Gettin’ Your Hair Did (Men’s Version), French Concession and Hong Kong

Last year as Chinese New Year approached, I noticed a lot of Chinese women Gettin’ Their Hair Did. In what ended up being one of CPHNS’s most popular posts last year, I captured some priceless shots of women with large, colored, and sometimes a bit overdone hair (big hair was also exceedingly popular in the 1930s to 1949). But this year I’ve noticed more men with interesting hairstyles before the holiday:

This guy has a mohawk/ponytail combo, which I’m a huge fan of because I like the stark juxtaposition of long and short hair as well as a little bit of androgyny.

This guy at my local Lan Zhou La Mian place had pretty much a full head of hair, but also an impressively long braid. I thought it was interesting and daring of him to shave off the front of his head, especially since so many men are afraid of receding hairlines.

Then I saw this boy. He had a clean cut in the front, but it was all party in the back… But this was definitely no mullet.

It’s an interesting trend to see in 2012, especially since this hairstyle (a queue) was popular in China during the Qing Dynasty over 100 years ago. It was compulsory for Chinese men (imposed by the ruling Manchus, now a minority in China), but after the fall of the Qing Dynasty in 1911, many men cut off their queues to signal their solidarity for the new republic; there were of course those that maintained the hairstyle, but it carried a very strong connotation back then and still maintains a specific meaning in Chinese society today.

But it’s the New Year almost, and so I’m contemplating changing my hair. I usually get it cut at the Bird and Flower Market by this guy for 10rmb ($1.50). He simply shaves the sides and I keep the top long, and have a short ponytail in the back.

I used to shave my head for over 10 years because I was a swimmer since I was 4 years old, so I like my long hair now… But I began to rethink my long hair after seeing this cool little man with short hair at the Hong Kong Airport.

I used to think that shaved heads were always so boring, but I never really thought of shaving something like a swirl into my head like this little monk/rockstar kid:

And in China, the possibilities are endless! I could shave some sort of Chinese character into my head. Any suggestions? I was thinking maybe 虎 (I’m year of the Tiger), 龙 (it’s year of the Dragon), 道 (because I’m obsessed with Daoism and the 道德经), or just my name 墨萌.

Best Dressed Generation:
Gen X – 180 points
Gen Y – 195 points + 20 points for bringing back the queue and rocking other interesting hairstyles = 215 points
Gen Z – 148 points + 10 points for bringing back the queue + 20 points for making shaved heads interesting = 178 points