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This photo series, led by the creative team at Her Place Is In, brought together 25+ women and children, most of whom did not know one another. Our goal was to use hair as a lens to touch on deeper issues: culture, womanhood, feminity, privilege, beauty standards, etc.

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"It’s been a little over a year now since I changed my hair and my lifestyle, and I’ve never felt more beautiful than I do now.

Coloring my hair bright red symbolizes my ability to break the cycle..."

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"One thing I hate about my hair is how trained I was to be attached to it. Hair doesn't define me. How I react to it does."

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"While my hair grows fast and thick, it requires a lot of maintenance while working out daily and washing it constantly. Coconut oil is essential for me, and has been a long-standing tradition in India for haircare."

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"It was hard for me to talk about my alopecia and be seen without a wig because I was taught by society that the length of your hair determined your femininity."

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"Growing up I struggled with accepting my hair; I lived in a predominantly white neighborhood and hated standing out. My mom was very versatile with my hair and loved to change it up—from braids to my curls to beads—but I always wanted it straight and relaxed. This was because I hated my hair being the topic of conversation, and when people would call my twists and braids “dreads.”

When I played basketball in high school, one of the refs even made me remove every single one of my hair beads because the colors didn’t match my uniform! The amount of humiliation I experienced that day could not be forgotten.

Thankfully, as I got older and jumped into the hair business, I began to accept the diversity of hair culture and experiment with new styles. Now I change my hair at least every two weeks, and am in love with my differences!"

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"Long hair is praised as a sign of high status in my culture and family. Being more masculine of center, I also clung to my long, curly hair for so long because it was an indication of my femininity. After a lifetime of holding on to those social implications, I cut my hair about two years ago—finally prioritizing comfort and manageability.

However, since my haircut, I get misgendered more often because, in addition to my short hair, I am not outwardly feminine with my dress. But letting go of my hair has made me feel more feminine because I am living more authentically.”

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"The most challenging aspect of my hair journey, by far, has been navigating this world in a female body with hair on it. It took me a good three years to feel able to show my body hair without worrying.

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"The men in my family believe that women should have long hair because it's a symbol of beauty.

The women in my family don't care. They cut their hair off and dye it crazy colors." 

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"In middle school, I was so embarrassed by my different hair texture than everyone else’s that I would purposely neglect washing it after swim/water polo practice because I noticed when I didn’t, it would look like theirs (calmer & silkier). Looking back now, I realize that wasn’t a wise decision.

When I began Polynesian dancing; I noticed my natural hair texture was embraced by that community. However, when I entered professional settings, I circled back into making my hair “look normal” – minus the chlorine, of course.

I’m currently on a path to combat my fizz, and it’s caused me to reflect more about my ancestral linage and hair history.”

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"“I was born with a head full of thick, kinky hair, to a mother who had no idea what to do with all of it. Thus, my hair was relaxed at a young age for manageability. I remember spending entire days at the beauty shop getting lathered up with that creamy crack and sitting with a sting until it became a burn. I was only allowed to wear my hair down on special occasions. I either had a head full of plats with barrettes or I was braided down with beads.

In 2010, I began going longer between relaxers before I stopped getting them all together. This was right before natural hair became a movement, so resources were limited. I wore my hair in braid outs, blending my textures, for a year and a half before chopping off my relaxed ends. It wasn’t until 2 years ago that I found a stylists that taught me how to find an take care of my curls. This brings me to today, and I can say I LOVE my hair!”"

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"At the age of 25 I chopped off all my hair and completely defied the long-hair Latina culture. I received all the dismay from my Chilean family, wide-eyed judgements in the workplace, and I even noticed how surprised people now where when I would start speaking Spanish—something I had never experienced before with my long mane of hair. My hair has taught me that it is not my responsibility to hold space for people and how they react to my hairstyle, regardless of where I am and who I am with.”

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"“I was born with a head full of thick, kinky hair, to a mother who had no idea what to do with all of it. Thus, my hair was relaxed at a young age for manageability. I remember spending entire days at the beauty shop getting lathered up with that creamy crack and sitting with a sting until it became a burn. I was only allowed to wear my hair down on special occasions. I either had a head full of plats with barrettes or I was braided down with beads.

In 2010, I began going longer between relaxers before I stopped getting them all together. This was right before natural hair became a movement, so resources were limited. I wore my hair in braid outs, blending my textures, for a year and a half before chopping off my relaxed ends. It wasn’t until 2 years ago that I found a stylists that taught me how to find an take care of my curls. This brings me to today, and I can say I LOVE my hair!”"

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My hair journey has been both one of self-discovery and also of self-acceptance. I have thick, curly hair and I am a second-generation Japanese-American. Growing up, I danced between the lines of culture, language, and standards of beauty—never really fitting in anywhere because I looked too different in the U.S. and in Japan.

The stereotype is that Japanese people have straight hair, and this is what society expects me to abide by. If it isn’t worn straight then I’m not “Japanese enough” or, not “professional enough” in my workspace. So, in an attempt to defy and resist that inclination towards conventional imagining, I’ve decided to let my hair be wild and free! My curly hair is a statement to others and to myself that I am more than my exterior and that authentic expression can really change perspectives around the world

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