“Passive-Aggressive” Hair Is The New Hotness, But It’s Actually Pretty Dumb

The latest in hairstyle sorcery, fresh off the runway, is actually not much of anything at all. In the tradition of the New York Times being ahead of the curve when it comes to all things trendy, the usually-intelligent T: New York Times Style Magazine takes on the latest in hairstyle sorcery: “meh head”, cleverly coined by writer Alice Gregory. The look is really a non-look, keeping in line with the recent spate of “no-makeup” makeup that’s been popping up at fashion shows this season. Gregory writes:

Adjectiveless in color, lank and complete with flyaways, non-hair appeared again and again: not “chocolate,” not “chestnut,” not bluntly cut nor superlative in length. This was passive-aggressive hair, proof that the head from which it came looked enviable without any help at all.”

Lord. Let’s unpack this.

This is the kind of hair that isn’t aggressively styled. It’s just straight-ish, matte, textured hair, hanging just-so from the head of whatever long-limbed models are stalking the runway. It’s basically bedhead’s louche, art-student cousin. But, lest you think that you can just roll out of bed, put on some pants and head out for the day, without touching a single strand of hair on your beautiful head, you precious moppet, THINK AGAIN. Scroll down a little further in the Style Magazine thing, and you’ll see the litany of products required to achieve that “my-hair-looks-like-this-all-the-time-because-genetics” fluff.

REALLYIf you want the kind of scruffy, tousled, floppy locks that models flounced down the runways with, you can get it, but it will cost you lots of money. In fact, according to this list, it will cost you $209. And if you really want to pull it off, you should probably have hipbones like a hanger, eerily poreless skin and a fondness for quietly expensive outerwear and simple leather totes. Don’t get me wrong. It is phenomenal when fashion attempts to reach the masses on their level. They know that it’s unrealistic to go HAM with a curling wand and the heat spray every morning, because that takes time, so the overwrought beach waves have thankfully left the building. But, this new trend of “undone” hair that seemingly doesn’t give a fuck but costs as much as two of my cable bills is worrisome in its own right.

This is nothing more than a micro-trend, something that will die down in a few months. People will continue to do whatever it is they want to do with their hair, but it’s worth noting that this kind of aspiration is only applicable to a specific type of person. Natural-haired beauties are excluded, because the only way to achieve these looks is to chemically relax the hair they have, working against their natural texture, to achieve something that’s decidedly unnatural. It’s exclusive by nature. This is the kind of look that is obviously expensive. It’s old-money. It’s wrapping yourself in your grandmother’s camel overcoat and leaving the house with her Kelly bag on your arm, getting into a cab and taking yourself to the office. It doesn’t feel the need to speak up about how much money it cost, because you can just tell by looking at it. It’s aspirational, like all fashion is, but it’s problematic in what it’s aspiring to be.

Here’s the thing. We’ve all bee doing this our whole lives, because it is what people do when they have jobs and children and lives to lead. Here’s how you can achieve this yourself.  Go to sleep. Wake up, and look at your hair. Does it look okay? Could you use a comb? Get the comb, if you need it! Can you put it into a ponytail and leave the house? Great, do that. You’re good to go. You’re gorgeous. [NY Times]

Tags: hair, hair trends