance beauty for women. Over the years, these styles have been crafted to reflect different aspects and circumstances; ethnicity, age, career, health status, genetic composition as well as racial backgrounds. As history shows, people have tried different styles of hair largely as shaped by their social, economic and cultural agendas. It, therefore, connotes that the hair and aesthetics industry has undergone a rapid change.

In the 1920s, the societal setting started to do away with the Victorian life. This era saw the emergence of diverse hair styles, especially in women. Waved and bobbed hair styles emerged as a sign of independence by the women. During the 1940s, there was an increased emphasis on feminism through the hair styles. Furthermore, the idea of romanticism as spurred by the Hollywood stars led to the emergence of new styles. This was further augmented by the usage of skin enhancement features. During the period of the 1960s and 1970s, personalities such as Elvis Presley and The Beetles became focal points in shaping the trends of hair styles. For men, the 1970s and 1980s was the era in which the dreadlocks became a fashionable trend as popularized by Bob Marley. The 1990s saw men adopt a simple shave on their heads while women continued to come up with different styles as spurred by innovation, technology, the need for distinction and the influence from global superstars. In the era of 2000s, most of the previous hair styles have been re-visited and updated.

Even though new and bolder styles are coming up, technology and social imitation as well as personal preferences are factors that continue to impact on the evolution of the hair styles. Hair styles have always been used as a channel for social emulation. In the olden times, all the aspects of fashion were guided by designers and the masses resonated with whatever was being made. In essence, the designers held a controlling power over what was to be fashionable at the time. However, as time passed, fashion – including hair styles emerged from other spheres of the social setting as exemplified by glamorous occurrences of catwalks and the revolutionary aspect of designer wears. These stylistic changes in relation to hair originate from diverse cultures to other parts of the globe. In current times, the aesthetic features as regards hair are determined by various factors for instance the physical features as well as the eventual desired look in an individual. Essentially, democratization of the industry has led to the abrasion and altering of the identity of hair styles. This has in turn brought about a new form of expression in the cultural setups, thereby instigating new models of hair styles. Also, the expansion and modification of youth cultures has turned into a marketable aspect within the hair industry. This crafts an occurrence that breeds social equalization with individuals showing the desire to change and adopt differentiation. Through commercialization, these attributes are then diffused into the mainstream society by means of distinction and imitation.

Different aspects have impacted on the changing hair industry; political, technological, economic, social, legal and environment issues have shaped the entire process of evolution of hair styles. Social aspects relate to the underlying values that the society enjoins with the composition of hair as an identifying attribute. Furthermore, religious beliefs in some cultures have seen hair being turned into a symbolic measure. Technological factors make it easier for the mass sensitization of the public as regards the cultural trends and fashionable models. Environmental aspects guide the production of hair products in relation to the ensuing effects to the ecological setup. Legal aspects within the hair industry include product regulation, health and safety measures, regulations that instigate competitiveness et al. Political aspects that have shaped the industry include taxation, the guidelines relating to pricing as well as contractual agreements. Besides, the legislations about consumer information and safety assessment of the hair products have made it easier for the evolution of the industry. Economic aspects have an influence on the purchasing power of consumers. However, given the extension of democratic gains to the populace in most parts of the world, individuals are able to try different hair styles that lead to a cycle of evolution. In olden days, some of these styles would not have been tried by the individuals as some kingdoms and nationalities banned them.

By: Katherine

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