As a teenager Astrid enjoyed reading a novel called Egalia's Daughter (by the Norwegian Gerd Mjøen Brantenberg) in which the protagonists swapped gender based rolls. One particular scene stuck to Astrid’s mind: men were sitting at a beauty salon, with curlers in their hair and beards. Or waxing of their chest hair, having face masks and so forth… They were gossiping, opening their hearts, socializing, or simply observed their transformation - quietly.
Back to the future, Astrid thought this would be an interesting topic to explore. How do men feel and act when confronted with characteristic female beauty treatment?
Nowadays the beauty industry as a close eye on men, trying to turn them into paying customers. Apparently, male grooming is in fashion (according to the advertising industry). I still recall the 80s, when this was really happening. Many men desired to have their hair permed, inspired by stars like Hollywood actor Paul Michael Glaser (Starsky & Hutch) or Kevin Keegan (when he was young...) or certain bands with big hair, (remember glam rock?). However, men would visit hairdressers rather secretively. The trick is to look ‘natural’ after you are done.
The project can be seen at Hairdressers
Please note: In Astrid's ‘Hairdresser’ project all characters are fictional. There is very little relationship between the sitter and the suggestions made about them…