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Hair Art?

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Contributor:
Paul Taylor
Paul Taylor

I've been thinking recently a lot about hairdressers. Not because my locks are tatty and ratty and  in need of some qualified attention, but because the word art has somehow got all knotted up in the hairdressing industry. A hairdresser isn't an artist, they're not artistic directors, they're not hair artists and their not style artists. If anything, they're akin to vultures; they make a living off what's dead. Hair is dead.  

It's not just hairdressers who have granted themselves the title of an artist with absolutely no artistic merit, but also nail technicians. You know, those people you go to for a manicure? Nail artists is what they are now, self proclaimed, obviously. I've always wanted to call myself an artist in one way or another but the thought never crossed my mind to complete a two day TAFE course and become a nail technician or whatever and then just jazz up my job title. No, I tried real art like painting and drawing. I'm no good at it but that it still makes me more of an artist than someone who cuts hair and nails. 

I know people who, like myself, shave their heads and trim bits of hair with scissors. I've even trimmed and shaved a friend's head. I've also dyed my own hair and friend's hair. Oh, and like all of us, we cut our own nails and some go so far as to paint their own nails! We're all nail artists and hair artists! A mother cuts her small children's nails, she's a nail artist! An accountant cuts his nails before a meeting and he's a nail artist! 

Hairdressers and nail cutters are dumbing down the term artist by aligning themselves with the greats. Michaelangelo, Picasso, Rembrandt, the chick down the street who runs a salon and applies fake nails at a budget price.  

I could maybe understand it if an arts degree was required to become a hairdresser or nail cutter but in all honesty, you'll notice that those who do those “professions” aren't the studious type. Nor are they the smart type, nor even the creative type. Conversely, you never hear of writers referring to themselves as word artists. 

I can give anything a nice title to make it sound better than it actually is. A door mat shall now be known as “woven foot art”. A TV shall now be known as an “artistic picture wall feature” and a dog poo on the side of the footpath shall now be known as an “artistic garden fertiliser”.  

They say life imitates art, but how can life imitate something dead like hair, and nails for that matter. Looks like the only way that can happen is if we all die from some horrible comet, like how the dinosaurs died. They also say art is life, so, hairdressers and nail cutters, don't use the word art in your job title or business. 

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