Hairvolution #117


One final Girls Rock Camp contribution, and the perfect opportunity to feature another sort of rock star: Shaina Machlus!

Shaina is a professional hair stylist at a boutique salon in Greensboro, NC.  She also volunteers her skills to individuals experiencing homelessness in the community.  Recognizing the tremendous disconnect between these two groups, she created the Hair Do Project as part of an effort to “erode barriers, promote dialogue, and create positive change for the Greensboro community.”

In explaining why hair serves as a central piece to this effort, Shaina writes,

Image is powerful.  It permeates every aspect of our public lives and helps determine the way we perceive ourselves and others.  As with all aspects of personal image and aesthetics, discussions of hair and hair styling can segue into deeper discussions about race, ethnicity, class, gender, and other prevailing social and cultural problems.

…sound familiar?  Clearly we should be buddies!

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Hairvolution #116


Hair styling is hard enough as it is, but can be especially challenging if you’re differently abled.  This contributor has limited use of one of her arms and consequently isn’t able to fix her hair into a traditional ponytail.  But as it turns out, a company in the UK has developed a solution!

1-UP is a one hand hair tie and can be useful for folks who have upper limb mobility challenges; paralysis in the hand, arm, or shoulder; do not have hand(s) or arm(s); or have a broken arm or wrist.  Check it out:

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Hairvolution #115


Another Girls Rock Camp volunteer (and fellow lover of kitten tips):


Fortunately, for those who are especially, um… inspired by their feline friends, cat lovers in Japan have developed a cat-themed hairstyle.  Should you be so inclined, here’s a tutorial:


Hairvolution #114


Besides epic dance parties, life-changing friendships, rock-your-socks-off musicians, and lots of really great hair, Girls Rock Camp Charleston is famous for its “Kitten Tips.”

This contributer is hard at work here, adding to the magical collection of kitten-themed advice and encouragement:


….for example:

kitten tip


kitten tip 2

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Hairvolution #113


Another Girls Rock Camp rock star!  (See Hairvolution #111 for more info.)


*And in case you’re pop-culturally challenged like me, the early years style reference made by this participant is to Legolas from Lord of the Rings.


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Hairvolution #112


A little Girls Rock Camp-inspired history lesson for ya:

The Riot Grrrl Movement began in the early ’90s by Washington State band Bikini Kill and lead singer Kathleen Hanna.  They published the “Riot Grrrl Manifesto” in 1991:

BECAUSE us girls crave records and books and fanzines that speak to US that WE feel included in and can understand in our own ways.

BECAUSE we wanna make it easier for girls to see/hear each other’s work so that we can share strategies and criticize-applaud each other.

BECAUSE we must take over the means of production in order to create our own moanings.

BECAUSE viewing our work as being connected to our girlfriends-politics-real lives is essential if we are gonna figure out how we are doing impacts, reflects, perpetuates, or DISRUPTS the status quo.

BECAUSE we recognize fantasies of Instant Macho Gun Revolution as impractical lies meant to keep us simply dreaming instead of becoming our dreams AND THUS seek to create revolution in our own lives every single day by envisioning and creating alternatives to the bullshit christian capitalist way of doing things.

BECAUSE we want and need to encourage and be encouraged in the face of all our own insecurities, in the face of beergutboyrock that tells us we can’t play our instruments, in the face of “authorities” who say our bands/zines/etc are the worst in the US and

BECAUSE we don’t wanna assimilate to someone else’s (boy) standards of what is or isn’t.

BECAUSE we are unwilling to falter under claims that we are reactionary “reverse sexists” AND NOT THE TRUEPUNKROCKSOULCRUSADERS THAT WE KNOW we really are.

BECAUSE we know that life is much more than physical survival and are patently aware that the punk rock “you can do anything” idea is crucial to the coming angry grrrl rock revolution which seeks to save the psychic and cultural lives of girls and women everywhere, according to their own terms, not ours.

BECAUSE we are interested in creating non-heirarchical ways of being AND making music, friends, and scenes based on communication + understanding, instead of competition + good/bad categorizations.

BECAUSE doing/reading/seeing/hearing cool things that validate and challenge us can help us gain the strength and sense of community that we need in order to figure out how bullshit like racism, able-bodieism, ageism, speciesism, classism, thinism, sexism, anti-semitism and heterosexism figures in our own lives.

BECAUSE we see fostering and supporting girl scenes and girl artists of all kinds as integral to this process.

BECAUSE we hate capitalism in all its forms and see our main goal as sharing information and staying alive, instead of making profits of being cool according to traditional standards.

BECAUSE we are angry at a society that tells us Girl = Dumb, Girl = Bad, Girl = Weak.

BECAUSE we are unwilling to let our real and valid anger be diffused and/or turned against us via the internalization of sexism as witnessed in girl/girl jealousism and self defeating girltype behaviors.

BECAUSE I believe with my wholeheartmindbody that girls constitute a revolutionary soul force that can, and will change the world for real.

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Hairvolution #111


Last July I had the unbelievable privilege of teaming up with an amazing crew of rock star volunteers down in Charleston, SC to help put on their 3rd Annual Girls Rock Camp!

As this contributor points out, young girls are often made to feel self-conscious and disempowered due to a society that [still] says women are incapable, incompetent, and less-than.  Girls Rock Camp seeks to confront and change those harmful messages by “empowering girls and transgender youth through music education, DIY media, and creative collaboration.” …to create a community in which “girlhood is a celebrated state of being.”


Since first getting started in Portland, OR back in 2001, GRC’s have been popping up all over the world.  If there’s one near you, find out what you can do to help out!  If there isn’t one in your community yet, maybe it’s time to change that!

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Hairvolution #110


What’s does “Republican hair” look like, you ask?  Evidently the established theme at the 2012 Republican National Convention was a left-to-right combover, famously dubbed the “Republican Side-Part.”


*Mitt Romney’s hair was such a popular topic of discussion during the 2012 Presidential Campaign, at one point the New York Times featured a front-page article about the Republican nominee’s impeccably coiffed ‘do.

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Hairvolution #109


This contributor was one of my college roommates, and it was during our junior year at Texas Lutheran University that we both made major hair transitions – I chopped off all my hair, thus abandoning my awkward attempts at Texas-grade femininity; she went natural.  We had endless conversations about the impact of our respective transitions – how people interacted with us differently, how our families responded, and (most importantly) how we felt about ourselves.  For both of us, the experience was difficult but ultimately an incredibly rewarding journey.  I’m so glad to have made it with her by my side!


Zina Saro-Wiwa, a British-Nigerian filmmaker currently based in Brooklyn, produced a short documentary in 2012 about the growing number of black women in America transitioning to natural hair.  About the movement, she says this:

[B]lack hair and the black body generally have long been a site of political contest in American history and in the American imagination. Against this backdrop, the transition movement has a political dimension — whether transitioners themselves believe it or not. Demonstrating this level of self-acceptance represents a powerful evolution in black political expression. If racial politics has led to an internalization of self-loathing, then true transformation will come internally, too. It will not be a performative act. Saying it loud: “I’m black and I’m proud” is one thing. Believing it quietly is another. So the transition movement is much more profound and much more powerful — and I believe it offers lessons in self-acceptance for people of all hues and all genders.

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Hairvolution #108


A tribute to all those who boldly (and beautifully!) rock “big hair”:

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