Research 18/021
How Logo’ed Hairstyles Became a Modern Cultural Identifier

Since the dawn of humankind, there have been a select few elements that have distinguished cultures, tribes and nationalities. Even though tattoos, jewelry and clothing have been cemented as more popular indicators, the use of hair for expression is a long and diverse story. Whether shaved, braided, colored, or logo’ed, off-kilter hairstyles are now a certified sign of the times, and represent a fascinating aesthetic discourse.

As one of history’s most important cultural elements, hair was used when enslaving populations, with the act of shaving one’s head aimed to erase cultural history and past life. A similar practice is undertaken when entering the army or going to jail. Shaving hair has always been a way of dividing people from their past and burning bridges with the outside world.

Over the course of thousands of years, global populations have developed complicated hairstyles to keep their hair healthy — take dreadlocks for example — or fixed them as a focal-point of various ceremonial practices.Now, in the age of capitalism, brands and corporations are culture, being used as one of the main differentiating factors.

This is why, since the start of the 2000s,the appearance of logo’ed haircuts has become increasingly prominent, focusing on popular brands such Nike, adidas, Apple, and Mario Kart.This way, the contemporary man or woman can pledge their allegiance and loyalty towards a specific brand that before was permitted only when referring to Gods.