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Hair, the hairdresser and the everyday practices of women's hair care.

Holmes, Helen (2010) Hair, the hairdresser and the everyday practices of women's hair care. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.


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This thesis is concerned with reclaiming hair as a site of everyday practice and the role of the hairdresser as a skilled craft worker. Focusing upon the blindingly obvious substance of hair, it explores the lively and inimitable qualities which make hair truly unique to each of us. It is this uniqueness, or as I term it, the palimpsest of hair, that influences everything we do with hair, from our regular hairdressing appointment to its everyday home maintenance. Engaging with social and cultural geographies, this thesis speaks to bodily geographies, and workplace geographies. However, its key thematics are also drawn from wider approaches, particularly practice-based approaches, materiality and craft production. Using practice as a lens through which to research hair, the thesis tracks the customer journey from hair salon to home and back again, illustrating how the hairdresser, the palimpsest of hair and hair's wearer converge and diverge. Beginning in the salon, I highlight how the relationship between hairdresser and client does not always conform to the scripted encounters attributed to other forms of service work, but can involve genuine feelings and individualised performances. Through the practices of hair production, I illuminate the craft of hairdressing, demonstrating how the hairdresser and customer co-corporeally produce the palimpsest of hair. Moving from the salon into the home, I discuss how the customer reproduces their hair at home, through what I term the DIY hair project. I convey how these DIY hair practices are bound by normalised anxieties, articulated through individual temporalities. Finally, I explore the customer's return to the salon and how the temporalities of the salon appointment illuminate the choreographies of women's lives. Thus, I contend that hair is a substance worthy of academic study and should be included in debates on the politics of the body and of the everyday.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Geography (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.522412
Depositing User: EThOS Import Sheffield
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2019 08:18
Last Modified: 11 Sep 2019 08:18
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/14536

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