International Women’s Day: How Women are Expressing Themselves Through Hair

It's called "crowning glory" for a reason. 

To celebrate International Women’s Day 2021 we’ve rounded up some of our contributors, as well as past hair interviewees, that featured women who have found ways to celebrate their hair and use it as a way to express themselves. Read on below to get inspired by these powerful women and may the force be with all women around the world this coming March 8th, and every day after that!

How These Women Celebrate Their Hair for International Women’s Day

1. Hope Morgan, Founder, The Hopeful Style Chronicles

Wardrobe stylist Hope Morgan wearing natural hair curly updo hairstyle for International Women's Day 2017
Hope Morgan knows how to coordinate her hairstyles with her looks. After all, she is a Wardrobe Stylist. Photo courtesy of Hope Morgan

“I’ve had natural hair for seven years. At first, I was afraid of how I would look with short kinky hair. Being on this journey, I have learned so much about who I am and what my culture is all about. As African Americans, we are shamed into thinking our hair has to be one way and not embrace how versatile it actually can be. I am no longer afraid of who I am because as women, we are strong creatures who are a force to be reckoned with… we just have to believe and never lose hope.”

2. Afika James.

Afika James with loose natural hair twist out style for International Women's Day 2017
Afika James knows how to wear her crown well. Photo courtesy of Afika James

“I love my hair enough to not feel trapped by it—don’t feel like because you’ve invested so much time, money and thought into your hair that you have to love it in its current state. If you feel like trying something new, go for it. My hair is versatile and resilient, just like me!”

3. Hannah Edelman, Bushwick Brooklyn Hair Painter, Brush in Hand

hannah edelman balck and white photo
Photo courtesy of Hannah Edelman

“I spend my days visually aligning my clients with a perception, feeling or moment in life. One day it’s a neon rainbow, the next it may be delicately playing up nature’s palette. Visually, they couldn’t be more different, but the confidence and happiness they exude are always the same. Witnessing transformations made me reconsider my own expression through hair.

In the past, I thought I was exercising my freedom of expression, only to realize later on I was following a trend. Do I let social constructs decide how a look makes me feel? As a hair professional, should I look a certain way? Eventually, I said, forget all of that, and now I wear my hair for me. Sometimes that means letting my natural curls go crazy or popping in extra fuchsia, or maybe this time around I’ll do violet. Who knows what I’ll do next—but I do know my hair is representing exactly how I feel.”

Ed’s note: Up for a color change as well? Make sure your strands are tended to with a color-safe wash and care system, like Nexxus Color Assure Rebalancing Shampoo and Color Assure Restoring Conditioner.

4. Courtney Leiva, Freelance Beauty Writer.

Courtney Leiva with platinum blonde hair color
Blonde and beautiful. Photo courtesy of Courtney Leiva

“Expressing myself through my hair (especially hair color!) has always given me a rewarding sense of freedom. Whether it’s silvery gray, electric red, platinum blonde or pastel pink highlights, changing my color gives me an extra boost of independence and confidence, as well as giving me the sense of being in control of my own image. It’s an empowering feeling I can never really get enough of.”

International Women’s Day Hair Survey

Do you feel your hair is part of your identity

We ran a survey among women asking them if their hair plays an important role in their identity, and the answer speaks for itself. What do you show your identity through your haircuts and hairstyles?

5. Tierra Lee, Founder, Info-Tierra 

Tierra Lee with short curly pixie on natural hair
Freedom! Tierra recently big chopped her hair just in time for celebrating International Women’s Day. Photo courtesy of Tierra Lee

“For the past many years (I’ve lost count), I’ve worn my hair In the same braided style: jet black box braids long with a middle part. It was my thing and it fit me, until one day I realized that it was no longer me. I didn’t want to hide my face or myself anymore. I felt heavy and covered. I woke up one Saturday and cut my hair into a natural mohawk and it is one of the greatest crowns I’ve ever worn. I see myself, my face, my everything and it feels good. It feels bold and sexy and free, which makes a lot of sense as that is exactly where I have arrived personally.”

6. Allison Schmidt, Freelance Writer, Founder, Mercuteify

Allison Schmidt with long hair and bangs hairstyle
Allison embraces her feminity through long hair and bangs. Photo courtesy of Allison Schmidt

“I enjoy expressing myself through my hair by constantly changing the style. In the past three years or so I’ve had a chin-grazing angled bob after lopping off my hair to donate; several variations of a wavy lob; I’ve tried an undercut; now I’ve got long hair with bangs! I find playing with my look and my hair to be fun. It makes me feel empowered that I can change how I look and not feel insecure about the length of my hair or how it looks on bad hair days. Right now I’m loving the extra feminine look of long hair and bangs, but I’m actually heading to the hairdressers this weekend—we’ll see what haircut I’m wearing next!”

7. Amber Fillerup Clark, Founder, Barefoot Blonde

Amber Fillerup with long blonde hairstyle
Amber uses her hairstyles as a way to boost her confidence. Photo courtesy of Amber Fillerup

“I love being a woman! We have so many ways to express ourselves: Whether it’s the careers we choose or the clothes we wear, our choices reflect a part of our personality. One way I love to express myself is through my hairstyles. I’ve always loved the quote, ‘Success is having fun!’ and I always have fun creating different hairstyles that make me feel confident, beautiful and carefree.”

8. Michelle Mozes,  Creative Director and Fashion Vlogger,

Michelle Mozes with blonde wig hair
Michelle loves embracing hair wigs and her culture. Photo courtesy of Michelle Mozes.

“As an artist, I’ve always had the mindset of making anything my canvas: my child’s shoes, my home walls, and even my hair. I love the non-committal form of self-expression that comes with wigs. I can have pink hair one day and jet black the next. No matter the occasion, I have hair to match. Having been a business owner and meeting with clients since the age of sixteen, I haven’t had much of an opportunity to have fun with my hair while I tried to maintain a level of professionalism.

I always kept it simple and polished. Now I have my ‘meetings’ hair, my ‘party’ hair, and even my ‘night out with friends’ hair. Picking out wigs to purchase, cutting them and styling them to my taste are all part of the fun. ‘Wigging out’ is the most unexpected hobby—I went into marriage unable to fathom covering my hair with wigs, feeling like I was hiding a part of myself. But I discovered that it allows me to express myself and just be me even more!”

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